B3 - Empowering researchers through mentoring

Day Day 1
Code B3
Start time 16:40
Room York
Work with Research Staff
Work with Doctoral Researchers
Supervisors and Principal Investigators

Professor Susan Brooks, Director of Researcher Development, Oxford Brookes University

Sam Hopkins, Researcher Development Officer, University of Surrey

Dr Alison Yeung Yam Wah, Teaching Fellow (PGR Writing SKills), University of Surrey

Workshop overview: 

Increasingly, HEIs are exploring ways of incorporating mentoring programmes into their skills and personal development programmes for researchers. Researcher developers and careers advisors in HE institutions see the value of mentoring programmes as providing an alternative, and often more authentic, form of personal, professional and skills development to the more traditional modes of training, such as taught courses and workshops. Mentoring programmes emphasise the importance of benefits for both mentor and mentee, a reciprocity which mentees and mentors alike find empowering, and which helps to dissolve the barriers that so often arise between trainer and trainee in more traditional modes of training and development. This workshop will give an overview of a wide range of mentoring programmes and will explore, through discussion, the value of mentoring programmes to empower researchers as they develop the personal, professional and academic skills they need to become confident professionals both within and beyond academia.

Workshop topics covered: 

  • To support transition points: to postgraduate researcher; to early career researcher; through the academic career path; outside academia
  • For skills development: to support publication, grant success, effective networking and communication skills
  • As part of everyday practice, such as mentoring aspects of being a doctoral supervisor, principal investigator and research leader

Themes covered: 

  • Research staff and supply of talent; strategies and practice, developing a pipeline of research talent through strategies to attract and retain researchers
  • Employability of researchers; enabling career transitions, championing the breadth of researcher careers and encouraging intersectoral mobility
  • Engaging research leaders, principal investigators and supervisors in professional development and nurturing the careers of researchers

Workshop outcomes: 

By the end of the workshop, participants should: 

  • Considered a range of mentoring schemes and opportunities currently available to empower researchers in career development
  • Evaluated benefits of mentoring to mentees facing challenges and transition points throughout their academic career
  • Evaluated benefits of mentoring to mentees in various mentoring situations


Information, interaction and discussion. Participants should also be prepared to include examples from their own experience during discussion.