Introduction to mentoring
How we define mentoring, aims of mentoring, how a partnership may work and typical time commitment
What is mentoring?
If you would like to seek support from someone over an extended period of time in relation to your career progress and aspirations, you may consider mentoring.
Your mentor would normally be a senior colleague. They may have followed a career pathway that interests you, or have faced similar challenges you are, or may be, facing. They support you by drawing on their professional and personal experience, listening to you, and providing information and encouragement where appropriate.
What is Mentoring Connections?
The Mentoring Connections programme is available for all staff. Although we are specifically looking for mentors’ grade 9 or above, mentors can be at any grade. We try to match mentees with mentors who are one grade above and in broadly similar fields.
The Mentoring Connections programme is a cyclical programme run by University HR Services - Learning and Development and the Institute for Academic Development. The programme opens for applications during the academic year , and during this time we actively advertise our programme to attract as many mentors and mentees as possible. The programme then closes to applicants to start the matching process. At this point we aim to match as many participants as possible.
While you can apply to the scheme at any point, your application will be reviewed at a particular point in the year when we focus on matching (usually January). We will contact all interested participants within 2 months after the closing date to provide an update.
Mentees can join the scheme with a mentor in mind, at any time. In this case both the mentor and mentee will need to apply and the programme coordinator will match them in the system. This will allow for these individuals to participate in the associated online training, guidance and evaluation offered to programme participants.
What is the aim of mentoring?
Mentoring may help to:
- Provide support and motivation in the key areas of career planning and development
- Provide opportunities for a confidential review of options, strategies and decisions
- Help researchers to become self-reliant and take responsibility for their career management
- Ensure researchers are supported whilst developing confidence, additional skills and experience
It is up to the mentor and the mentee how often they meet and for how long. At the outset, the mentor and the mentee must be explicit about how much time they are prepared to give and agree the frequency of meetings.
It may be useful to diary in time to meet every 4-6 weeks at the beginning of the relationship, after which timescales would be a flexible arrangement between the 2 parties.
As a member of the mentoring connections programme, we would expect the duration of this relationship to be 6 to 12 months. However there is no limit if there is mutual consent to continue the relationship.