Our Leadership Mentoring Programme

The Leadership Mentoring Programme puts you in the driving seat. We offer mentees a programme founded on good-quality conversations and hand match you to a mentor who can support your priorities and aspirations, and work with your experiences, preferences and values.

Benefits of mentoring

As well as benefitting from the support of a trained mentor, taking part in the Leadership Mentoring Programme will give you the opportunity to:

  • develop your own mentoring skill set
  • become a more confident leader in your field
  • extend your professional networks.
Our mentors

Our trained mentors are all volunteers and experienced leaders from different sectors who have had significant impact in their work and on those they lead. They will take a person-centred approach to supporting you to navigate systems, evaluate options, and proactively work towards your ambitions.

Quote on mentoring from Guccione and Hutchinson (2020).Two people talking and learning together in a style that draws on the Humanistic principles of working with the whole person, and trusting them to make the choices for themselves, that best fit their development interests. What this looks like in practice, is a learning conversation. This conversation may just involve talking together, or they may use a variety of structured processes, styles, conversational tools, or creative methods to scaffold or enhance that conversation.

Join our Leadership Mentoring Programme

Successful mentoring partnerships from our 2021 matching cycle are already in place.

If you’re a Fellow in our Network and would like to sign up as a mentee for the next cycle of our Mentoring Programme, join one of our Welcome Workshops.

Our Mentoring Team will support you through every stage of the process.

Young woman in headscarf talking and drinking coffee with young bearded man

How does it work?

Through our Welcome Workshops (facilitated by Dr Kay Guccione), both mentors and mentees learn what mentoring is and how to make the most of a mentoring partnership. Knowing what mentoring can offer will help you articulate the kind of support you are looking for and fully realise the benefits of our Leadership Mentoring Programme.

Following this short Welcome Workshop, mentors and mentees will be matched together. Once pairs are matched, mentoring proceeds as a series of confidential conversations.

The total time commitment for the six-month programme is six hours. This includes the Welcome Workshop (90 mins), the mentoring meetings (three hours on a one-to-one basis) and all associated paperwork.

Read our Mentoring FAQs below and if you have a more specific question email us at mentoring@flfdevnet.com.

Leadership Mentoring FAQs

We expect Fellows in the Network 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 Network’s mentor will complement such support, extending your networks as you develop and begin to consider your career progression and transitions.

Mentoring and coaching are ‘sister disciplines’ and support personal development in different ways, complementing each other in their practice.

Mentoring:

  • matches you to a mentor who has experience that is relevant to your needs
  • offers advice, guidance, and experience with conversational coaching
  • supports your priorities and aspirations, and works with your experiences, preferences and values over a six-month period
  • is offered via a suite of options taking place throughout the year (Leadership Mentoring, Coffee Connect, Peer Perspectives).

Coaching:

  • can be requested as and when you need it and you would value time and space to explore
  • takes place with certified professional coaches who are trained to utilise coaching tools and models to help you to reframe your challenges
  • does not provide you with advice, but will support you to explore and clarify your challenges and opportunities, identify your strengths and abilities and find your own way forward
  • is targeted, problem solving/‘task and finish’ meetings of one or two sessions
  • is offered via One-to-one Coaching programme.

UKRI is keen to ensure that all Fellows can review and develop their mentoring networks 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 mentoring@flfdevnet.com.

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.

A unique feature of the 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.

Absolutely, and we can facilitate this for you. Our mentoring strategy offers a range of ways to engage with Leadership Mentors and Peer Mentors. Take a look at our online learning resource ‘Choosing, recruiting and working with a mentor’ for support with arranging your own mentors.

Following your attendance at the Welcome Workshop, and on completion of your matching preferences, you can expect to be partnered with a Leadership Mentor for a six-month period. We anticipate a minimum of three 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 six-month period, you choose whether you stay paired, wrap up the partnership, or apply to be re-matched with a new mentor.

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 shape the support they offer you, by giving them some feedback.

A six-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 six-month programme ends. If your priorities or preferences change, you can be matched to a new mentor instead.

If the partnership works well, you can stay paired after the six-month programme ends. We will not formally monitor or evaluate your partnership after the six-month point, but we will still support you should you need us.

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.

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 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.

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.