Mentoring for Academic, Research (including post-docs), Teaching and Scholarship Staff

Background

Adding to the range of development opportunities available to staff, including open courses, leadership development programmes and coaching, it is proposed that a mentoring scheme becomes available.

Over the summer of 2017 a pilot mentoring programme ran over 6 months offering mentoring to Researchers across the Physics, Health Sciences, Chemistry and Environment & Geography Departments. Around 30 mentees were matched with 30 mentors from these departments which led to effective 6 month mentoring relationships. The types of issues and goals mentees wanted to explore were:

  • Career planning & guidance
  • General support & guidance
  • Understanding what is required of a first class researcher
  • Increasing self confidence
  • Achieving work/life balance
  • Increasing self reflection.

The positive feedback received from subsequent evaluation indicated the value of these relationships. 100% of mentees and 97% mentors recommended the mentoring scheme to others. Following this pilot, a questionnaire was sent to every department exploring what was in place around mentoring in each department and what was needed. Unsurprisingly, a wide range of practice and expectations were expressed. This scheme builds on that success of the pilot and aims to create a scheme that works for the whole university and the aim initially is to roll this initiative out to all academics.

While mentoring will not suit everyone, this scheme does provide a significant opportunity both for mentors to share their experience and mentees to benefit from this experience, complementing the suite of development offerings available to staff  and would be voluntary to both mentors and mentees.