What is GROW? 

The GROW Programme is a cross-University mentoring scheme for all professional services staff in the five faculties, the Departments of Research and Innovation Services and Estates & Facilities Management. It is a six-months mentoring programme which runs each year commencing in March. The programme is aimed at helping staff to enhance skills, maximise potential, expand networks and consider career paths by working with others in the University. All grades of staff and levels of experience (including previous participants) are invited to participate.

University Faculties and Services part of GROW:

Faculty of Arts & Humanities


Faculty of Engineering

Planning & Insight

Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health

Research Services

Faculty of Science

Regional Engagement & Partnerships 

Faculty of Social Science

Student Support Services 

Estates & Facilities Management

The Library 


New Departments taking part this year:

Academic Programmes & Student Engagement


Corporate Communications

Global Engagement

The programme, which is run on a six monthly basis commencing in March each year includes:


  • A formal launch in December.
  • Registration takes place in January.
  • Induction/workshop sessions will then be provided also in January.
  • Matching is confirmed from March.
  • 1-on-1 meetings with mentor/mentee.

Part way through the programme, feedback sessions are held for both mentors and mentees and a full evaluation of the programme is carried out at the end (usually July), to formally close that year’s programme.

This feedback is really important for us so that we can retain elements of the programme that participants value, whilst addressing any concerns.


The AIM of the GROW Programme is to provide support for each other by linking professional services staff to colleagues with experience, skills or knowledge that matches their goals and development needs. All grades of staff and levels of experience (including previous participants) are invited to participate.

The old fashioned way of seeing mentoring is similar to advice being given by a more senior colleague; and the traditional way of seeing coaching is drawn from sports coaching and is more aligned to training or instruction. There is an ongoing lively debate in the current coaching and mentoring world about exactly what mentoring is, and what coaching is and whether they are different. There is no clear answer as to how modern coaching and mentoring differ from each other though.

This programme relies not on rigid definitions which can be confusing, but on an approach that will help each individual mentee to think about what they want to get out of the programme and communicate that to the mentor. We also take the approach of training each mentor in several styles so that they can best serve the needs of the mentee they are paired with. There will be room for learning, and growth in both sides of the partnership.

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Follow us on twitter: @grow_programme


“A proactive approach to staff development that has produced clear results” Matthew Andrews, Academic Registrar at Oxford Brookes University and THELMA lead judge

“The successful professional mentoring scheme GROW extended across all faculties demonstrates great innovation in leadership, culture, communications and development which supports the vital work of teaching and research” Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor