There are several mentoring schemes in place for staff at the University of York but nothing that recognises the unique position and contribution that postgraduate research students (PGRs) make to the research culture at York. Recognising this, we are introducing a pilot scheme that focuses on supporting and enhancing the postgraduate research experience at York. It is available, in the first instance, to PGRs in the last 18 months before their submission deadline.

The application, matching and review process for the pilot scheme have been designed to support the specific needs of PGR students. The scheme is designed to complement (not replace) the supervisory relationship by providing an opportunity for PGRs to discuss and develop their skills, behaviours and approaches to the research experience with a more experienced postdoctoral researcher.

Examples of the types of issues and goals mentees may want to explore are:

  • Thesis writing
  • Communicating research (eg. through publications and public engagement)
  • How to support and enhance the learning experience of others (eg. as a graduate teaching assistant, tutor)
  • Citizenship (eg. through outreach, widening participation, buddying, mentoring, being a student or civic ambassador)
  • Developing and demonstrating leadership (representation on committees, project and conference organisation, peer led initiatives such as PhD survival)
  • Career planning and development
  • Increasing self-confidence
  • Achieving work/life balance
  • Increasing self-awareness and confidence