Frequently Asked Questions

This content was last modified on 27 August 2021.

Figbox is an online platform built by volunteering scholars for scholars. We are also open to suggestions and donations to keep us running. We would love to hear from you. To get in touch with us you can contact us via email at figbox@outlook.com or on our support page on twitter: https://twitter.com/figboxsupport

What service does figbox provide?

Figbox was inspired by an interdisciplinary team of scholars who are affiliated with the following universities: Imperial College of London, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Yale University, Harvard university and the University of Chicago. We provide a safe and secure online environment where scholars at different levels (independent researchers, research assistants, masters students, PhD students, research fellows, postdocs, professors at all levels, former academics) can connect and help each other through the exchange of personalized feedback and academic content. Note figbox is not a predatory journal or a part of a corporation posing as an academic institution. We are not interested in intellectually or financially exploiting academic scholars for their scholarly efforts but are intently focused on inspiring scholars around the world. If you ever have any questions, please contact us. We would love to hear from you!

Is Figbox free and can I trust it?

Yes! Figbox is free to use. You also do not need to download any additional software to your personal computer. Secondly, we strongly encourage, if you decide to join the figbox community, to sign up using the “Sign Up with ORCID” feature which can be found on our home page. We are also partnered with Stripe, Inc. Both Stripe and ORCID is a trusted interfaces used by millions of scholars and people around the world and has a proven track record of reliability and integrity. Note that if you decide to leave figbox, you can indeed disconnect your figbox account from your ORCID account. Thirdly, the figbox interface includes an SSL certificate, which can be found on the left corner in your browser. SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. It is an encryption technology used to create a secure connection between figbox and all current and future users. Finally, you can delete your figbox account at any time by going to your Account Settings tab.

How can my current mentees, friends, colleagues connect with me on figbox?

Select the edit profile button, click on “view mentorship status”. Next select invite scholar, enter their emails and they will be automatically sent a notification asking to connect you on figbox.

How do I turn off message notifications being sent to my email?

Go to Account Settings, select the notification tab, and finally choose the notification option you prefer.

How do I block (remove) a scholar?

To block a scholar, simply go to either your mentees or mentors list. Select the icon next to the message icon and unadd that user from your list. This scholar will no longer be able to message you on figbox unless you accept a future request. If you would like to report a scholar, please send us an email at figbox@outlook.com with your reasoning.

Postdoc scholars (Junior Professors)

What do I gain?

  • Figbox helps you increase your mentorship/ peer-review experience
  • You can receive cash donations towards your living expenses from mentees you support
  • You can receive verified mentorship certificates in support your CV and career
  • You can obtain mentorship (e.g., career advice) from other scholars & professors

How do I accept or ignore a request?

When a junior scholar sends you a request, you will receive an email notification which will include details about the request. For example, a junior scholar is required to indicate the nature of the request by selecting one the following mentorship types:

  • PhD admissions/application advice
  • Thesis selection/ literature review
  • Quantitively and qualitative analyses
  • Methodological approach and design
  • Feedback on working scholarship/grant
  • Feedback on working paper
  • Feedback on working thesis
  • Submission/publication advice
  • Replying to referee reviews from journal
  • Handling academic conflicts
  • General career advice
  • Starting an academic related business
  • Transitioning from academia into workplace

The next time you login to figbox, you will be able to see the request under your mentee tab. At this time, you can view the profile of the potential junior scholar by clicking directly on their name. In the event you would like to accept the request, simply select the accept button to which a message icon button will appear next to the scholar’s name.

What are some tips on how I can better help a junior scholar?

Please read the following article: https://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2010/10/top-10-tips-mentors/ Included within this Science article are tips on how you can do to improve your mentorship skills.

How do I receive lunch money given to me by a mentee?

To receive cash donations (lunch money), you will need to make sure have a method payment on file. This can be added on your account settings tab located near your avatar. You can add a payment method through our secure Stripe payment method system. Note that donations are optional, however we do encourage mentees to donate especially if the feedback and content being provided will help advance their careers

How do I enable my Stripe account on figbox in order to receive lunch money?

To add your stripe account on figbox, first check if Stripe is supported at your location. Click link to check: Available Countries: Find Stripe in Your Country | Stripe. Assuming Stripe supports your location, simply select the arrow on the top right-hand corner next to your profile picture. Click Account Settings. Next, click "Enable". NOTE FIGBOX DOES NOT STORE ANY OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION, THIS IS CONTROLLED BY STRIPE. After clicking "Enable", you will be forwarded to a safe and secure system managed by our partner Stripe, Inc. Once your personal information has been verified by Stripe, you will be sent back to figbox where the once "Enable" button will have now changed to "Enabled". Note to receive cash donations (lunch money) directly to your bank account you will need to enable your Stripe account. Further note that you can always disconnect your stripe account by moving your mouse over the "Enabled" button and then selecting "Disconnect".

What if I temporally don’t want to receive any request?

Select edit profile and under your avatar click on the blue slider. Once this is done, you will see your green available status change to red (unavailable at the moment) Junior Scholars (mentees)

Junior Scholars (mentees)

How do I send a request?

Simply enter your research interest in the search browser or filter the search engine per your requirement. At this point you will see a list of scholars that match your interest. Take the time to browse through their profile and when you find a scholar who you think will make a great mentor, select the request mentorship button next to their name. At this point you will be asked to select one of the following mentorship types:

  • PhD admissions/application advice
  • Thesis selection/ literature review
  • Quantitively and qualitative analyses
  • Methodological approach and design
  • Feedback on working scholarship/grant
  • Feedback on working paper
  • Feedback on working thesis
  • Submission/publication advice
  • Replying to referee reviews from journal
  • Handling academic conflicts
  • General career advice
  • Starting an academic related business
  • Transitioning from academia into workplace

This information will then be sent to the requested scholar. You will be able to check the status of your mentorship request under the mentors tab. Next to the scholar’s name will be a button that reads “requested”. If the scholar, thinks you are a good fit (based on the information you have provided on your profile page), and accepts your mentorship request, you will see a message icon next to the scholar’s name where you can directly message the scholar.

What do I do once my request has been accepted?

Since the scholar has clearly indicated that they are interested in taking you on as a mentee, you should take advantage of this opportunity and directly message the mentor. For example, introduce yourself, your area of research etc. We strongly encourage to discuss with the postdoc the terms of the content/feedback you need and what you both expect to gain.

Do I have to give donation (support) to the scholar?

No! Using figbox is free. Donations (minimum of $1) to a postdoc scholar is optional. However, we strongly encourage you to consider donating to the postdoc scholar especially if the feedback and content provided will help advance your career. For example, as an academic you are aware that most scholars are over worked and, in many cases, underpaid and under-valued. For example, consider the following Nature article: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03191-7, which discusses how unfairly academicians are paid. Note that your donations will help the scholar pay for their living expenses such as food and transportation cost.

Do I have to be a postdoc or have qualifications in order to mentor?

No, you can also be a mentor so long as you have the right experience.