WHY DO I NEED A MENTOR?
We expect FLF colleagues will have already benefited from mentoring support across their research and innovation life cycle to date. You may already have a mentor in your host institution or indeed have formal and informal mentors who have supported you in developing your career from an early stage. The FLF mentor will complement such support, extending your networks as you develop and begin to consider your career progression and transitions.
WHAT IF I AM ALREADY HAPPY WITH THE MENTOR I ALREADY HAVE?
UKRI is keen to ensure that all FLFs can review and develop their mentoring networks and so the mentor we pair you with would offer something new, rather than replace a trusted mentor you are working with. However, we do not wish to disrupt how well your current mentoring partnership is working for you. Please let us know if you already have a good mentor by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT DOES MENTORING OFFER?
Mentoring can offer you valuable learning opportunities at all stages of your career. A targeted mentoring conversation can offer you time out of your day-to-day working patterns, to help you clarify your thoughts. So, whether the salient issues for you are resolving snags during your transition to a new role or responsibility, seeking your next career move, picking up a new skillset, or finding support for navigating processes and relationships at work, or something else entirely, a mentor can help you take regular time out to think, and plan.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE MY MENTOR?
A unique feature of the FLF+ leadership mentoring programme is our bespoke matching process. Matching each mentee based on their individual objectives and wish list allows us to find the right mentor for you. An experienced matching team work on your behalf to get the best match for every mentee, recruiting in new mentors to meet requests. We also make introductions for you, to help you get off to a good start. To inform this process, mentees and mentors are all invited to express their preferences and we use these to source the right mentor for you. If we don’t get it right, let us know, and we can always refine our choice. In the interests of confidentiality, we don’t publish lists of our mentors.
CAN I HAVE MORE THAN ONE MENTOR FOR VARIOUS ASPECTS OF MY CAREER?
Absolutely, and we can facilitate this for you. Our mentoring strategy offers a range of ways to engage with Leadership Mentors and Peer Mentors. In early 2022 we will also be able to offer you an ‘on demand’ online learning resource that supports you to recruit your own mentors.
HOW DOES THE MENTORING PROGRAMME WORK?
Following your attendance at the Welcome Workshop, and completion of your matching preferences, you can expect to be partnered with a Leadership Mentor for a 6-month period. We anticipate a minimum of 3 meetings in this time, but this will depend on the relationship that you build. Meetings are booked to suit you, and you are free to choose when and how you meet. At the end of the 6-month period, you choose whether you stay paired, wrap up the partnership, or apply to be re-matched with a new mentor.
WHAT ARE THE EXPECTATIONS, FOR ME, AS A MENTEE?
The Welcome Workshop provides you with guidance on articulating and thinking through what you want from your mentor. Going into mentoring having done this thinking will help you make the most of it.
As a mentee you will set the direction and agenda for the mentoring discussions. The programme offers you a Mentoring Agreement template to help pairs discuss relevant approaches and agree direction and objectives for the mentoring sessions. Whatever skills or experiences your mentor brings to the partnership, they should keep the focus on the needs and wishes of you as the mentee.
After each meeting you can decide for yourself how to proceed, and the right way to do that for you. It’s your role as the mentee to then follow up and help your mentor to shape the support they offer you, by giving them some feedback.
WHY ARE WE ONLY MATCHED FOR 6 MONTHS?
A 6-month programme will allow you to get to know your mentor and make progress on your priority development objectives. If the partnership works well, you can stay paired after the 6-month programme ends. If your priorities or preferences change, you can be matched to a new mentor instead.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO EXTEND THE MENTORING TIMEFRAME?
If the partnership works well, you can stay paired after the 6-month programme ends. We will not formally monitor or evaluate your partnership after the 6-month point, but we will still support you should you need us.
AFTER 6 MONTHS WITH MY MENTOR CAN I REQUEST A NEW ONE?
Yes. You certainly can. You can request a new mentor, or an additional mentor, or engage with our range of mentoring options, to suit your needs.
WHY DO I NEED TO ATTEND THE TRAINING AS MENTEE?
The Welcome Workshop is for both mentees and mentors. This is because evidence shows that the quality of the mentoring experience is higher when we support all participants to prepare for mentoring, making sure that expectations are clear, and shared by both sides of the partnership. We cover boundaries, and what mentoring is not, as well as offering ideas for how you can work together to co-create the partnership.
Attending the same session as the mentors means that points raised by either mentors or mentees can be heard and discussed to by everyone involved, creating a transparent and reassuring approach. It supports our collaborative programme ethos.
It also means that mentees get to benefit from developing a mentoring skill set. Evaluation data has demonstrated that having mentoring skills also supports mentees to become more confident leaders and research supervisors.
I WAS NOMINATED TO JOIN THE NETWORK BY MY UKRI COUNCIL, AND AM NOT AN FLF. HOW AND WHEN WILL I BE MATCHED WITH A MENTOR?
All members of the development network will benefit from our mentoring programme. If you have not yet been invited to join, we will offer you a priority place on the next available cohort.
Have a more specific question? Email email@example.com