P7 - Research mentorship: perspectives from across the research career pathway

Day Day 1
Session Poster presentation
Start time 19:00
Code P7

Dr Brigit Chesworth, Research Associate, University of Central Lancashire


BACKGROUND: Within the context of initiatives to strengthen our research environment and enhance professional development support for researchers, we identified the lack of a formalised mentorship approach. 

METHODOLOGY: We undertook a consultation process, comprising an anonymous survey with three distinctive groups of researchers: Early Career; Mid-Career; and Professors/Readers. Staff were asked to indicate their interest in both receiving and providing mentorship, and give their views on how a mentoring scheme should work, including processes for matching prospective mentors and mentees. 

FINDINGS: Definitions of mentoring as a concept varied and included technical expertise, pastoral support and career advice. We found a high level of requests for research mentorship, as well as reported willingness to act as mentors, that were not necessarily translated into practice. Novel findings included reported preferences by junior researchers to be mentored by mid-career colleagues, rather than by Professors. Professors also reported a high level of requests for mentorship. 

DISCUSSION: These findings have informed our strategic planning for local research mentorship to address professional development needs for all levels of research staff.