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Peer Mentoring Opportunities in SIS

Peer Mentorship is an important part of the School of Interdisciplinary Science and the experiences we provide to our students. We have several opportunities, both inside and outside the classroom, for students to get involved and cultivate their mentorship skills. The School of Interdisciplinary Science offers the following peer mentorship courses, SCIENCE 2A03, LIFESCI 3XX3.

Upper year students mentor first or second-year students in both tutorial and laboratory settings.  These courses help students develop their skills in science communication, collaboration, and knowledge translation. These courses also explore the theory and practice of how mentoring benefits both mentors and mentees.

Mentorship courses can be great stepping stones for students interested in pursuing teaching assistantship positions to build experience and skills. Furthermore, students are given the opportunities to develop their own personal portfolios in these courses and reflect on their progression from student to mentor to a potential teaching assistant.



This course will engage students in considering the role of mentorship in their science education and developing their own mentoring skills. It explores the theory and practice of how mentoring benefits both mentors and mentees. Emphasis will be placed on facilitative leadership, reflective practice, and scientific discourse. Students will gain practical experience, as well as leadership and communication skills, which can be applied to the development of peer-mentoring relationships with science students transitioning to university.

This course is open to all students in the Faculty of Science who meet the course prerequisites. There is no separate application for this course.


This class develops the abilities of students to communicate science effectively in a variety of real-world contexts. Projects focus on speaking and writing, engaging in scientific discourse, developing evidence-based arguments, editing the work of others, and providing constructive feedback. Students in this course will be mentors for students in level 2.

Applications are now open for LIFESCI 3XX3 Peer Mentoring. Apply now for consideration to enrol in the 2023-24 academic year!

Enrollment in this course is limited, and by approval of completed applications only. Please read the application fully to understand all necessary pre-requisite courses and respective details.

The application can be found here.

Due Date: April 10 11:59PM EST. Late applications will not be accepted, please apply early to avoid technical difficulties.

Questions? Contact


“Life Science 3XX3 was an amazing experience where I was able to refine skills that I will not only use for the rest of my undergrad, but also for life in general. It helped me improve my communication, presentation, and writing skills through the various assignments I had to complete throughout the year. As a result of this course, I am now able to work more efficiently in a team environment as I was paired with another peer mentor to lead a tutorial. This task required effective communication to split the tutorial work evenly between the two of us. The instructors for the course were extremely helpful as they gave positive feedback on how to improve myself, as well as requesting feedback about how to improve the course in future years. The instructors made the lecture part of the course fun and interesting to attend as a new speaker was brought in from either McMaster or the Hamilton area to talk about opportunities happening in Hamilton. The instructors also had the class participate in an ice breaker activity where new bonds and friendships were created within the students in the course. Additionally, this course gave me an idea of what it feels like to be a teaching assistant which is a job I will pursue in the future. Overall, I would definitely recommend this course as the majority of learning was not taught in the traditional format of a professor at the front, but through leading a tutorial to improve my soft skills. Life Science 3XX3 was a refreshing new course that introduced new aspects to the undergraduate learning experience that all my other courses do not offer.” Lloyd Smith, Level IV Honours Life Science (Fall 2017 student)

“Having the opportunity to mentor students not only gave me the chance to guide their pathways in a meaningful manner, but also allowed me to build on my abilities. By leading weekly tutorials, I was able to improve my presentation and communication skills through the lesson plans and assignments provided. I also worked with various students one-on-one where I learned to comprehend and explain materials in many different ways such that the students acquired a better understanding of the topics being discussed. Overall, through this experience I gained confidence in my ability to communicate with others and feel better prepared for future group projects or interviews.” Prabhnoor Bhons, Level IV Honours Life Science (Winter 2018 student)

What lead me to becoming a mentor was the desire to be able to help guide younger students towards achieving their potential. Many first-year students do not know many older students, thus not having someone older to ask for advice. In my first year, I luckily had many friends in their upper years of university, who helped guide me towards success. I decided to take this course so I could fill this role for these first year students, to help them have the same opportunity as I had in my first year. In order to accomplish this, I set goals for myself at the beginning of the semester to feel more comfortable presenting in front of an audience, teach more effectively, and become more approachable. David Abraham, Level IV Honours Life Science (Fall 2017 student)