Frequently Asked Questions
Why might I want a Research Mentor?
I want to evaluate my teaching and learning; I want to make progress with my research and scholarly activity; I want to start to write; I want to be published; I want a critical friend; I need help with an internal seeding grant or an external research bid etc.
Why would I want to be a Mentor?
Because you have knowledge, skills and experience to offer colleagues in their research development; because it might be developmental for you; it expands your cv; you could enjoy it.
What might a CaRM Meeting generate?
For the mentee: a realisation that my research interests and aspirations are important; a clearer understanding of the contribution I am making to the research community; confidence in my ability to reach research-related goals; progress from beginning to experienced researcher; re-direction; a celebration of my achievements, etc.
For the mentor: a clearer understanding of the contribution I am making to the research community; confidence in my mentoring skills and abilities as a role model; ideas for my own work etc.
I am a Staff Member doing a PhD; How does this relate to me?
A part-time PhD is time consuming and requires opportunities for undistracted focusing. It would be unhelpful and possibly conflicting to also engage in the research mentoring process. The supervisory team needs to be the point of reference for a staff member undertaking a PhD. However, once the PhD is completed, movement into the CaRM can help colleagues to sustain momentum.
How do I change Mentors?
This can be undertaken in discussion with any member of the CaRM Development Team if you wish or you may, with your mentor, set some final goals in keeping with the guidance above. It is recommended that changes take place as a matter of course after time has elapsed and be seen as normal progression rather than as any indication of potential difficulty. In order to sustain continuity, it would be helpful to maintain a mentor/mentee relationship for at leat a year.
When do I change Mentors?
This is very much an individual choice and might also include a mentor feeling that it is time for a mentee to move on. The relationship should always be offering challenge and needs to be conducted in an atmosphere of compatibility and productivity. If it feels that any of this is being lost it may be time to speak to a member of the CaRM Team, or, for either the mentor or the mentee to table it for discussion at a forthcoming meeting.
How do I resist Research Mentoring Overload?
Speak to a member of the CaRM Team if you feel you have too many mentees or if the process seems to be taking up substantial periods of time. It is inevitable that some mentees may have greater needs than others at points in time, for example if they want support on writing or publication but it is also important to keep a balance Across the overall profile of responsibility. No more than three mentees is recommended but it is a personal choice.
How do I learn more about Research Mentoring?
Talk to a CaRM Team member (see the members' names); look out for regular workshops for metors and mentees.
How much time is allocated for Research Mentoring?
It has been agreed at faculty level that each member of staff is allowed three hours per year for mentoring support, probably in three, one hour, meetings per year with her/his mentor. Every member of staff who is a mentor is allowed three hours per year, per mentee. Samantha Armitage maintains a database of mentor/mentee arrangements. Please keep her informed of any changes in arrangements.