Dr Tom Smulders, Senior Lecturer
Institute of Neuroscience
What did you do?
Developed a mentoring network for ECRs
Who is involved?
Any academic staff in FMS and all PhD students and post-docs in FMS.
How do you do it?
Academic staff members volunteer to have their names listed as potential mentors. We also list their personal career experience in terms of academic history and family situation. This allows early career researchers to identify people who may have experience with career dilemmas that face them. The list is posted on a dedicated website, and early career researchers contact the person they want to talk to directly. Mentors are trained in mentoring and are requested to keep anonymised records of their mentoring sessions for reporting purposes.
Why do you do it?
To improve the support for early-career researchers without needing a time-consuming matching process between a mentor and a mentee. It grew directly out of a need identified in our Athena SWAN self-assessment process.
Does it work?
At the moment, we have evidence that the system is being used, but no evidence on the effect it has on the early career researchers themselves. We will monitor this using anonymous annual surveys.