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Mentoring for Postdoctoral Researchers

Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development

Boseman and Feeney, 2007

The Researcher Development team will be trialling three approaches to mentoring in order to determine which best meets the needs of QMUL’s postdoctoral researchers.

The scheme will be open to all postdoctoral researchers, across all faculties. When you indicate your interest in participating in the scheme, you will be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire to help with matching you to an appropriate mentor.

The first round of the trial will proceed in the Faculty of Science and Engineering and Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

This call will also involve recruitment of members of academic staff who are willing to commit up to 10 hours per year towards mentoring a postdoc or a small group of postdoctoral researchers.  Mentors will be matched with postdoctoral researchers outside of their research groups and line-management arrangements.

All Mentors and Mentees will be offered training from the CAPD that will provide the participants with information about the aims of the scheme, as well as several approaches to coaching and mentoring that the participants can use during the trail. Training sessions are planned for February 2017, and mentoring can begin from March onward.

Once mentoring-pairs and groups have been established, it will be left up to the individuals involved to decide on the duration, frequency and structure of their sessions. (Recommendation: quarterly meetings for 1-2 hours/session), though we recommend that mentors maintain regular contact via email, for example, with their mentees.

Participants will be randomly allocated to either group A, B, or C (mentees only).

Group A (1-to-1 mentoring): Early-career academic staff (lecturers, senior lectures, and readers) will be matched with postdoctoral researchers. Each participant will provide some basic information as to allow for matching. In all cases, every attempt will be made to match a mentee with an appropriate mentor outside of their research group (or department/centre).

Group B (small group mentoring): Small groups will be composed of one early-career academic and up to three postdoctoral researchers. Mentor and mentee groups will be matched to ensure a diversity of experience (junior vs senior postdocs) as well as appropriateness of the offline mentor.

Group C (researcher-led 1-to-1 mentoring): this cohort of postdoctoral researchers will undergo directed training to equip them with a strategy to approach an appropriate potential mentor and request their time for mentoring. This approach empowers the postdoc in allowing them to pick a mentor they specifically feel may shed light on their development. These will not be limited to QMUL academic staff or to individuals in the academic sector.

The call for Mentees and Mentors for 2017 is now closed.
We will re-open the call for the 2018 scheme in December 2017.


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