Thirteen undergraduate students will get their first taste of life as researchers as mentees in the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Tree Health Biotechnology’s undergraduate mentorship programme. The students met their mentors – postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows – at a lunch in the FABI courtyard on 4 March. The incumbents go through a vigorous selection process to get into the programme, which runs from March until November every year. The students learn about basic lab etiquette as well as techniques that are central to postgraduate scientific research, preparing them for when they conduct their individual research studies from Honours until PhD level. 

Professor Brenda Wingfield welcomed the 13 mentees and congratulated them for successfully going through the selection process of the programme, which she said had “become incredibly competitive” over the years. She encouraged them to put in “energy and effort” into their partnerships with their mentors and to enjoy the excitement of doing research that “no one has done before”. Programme co-ordinator Benedicta Swalarsk-Parry gave the mentees their welcome packs, which included lab coats and lab books. 

 The mentors and their mentees are listed below: