- Database of practice
- Peer Mentoring (1-1) for 1st Year Postgraduate Research Students
Peer Mentoring (1-1) for 1st Year Postgraduate Research Students
A one to one peer mentoring pilot scheme for new postgraduate research students who are mentored by late cycle 2nd or early 3rd year students
- Queen's University Belfast
- Scotland and Northern Ireland
- Date first submitted:
- 1 Jun 2011
- Date last modified:
- 7 Jun 2011
- Relationship to RDF:
- Domain A: Knowledge and intellectual abilities
- Domain B: Personal effectiveness
- Personal Qualities
- Professional and career development
- Domain C: Research governance and organisation
- Domain D: Engagement, influence and impact
- Working with others
- Engagement and impact
- Personal effectiveness
- Work experience
- Knowledge exchange
- Career development
- Postgraduate researchers
- International (open to HEIs outside the UK)
Impact Level 2: Learning
Improved integration into research environment; increased knowledge of environment. Decreased anxiety is expected because of having a 1-1 support to bring questions to, thus supporting the developing of confidence.
Impact Level 3: Behaviour
Ability to demonstrate more confidence in ability to manage environment; potentially increased awareness of self in the research environment through reflections from mentoring sessions.
Impact Level 4: Outcomes
Better research because support from 1-1 mentoring, which is client led, allows mentees to focus more on their research and less on isses like accessing resources & adjusting to PhD studies.
The university can also benefit because the targeted information giving that characterises mentoring means that other staff resources do not need to be used
Rationale, aims and outcomes
What is the rationale for doing this?
How does it fit with institutional strategy?
What are the main features of the provision?
What are the aims and expected outcomes?
Queen's is a Russell Group member committed to world class research. The university coroprate plan highlights the importance of achieving advanced research excellence through strategic leadership. Mentoring, which benefits mentors as well as mentees, illustrates how leadership and management skills can be nourished through mentors providing tools to aid successful integration of mentees.
The aims of peer mentoring at Queen's are to improve integration of first year PGR students into the research environment and to provide an enhanced student-led, induction process.
Feature of peer mentoring at Queen's include: inclusion of mentees and school co-ordinator in decision making about programme design in order to tailor the programme to the needs of the particular school; training is led by the Postgraduate Centre and supported by a specially written manual for mentors.
Expected outcomes are: better integration for new first years; increased employability of mentors through partication in the scheme
Are there any pre-requisites for engagement, e.g. levels of skill, years of experience, essential pre-activities?
How many participate in each 'activity'?
There are many useful texts on mentoring which could be useful to read before proceeding with a mentoring programme, such as Setting up peer-mentoring with postgraduate research students by Emma Coe and Carole Keeling
Mentors selection may take into consideration candidates previous experience, however there are no set pre requisites apart from an interest in and desire to mentor.
Co-ordinators need experience of training (or access to trainers)
One important pre activity was a meeting or mentors and mentees to launch the scheme. This helped to define the roles and expectations of each and was supported by an information sheet for mentors.
The pilot scheme has been a 1-1 scheme, with 4 mentors and 4 mentees. One of the mentors was elected as mentor co-ordinator.
Evaluation: benefits, challenges and next steps
How do you monitor effectiveness?
Who do you seek feedback from?
Do you have benchmarks?
Effectiveness is monitored through:
reviews with mentors
evaluation questionnaires for mentees
semi structured interviews with mentees
exit interviews with mentors
feedback from staff co-ordinator
feedback from other relevant staff (when permission is granted by mentees)