Researcher Development

One to one mentoring

Having a mentor can be useful for discussing how to best progress in your role. Depending on what you would like to discuss a suitable mentor could be someone from your department, faculty the University or further afield. To make the mentoring relationship as beneficial as possible it is important to pick the right person. One mentor might not be able to help you with all issues you would like to discuss. If this is the case you might want to consider having different mentors for different topics.

When looking for a mentor you might want to consider the following:

  • What areas do you want to develop in? Do you know anyone who is particularly good or has experience in those?
  • Do you know anyone in your current network who might be suitable? Or do you know anyone in your network who could suggest someone suitable?
  • Do you know someone who has good contacts and the ability to link you with other helpful people?
  • Will they have enough time to meet/talk with you? And do you think they will be willing to talk and listen to you.
  • Will the mentor be able to challenge you?
  • Are there any benefits for the mentor?

Approaching a potential mentor is not always easy and you have to be prepared for them saying ‘no’.  Try not to take it personally as the reason for a ‘no’ is usually that people are very busy and wouldn’t be able to put enough time into mentoring you. Instead approach someone else who you think could be a good match for you.

If they agree to mentor you, you will need to agree how you want to work together.