Focus on mentoring and coaching for researchers

Mentoring and coaching each aim to help an individual clarify their goals and/or improve their self-awareness, skills or knowledge. Both use a conversational approach. While you can distinguish between them, the terms are often used interchangeably. Mentoring or coaching can draw on existing expertise to offer invaluable support for researchers' professional development.

See our full listing of focus on topics for Vitae members.

Online #vitaehangout
Join the discussion

Online #vitaehangout

Will getting a mentor boost your career? Watch the recording of our #vitaehangout for researchers

Our panellists discuss questions such as:

What are the purposes and benefits of mentoring and coaching?

How can it support your professional and career development?

How can you find a mentor or coach?

How could you benefit?
Mentoring and coaching

How could you benefit?

To identify development needs that a mentor or coach might help you to progress, try our range of thinking tools, including:

Lenses on the Vitae Researcher Development Framework help you focus on knowledge or skills needed in a specific context.

Our researcher booklets include short exercises to help you explore your own situation and needs.

Try our online course, PDP ROC. Learn to take a systematic approach to planning your development.

Researcher developers


During July we’re asking you to tell us which topic related to mentoring or coaching you’d most like us to address through a webinar aimed at researcher developers.

Let us know your favourite topic by filling in this quick poll

Case studies
Sharing practice

Case studies

Thanks for submitting case studies and articles on mentoring and coaching in response to our call!

We've put an initial selection online

All submissions meeting the criteria will soon be published in our online Member Community

Your views
Coaching and mentoring poll

Your views

We asked researchers and their coaches and mentors to tell us about their experiences and motivations.

See the results of our poll - thanks for your responses!

Supporting researchers

Build institutional capacity

Coaching and mentoring schemes for researchers. Advice for anyone considering a new scheme

Coaching for research in UK HE institutions : how coaching can support researcher performance and development

Case studies and articles on coaching and mentoring - from our network

Our evaluation toolkit includes example evaluation forms for a mentoring scheme

Supporting success

Career conversations

We asked experienced academics to give advice for researchers aspiring to research leadership. Developing the next generation can inform effective career development and mentoring conversations.

For PIs: A brief guide to career conversations with research staff and add links to your own resources on the editable version

Straight talking: the role of non-specialist advice and networking in career conversations for researchers

Your perspective

Results from previous polls

“I would have quit without the substantial support of my (informal, but powerful) mentor.” Response from recognised researcher to our leadership poll.

Leadership poll: Your top leadership benefit: being offered challenges and opportunities

Open research poll: 64% say that open research skills are something they could work on or mean to address