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Mentoring and buddying schemes

New student? Sign up for a buddy

The PGR Buddy Scheme enables you to be connected to an existing research student. They will help you settle into the York research experience, to provide a friendly welcome and help you to get to know the University and the city of York. All our PGR Buddies are trained to be an ambassador for the University and for excellent research. We cannot guarantee you a match with someone from your department but we will do our best to hook you up with a friendly face.

Applications for the Autumn 2021 PGR Buddy Scheme have now closed. However, if you would like to be paired with a buddy in January 2022 please complete the application form below.

Please contact if you require support or have any questions about the scheme.

Apply for a PGR buddy

Existing postgraduate researcher? Be a buddy

We need your help to extend a huge virtual welcome to all our new PGR students.

Think how good it would be to receive an email and Hangout, Zoom or Facetime from someone who knows what you’re going through. The buddy scheme is part of a package of support for new PGR students who might never have been to York (or the UK), and who may feel even more distanced than the rest of us at this time.

Complete the application form if you would like to be a buddy for new PGRs arriving in January 2022. Contact if you have any questions not answered below.

Apply to be a buddy

What is a buddy?

Purpose: buddying is an informal relationship between a current or recently graduated PGR student and a new PGR to provide a friendly welcome, a point of call and to support the individual to settle into the University, particularly when working remotely. You'll both be an ambassador for the university and for excellent research.

Characteristics: buddying is typically a grassroots activity born out a desire to help new colleagues and PGRs integrate into the culture of the institution and department. It's often short term, focussed on the present. You're not expected to be their friend for life (but you can be if you want!).

Outcome: integration of the new PGR into their research group, department, the York Graduate Research School, the wider University and the city of York. We want happier, integrated students who feel they belong and are part of the University, even if and when they are not physically on campus. We'll make a number of resources available to you including interactive campus maps and virtual cafe hangout space. 

Focus: to support and help new PGRs settle into the University, to signpost information and support offered by the University and introduce them to peer networks where possible. This is particularly critical while you're both working remotely. A Google hangout or facetime chat can make all the difference.

Duration: buddying may last for a few months or longer, as serves both parties.

Who can be a buddy?

Any existing or recently graduated PGR student from York. You'll probably be in the same faculty but not necessarily the department, especially where they are small.

What am I expected to do?

Have an online chat with them before they start their studies, answer questions, tell them about their department, what they can expect and how they can get involved with activities. Provide a welcome and direct them towards important information. Tell them about the city of York, what goes on, how they can get involved, what they have to look forward to when they get here. Listen to their concerns and questions and signpost them to people in the department who can help them.

What am I not expected to do?

Be a coach, counsellor or doctor.

Who will support me?

You'll be provided with information and online training to help you think about how you can best support your buddy.

What's in it for me?

Volunteering can help you find friends, connect with the community, learn new skills and demonstrate to employes and funders that you take civic duty and giving something back seriously. It shows you're a team player with emotional intelligence, empathy and a creative approach to problem solving.

These skills and qualities are highly prized by recruiters. On a personal level, helping others can also help protect your mental and physical health. It can reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated and provide a sense of purpose. In the current climate we all need something to make us feel useful and valued; buddying can help with that.

How do I get involved?

If you feel able to contribute and help a new student settle in and provide a friendly point of call of call, please complete an expression of interest form.

Mentoring scheme

The PGR mentoring scheme is an opportunity for you to discuss and develop your skills, behaviours and approaches to your research and explore professional development and career plans with a more experienced postdoctoral researcher. It is open to all 2nd, 3rd and final year postgraduate researchers.

The application, matching and review process are designed to support your specific needs as postgraduate researchers. The scheme complements (not replaces) the supervisory relationship.

Postgraduate research student mentoring scheme

The scheme is being run by People and Organisational Development (POD) in collaboration with the Research Excellence Training Team (RETT).