Publish Date: 16.12.2015

Category: News from the University

For the seventh year in a row, The Society of Young Researchers Slovenia (DMRS) has awarded the title Mentor of the Year, intended for the best Slovene mentors of young researchers and doctoral students. 

Among 52 nominees a panel of judges selected five finalists, namely prof. Dr. Barbara Simončič from the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering of the University of Ljubljana, prof. Dr. Gregor Serša from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ljubljana, prof. Dr. Iztok Turel from the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology of the University of Ljubljana, prof. Dr. Bogdan Filipič from the  Jožef Stefan Institute and prof. Dr. Štefan Bojnec from the Faculty of Management of the University of Primorska. 

The 2015 Mentor of the Year title was bestowed on prof. Dr. Barbara Simončič, who stated after the award ceremony:

"I am incredibly honoured to be chosen from among all the nominated renowned researchers and excellent mentors. At this opportunity I would like to thank my young researchers for their nomination, but even more so for their excellent research work and cooperation, without which I would not have received this beautiful statue. I am aware that being a mentor is an important and responsible project, which can only bring success if it is a cooperation of two equal partners, the mentor and the student, who put a lot of effort and energy into the research. 

I believe I was lucky as a mentor. I had or have incredibly competent, independent and ambitious young researchers who are pleasure to work with. In spite of the award that I'm holding in my hand, I truly hope that my doctoral students are half as satisfied with me as I am with them. 

I would also like to point out that my first young graduates are already mentors to their young researchers. I am certain that they will also perform their mission with equal drive and success."  

The Mentor of the Year title is intended to promote good mentorship and practices and also for the recognition of excellence of individual mentors. Mentors may be nominated by all doctoral students, who have been enrolled for at least two years or have concluded their programmes within the last two years. 

A discussion between prof. Dr. Barbara Simončič and her young researcher Jelena Vasiljević is available here; two others are available in audio at and

Photographs by Jernej Markelj