Staff Mentoring at the University of Keele

As part of the Athena SWAN initiative, a pilot mentoring scheme was carried out within the Faculty of Natural Sciences during 2012. The scheme was designed to offer all academic staff and post-doctoral researchers, and not just new staff (who were able to access mentoring support through the TLHEP programme) the opportunity to have a mentor.

The scheme was designed to formalise existing informal arrangements in some areas and to provide individuals with the opportunity to meet with a mentor to discuss a variety of issues such as:

  • Career development
  • Working methods
  • Treatment and teaching collaborations and networking

Mentors could be drawn from outside of the mentee’s discipline area and came from a pool of senior, experienced academic staff from within and outside of the Faculty, though all of the mentors had a background in the natural sciences or related disciplines.

Guidance for mentors and mentees was provided to those involved in the scheme, based on that developed by Keele’s Learning and Professional Development Centre.

Following the pilot, participants reported that the experience was particularly rewarding where their mentor was

  • at a level senior to their own;
  • outside of their own area;
  • able to address their specific development area.

Further information for mentors and mentees can be found from the relevant pages of the Learning and Professional Development Centre and courses for mentors are provided. If you would like further information please Hannah Barjat.