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Health & Social Care Research Across North East & North Cumbria.

Mentor directory

Becoming a mentor or mentee

Members of staff who are new to research, or are keen to develop their research career need to surround themselves with the right people. No matter how supportive a line manager is, it is next to impossible to carve out a career in research without knowing the correct people.

On the flip side, there are teams working locally who have the relevant knowledge and experience to support their more research naïve colleagues. The mentor directory brings those individuals together, especially if they work across the boundaries of different organisations. 

Those seeking a mentor are seen as 'clients'. The mentor directory matches potential clients with mentors, members of staff who are more knowledgeable and experienced in the world of research. The mentor directory helps to develop research careers, as well as sharing best practice across the boundaries of each organisation. Anyone who is involved in research is able to sign up to become either a client or a mentor on the directory. Mentors have full control over their availability and their commitments to their clients. 

Registering in the directory is quick and easy, either as a mentor or client. Simply create a profile with your email address and include a brief background and summary of the topics you would either like support in, or would like to support someone else in. Note that many successful mentors have their own mentors and the directory supports this duality of role.

Mentoring good practice

While successful mentoring is built on an effective relationship, there is no single fixed approach. Every mentoring relationship is unique; however, there are some elements that are present in any. Some of the most important of these are:

  • the relationship is based upon trust
  • the relationship is lead by the mentee (client)
  • there is mutual understanding between both parties about the nature and purpose of the relationship
  • there are regular meetings between mentor and mentee at a time and location suitable to and agreed by both
  • the mentee maintains responsibility for their own development and owns their development agenda, they provides the focus for meetings
  • the mentor provides guidance, challenge and support and freely shares their skills, knowledge and experience
  • the mentor may challenge and remove barriers outside of the mentee’s control where these negatively affect their development
  • the mentor is not responsible for managing the performance of the mentee