Mentor of the Year

For the last two decades, we have been collecting good and bad practices of mentoring and anecdotes of Slovenian doctoral students and early career researchers. Since bad practices often gain more attention, we have decided to highlight the good ones instead. There are many mentors who take pride in their mentoring, are great at it, and deserve to be recognized for their contributions to nurturing early career researchers.

The purpose of the Mentor of the Year Award is to promote quality mentorship and good mentoring practices, as well as to give credit to individual excellent mentors. The Young Academy of Slovenia strives to make this award an integral part of the Slovenian academic milieu. In 2021, we awarding the Mentor of the Year for the twelfth time in a row.


Nagrade za Mentorja leta 2018. Foto: Nina Lozej.

List of previous awardees

2020 – prof. dr. Emil Erjavec (event video)

2019 – prof. dr. Kristina Sepčić (event video)

2018 – prof. dr. Barbara Koroušić Seljak (event gallery)

2017 – prof. dr. Primož Ziherl (event gallery)

2016 – prof. dr. Mario Poljak (event gallery)

2015 – prof. dr. Barbara Simončič (event gallery)

2014 – prof. dr. Marko Bajec

2013 – prof. dr. Zdravko Kutnjak

2012 – prof. dr. Boris Žemva

2011 – prof. dr. Igor Muševič

2010 – prof. dr. Domen Leštan

2009 – prof. dr. Janko Kos

Consider nominating your mentor for the Mentor of the Year Award as well!

Call for nominations

The call for nominations for the Mentor of the Year 2020 Award is now open.

Nominate your mentor

The deadline for nomination is April 5 April 11, 2021.

Information on the selection process


The applications are evaluated and ranked by a committee of 5 members, who are all doctoral students or have recently graduated. The committee for the selection of the Mentor of the Year 2020 consists of:

  • dr. Lea Kuhar, president,
  • Maya Petek, PhD (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland),
  • Martin Topole,
  • Davor Škofič Maurer, PhD (Austria),
  • Matja Zalar, PhD (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland),
  • additional member: dr. Nejc Lamovšek.

Each application will be evaluated and ranked by at least two evaluators. All evaluators are also doctoral students or have recently graduated. The number of evaluators depends on the number of received applications. The names will be known after the deadline for nominations and before the closing ceremony.

The evaluators for the Mentor of the Year 2020 were: Marko Hočevar, Matic Jovičević Klug, Patricia Jovičević Klug, Lea Kuhar, Nejc Lamovšek, Maya Petek, Gašper Pirc, Danila Rijavec, Davor Škofič Maurer, Marion van Midden, Martin Topole and Matja Zalar.

Selection criteria and process

Since the 2016 selection, the evaluation of applications is completely at the discretion of our evaluators and the committee. The process is as follows:

  • All received nominations that are invalid or insufficient according to the List of Rules are excluded before the evaluation process.
  • Each evaluator then receives up to 20 applications, which he/she grades from 1 to 5 according to predefined criteria. Each evaluator has a right to highlight up to two applications among those with highest grades that he/she considers appropriate for the final selection.
  • The committee gathers the evaluators’ recommendations and chooses five finalists. Their decision is based on the evaluators’ opinions and the number of received applications per individual mentor.
  • At a live meeting, the committee re-reads all the finalists’ applications and among them chooses the Mentor of the Year by voting.

The evaluation and selection procedures take place every year in the second half of February, and the winner is chosen at the end of the month. The closing ceremony takes place in mid-March.

List of rules
The data on proposers and nominees (GDPR)

Through this website, the Young Academy of Slovenia collects personal data on the proposers (e-mail address, name and surname, the year of enrolment, the year of graduation) and nominees (e-mail address, name and surname, institution).

The data are stored in Google Drive, which can be accessed by the society’s Management Board. Through Google Drive, the data are stored on Google’s server in the USA. Google dedicates substantial financial and security means to prevent unauthorized access to the data. The Young Academy of Slovenia also stores copies of all the applications in a folder in the cloud service Dropbox, which can be accessed by the society’s Management Board and the elected evaluators for the given year.

The applications will be stored up to ten years after the call in order to ensure a transparent insight into the selection process and criteria to the future Management Boards and evaluators.

Nagrajenci Mentorja leta 2018. Foto: Nina Lozej.