A5 - One-sentence mentoring: Bridging the advice gap between PIs and postdocs

Day 1 at 14:45 - The PI is one of the most significant individuals in shaping the future career success of her or his postdocs. This fact is also identified by researchers themselves: 72% have consulted or would consult their Principal Investigator (PI) about training and development needs; a further 64% would seek advice from their PI about longer-term career planning (CROS UK aggregate data, 2011). Yet we know from our work with postdocs in Cambridge that, for a wide range of reasons, advice and mentoring from PIs and other academics can be difficult to access. For that reason, we piloted a new initiative that sought to bridge this gap. PIs were asked to submit just one sentence of advice to postdocs and aspiring group leaders, which was collating and disseminated in a readily accessible format for the postdoc community. This workshop was an opportunity to present our pilot process and initial findings, including themes emerging from the one-sentence mentoring advice, to other researcher development practitioners. Strand - Research staff.
Day Day 1
Session A
Start time 14:45
Strand Research staff
Code A5
Presenters Dr Steve Joy - Careers Adviser, University of Cambridge
Dr Sharon Saunders- Researcher Development Consultant, University of Cambridge


The workshop covered:

  • a presentation of the one-sentence mentoring process
  • a summary of initial findings
  • a chance to explore how these insights might inform the researcher development policy and practice agenda.

Workshop outcomes:


  • gained an insight into the Cambridge one-sentence mentoring pilot
  • increased their awareness of the current ‘world view' of PIs from a range of discipline areas
  • explored ideas and implications for researchers in their own institutions.