Research Staff Mentoring Programme
- University of Edinburgh
- Scotland and Northern Ireland
- Date first submitted:
- 28 Nov 2007
- Date last modified:
- 22 Mar 2011
- Career development
- Research staff
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?
A large number of research staff responding to the CROS surveys of researchers at Edinburgh have requested that mentoring support is made available to them.
The mentoring programme is offered to all researchers as part of the Researcher Development Programme. The mentoring support focuses on career planning and development.
Given the range and diversity of research activities, researchers’ backgrounds and previous experiences, the mentoring programme is operated in relation to the following key principles: applied in a very flexible way, to take account of different work environments, career paths and perceived needs, and to allow for the matching of mentors and mentees outwith the immediate discipline or research team; researcher led, where individual researchers take responsibility for their own career plans; voluntary in that researchers will choose whether to take part; confidential to the researcher and the mentor; supported by briefing materials so that those taking part can get the best out of the programme; managed by an administrator overseeing the programme and acting as a point of contact.
The aims of the mentoring programme for research staff are: to provide support and motivation in the key areas of career planning and development; to provide opportunities for a confidential review of options, strategies and decisions; to help researchers to take responsibility for their career management; to ensure researchers are supported whilst developing confidence, additional skills and experience.
Are there any pre-requisites for engagement, e.g. levels of skill, years of experience, essential pre-activities?
How many participate in each 'activity'?
No pre-requisites for engagement.
The mentoring programme is open to all research staff but currently only a small proportion of the total population choose to take part. Feedback from those involved is very positive.
Evaluation: benefits, challenges and next steps
How do you monitor effectiveness?
Who do you seek feedback from?
Do you have benchmarks?
Researchers who are currently taking part in the mentoring programme have reported that the mentoring partnership is both valued and enjoyable. Mentees have highlighted the positive impact of having someone independent to talk to, and mentors have noted the benefits of passing on useful information and lessons drawn from their own experience.
It can be a challenge to find enough mentors and it is important to build networks, promote the benefits of the programme and enlist the ongoing support of 'old-hands'. Some mentees are now offering to be mentors to new recruits.