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As a way of looking at the impact of mentoring, I asked the research staff mentees to tell me if they think their mentor went above and beyond, and helped them make that 'significant transition in knowledge, work, or thinking'.

The people named below have been recognised for their mentoring skills, expertise and good citizenship. Please click on the name to view their staff profile.

September 2017

TV

"Tim was extremely supportive of my goal and helped me a lot with my CV, personal statements, preparing for job interviews and most importantly boosting my confidence. He bought a different  dimension to my job applications and probably helped them stand out a bit. Also it's hard to miss his infectious energy which I definitely needed through the grueling process of job applications!"

JP

"On my side this has been for sure a proficuous partnership. John is a friendly and affable person, on top of being a successful scientist, so talking with him and discussing doubts and perplexity about academia and my (potential) academic career was truly a pleasure. His advice on most matters, despite of the different scientific field, were always constructive and relevant for my situation, so I think he has fulfilled his mentoring role perfectly."

AB

"The relationship was great, Adrian was really helpful in the conversations that we had. Meeting and communications with him were very helpful. He was personable and the discussions we had very much helped me to put certain things into perspective. I was able to make decisions about actions to take in regard to my career.  I am at an odd point in my early career and it was difficult for me to understand exactly what I needed from the relationship, so I did not take as much advantage of the situation as I could have done. Despite this, Adrian still helped me understand some important points about the stage that I'm at and make some decisions about steps that I would take."

AJ

"Through the mentoring scheme, I found a critical friend: someone who could effectively encourage me to identify my strengths and rediscover my interests, and help me think through ways to use that awareness to plan my next steps. As a result of mentoring, I have written down what were otherwise half-formed ideas, and begun to develop a sense of how I can gain more research independence. "

SF

"My mentor was very supportive throughout the programme and gave me the necessary confidence to start developing my career path. It was great to be able to discuss with someone from another department the challenges I was encountering at work, which appeared to be common in other departments too. Being paired with someone with a similar career track and profile made me feel more confident when discussing my challenges. Overall, it was great to meet a person who is willing to listen and support."

SB

"Sarah was an amazing mentor. She was very open, warm, and a great listener. She was very understanding and encouraging. She helped me embrace my current family/work/study situations and offered practical advice to progress with my study and build my confidence. She taught me to reflect and move forward, rather than focusing on my failures. I felt safe confiding in her and I couldn't have asked for a better mentor."

EV

"Eleni is an excellent mentor, and has provided objective guidance and advice which has helped improve my CV and fellowship applications as well as strengthened my confidence and my ability to advance my career quickly. She has also taught me a lot about an academic career in the UK, and how to highlight my best attributes to advance in this career quickly. From a personal perspective she is friendly, helpful and easy to talk to, which makes for enjoyable meetings."

RP

"Robin was a very helpful and patient mentor. He shared a lot of his experience as an academic, and gave many tips and mock interviews on moving into an academic role. He also pointed me to other colleagues for different perspectives on other roles. These have allowed me to think about how I want to approach my career in a more informed manner."

AC

"The best lesson I have learnt from this is that a good mentor helps you to see what you needed to see but didn't know that you needed to see it.  That is much bigger than what I went into the partnership looking for, and I am truly grateful for having the opportunity to learn it."

GR

"For me, it was nice to talk to someone outside the department. I looked forward to our meetings and talking to Gwen has got me excited to write a fellowship application."

CM

"My mentor has been brilliant, she has been supportive and understanding and provided an excellent sounding board to help me reflect on my career experiences so far and use this to aid in deciding my "next steps". I've valued her positivity, honesty and encouragement, she has given me a real confidence boost and played a large roll in making this process so worthwhile. Thank you."

BG

"My mentor is both a good listener and an encourager. He is an authentic mentor and not just playing a role. Without his encouragement I would probably never have asked other academics to share their CVs with me and this was a very valuable exercise.  He also helped me address with a longstanding knotty problem. Having this individual outside my department feels a very safe way to be open about my needs and fears and Barry, in just 3 sessions, helped me focus on my next steps for this coming year."

PR

"It made me reflect on my options and I feel that now I have agreed formal timelines, I am more likely to action my ambition to be a P.I on a project, sooner. I think it is reasonable to say that I would have applied to be a P.I at some point, but feel the support has pushed me on, and also helped me realise that there are other options open to me."

SP

"I think my mentor was very on point and asking questions that would go deeper and deeper, one after another. I believe this is what a good mentor should do, helping me as the mentee to come up with answers (and not providing answers). He was also very direct and this helps a lot as sometimes persons around us, for one reason or another, are not."

AH

"My mentor was always available and willing to listen during one hour each session. She has a positive attitude and she never imposed her ideas. Also, she didn't judge my comments, ideas or feelings. She was really helpful and I hope she can help others as she did with me. In addition, she always put me in different scenarios so I could always think clearly and explore better all my  steps and decicions."

CB

"My mentor was a a good listener and he challenged me at appropriate times to take some action and clarify my thinking around various problems."

CS

"When I signed up for the program, I thought I left it too late to seek for career advice but I wanted to give it one last chance. Since I had to leave my 8-month old baby at nursery and spent most of my salary on covering the cost of childcare I really felt like I needed to use my time wisely. My research project turned out to be very problematic so 6 months into my contract I had no hope for extension or making any progress but Carolyn helped me to overcome the difficulties mentally."

JM

"James certainly helped. Having someone to voice my concerns to was helpful, and it was certainly helpful to to get a different perspective on things. I've been able to realise I already have the skills to make the changes I needed to make, but these sessions helped me remember them and apply them for my current situation."

PO

"My mentor listened well, understood what I said and my needs, and helped me develop solutions. She did also offer some direct advice, but given that she had personal experience of an identical situation it would've been silly not to!"

HM

"I was pleasantly surprised by the mentoring program. I went into it with no real expectations but am very happy with how it has turned out. Heather was an excellent mentor, our meetings always stayed focused, tackled a particular issue and had clear goals for the next time we met up. I didn't have a specific task that I wanted to complete within the time frame of the program but felt that Heather helped me improve my CV to improve my chances at attaining fellowship in the future."

VS

"Virginia was an excellent listener, with relevant experience, who brought an independent perspective to altering my career path. She came up with concrete and helpful suggestions and goals which I'm now following. The mentoring relationship has given me confidence and clarity."

GS

"Graham was helpful in suggesting places to look for further career options. He also helped me think about and plan important goals that I need to achieve to get the most out of the final months of my current contract."

JC

"I think we were both quite busy, so we didn't get to meet very often, but when we did, she really encouraged me and gave me really useful advice regarding the fellowship. If anybody needs NIHR fellowship advice I would recommend Judith."

LB

"Lynne has made a real difference to me, not least because she offered her time during a very crucial period for me -- when I'm starting a young family while trying to lift a sustainable research career off the ground. This was the ideal mentoring relationship for me; I wasn't looking for help with a specific fellowship or problem, but someone thoughtful and patient and willing to share her own experiences without telling me what one 'should' or shouldn't do. Lynne was great in this regard."

LP

"The partnership with my mentor really allowed me to focus on 'me', which is something I don't really get the chance to do day to day. Lisa really helped in allowing me to decide on the course of action going forward. She was happy to tell me about her experiences, and to suggest possible options when I was unsure. Our meetings were productive and we always came up with a couple of objectives at the end of the session."

 

March 2017

AC

"I only had one meeting with my mentor not through any fault on her side. She was very approachable and welcoming and I was quickly able to establish a workable relationship with her. I felt that I would be able to approach her without any hesitation. She helped me to identify the importance of having the right people to support you when doing you PhD, and work out who this might be."

HM

"I would like to recognise Heather's work a mentor. She has dedicated many hours to hear about my career plans, obstacles and even has sat in mock interview panels. She has also given me guidance on how to deal with new situations. She has pointed to me many factors that could determine career decisions. Overall I think that she has made a real difference over the past 6 months and I am very grateful for her time. We will continue our mentoring relationship informally."

RP

"My mentor took the time to help me prepare for academic interviews and gave me insight on what to expect of academic/research careers. His support has certainly helped me to make better informed decisions."

Am

"My mentor helped me to overcome the sort of 'panic' feeling due to joining the new working environment, stopped me from 'self-doubting' and helped me to quickly concentrate on what I should at this career stage."

IE

"Iwan was really open and honest about the challenges he faced as an IRF and it really helped to talk to him about the issues that I am facing now starting my fellowship. He is really easy to talk to and listened to what I had to say and my concerns.  He also asked the right questions I think to prompt me to do things."

RS

"Robert has been an amazing, hands-on and involved mentor. He offered help far beyond the usual mentor's duties: he read my book proposal, commented on my grant proposal and even offered support for the situation with my job-related difficulties. I found his help invaluable, and his support had meant a lot for me in this extremely busy period of my career."

SJ

"The programme has definitely made a difference to how I will move forward in my career. My mentor listened carefully to my objectives and helped me to formulate a plan in order to achieve my career goals. I feel more confident and clear about my career path thanks to these meetings."

BC

"Having a mentor has given me the opportunity to discuss my career with someone other than my supervisor. Bernard was instrumental in motivating me to bring some fellowship ideas to my supervisors and now I am in the process of putting together an early career fellowship. Bernard is a realist with a splash of optimism- a perfect combination! Bernard is honest, upfront, personable and a genuinely pleasant scientist who is able to make you address the bigger picture and the minutia of detail!"

NM

"Dr Morley is a perfect mentor, proving me with plenty of encouragement which I really need at this stage. I made a fellowship application in early March."

SC

"My mentor helped me a lot so see things out of the box and focus on developing the key skills required for my future career. I also found very important that my mentor shared his personal career experiences to show me more career options and effective career building strategies. He also helped me to learn how to work on identifying possible solutions to my work related problems."

CB

"This mentoring process has been very valuable to me and has given me a lot more confidence in my abilities and my academic potential.  Through this process I have begun to recognise the contribution that I am making to my department and how I may make further contributions to 'set myself apart'."

PG

"Peter was a very good mentor who is great at listening and getting you to really consider your options and do further research. This programme has been very useful to me as I now think I know what I want to do at the end of my contract as I had no idea beforehand. I would definitely recommend mentoring to someone else of they were struggling to think of options for the future."

SF

"I am very grateful to the University for providing this mentoring programme and for being matched perfectly with my mentor. It helped me focus on career goals and identify clearly my own personal priorities for the future. It's been an absolute pleasure working with Silke who is an excellent mentor."

SP

"Although we only met twice in this time, I was really touched by the willingness of my mentor to pay energy forwards to help others. A former teacher of his had passed on some advice that he was happy to pass on to me, and that helped me to remind me of the big picture. It was *extremely* refreshing to meet an academic who remains focussed on people's experiences, not just on measurable/quantifiable actions and success."

September 2016

AL

"Allan provided invaluable advice and ideas on how to move forward in my research career,  and how to have a global view on my long term research goals."

CS

"I think that having a mentor is essential in any career and my mentor provided a sounding board for the different issues that I have had to contend with in the last few months and a person with whom I could get a clear vision for my plan of action in the coming months! My mentor brought understanding and clarity to the issues that I was facing."

GR

"I needed to talk about alternative options to a fellowship in case I did not get mine and my mentor introduced me to the world of lectureship. This reduced the amount of stress I was under always thinking that taking the fellowship route was the only choice. And it also showed me that becoming a lecturer has many rewarding sides to it that being on a fellowship would not provide such as teaching. This has made a real difference to me and my view of the academic world."

JP

"Conversations with John have always been informative and relaxed. After each meeting I felt I have a plan, and I really did. We managed to speak about academic life in a way that made me feel part of it and able to make fun of it while fighting to escalate the carreer ladder."

NM

"Thanks to the mentoring program I feel much more motivated at work and I see solutions to issues easier than before. Also, my mentor is very empathetic so that helps me to feel more confident and I see more alternatives and ways to develop. She is also very inspiring, as she manages to grow in her career but also she keeps a personal life balance, so actually meeting someone with similar thoughts is really encouraging."

BD

"I have really enjoyed my mentoring meetings. Buick is a great listener and provides concise advice that has clarified my doubts in terms of the future plans. He was very supportive and encouraging and hugely helped me make decisions and take actions to improve my career path. My mentoring meetings with Buick were a valuable and productive experience."

DL

"My mentor was able to establish from the first meeting a good relationship in which I felt at ease in discussing the most critical issues of my career. He gave me a neutral point of view on each point we discussed and he also provided recommendations of how he believes I could improve my future career planning."

HK

"Helen has been supportive, but has also provided constructive criticism. I highly appreciate this, as it will lead to an improved fellowship application. The experience of funding, particularly related to ESRC, that Helen brings is extremely useful, and her ideas and comments on aspects of the fellowship have led to me making significant improvements to it, and adapting the proposal to fit better with funder priorities."

JS

"Jon has been a very good listener and was always able to provide support and advice. The meetings were very informal, allowing to have discussions without any pressure."

SB

"In part it was positive just to have some time outside daily work to talk to someone. Mentoring helped me feel less isolated but also to take some (in retrospect obvious) steps to gain more direction and be more proactive in my role. It almost gave me permission to manage my manager, which I wasn't sure I could do before."

BG

"I really liked my mentor, she is a very determined academic and she knows what she wants - a great role model. She has a positive personality and demonstrated her happiness in the job she is doing which encouraged and inspired me a lot. Also, her experience in both industrial and academic setting provided a valuable comparison, and I really have learnt a lot."

GG

"The parternership is indispensable for me at this critical career stage. My mentor can clear the cloud in my mind with several words about my current situation and the next focused move. I am also very impressed with the suggestions that my mentor has given to me for my fellowship proposal. Again, it does not need too much words from her for me to realize and accept what can be done to greatly improve the proposal. These must have come from a life-long experience in research/science career."

IH

"Ingunn was great in really taking the time to listen and help to get me on track in shaping a fellowship idea. We also talked a lot about work-life balance - which I have been struggling with - and that prompted me to begin 'sacred Saturdays' of no work. I feel like we've only just got started so am hoping we can keep going!"

KS

"I have valued the time spent with Karim during the mentorship period. Although we met only three times, Karim was generous with his time on each occasion, which allowed for a deep and wide exploration of issues I was facing. He provided a lot of useful suggestions and proposed strategies based on his own experiences that have been useful to help me take control over areas of work I was struggling with or that have given me ideas for how to progress in developing my career."

SP

Siddharth has given me great amount of help and some really good ideas about how to pursue my research further, where to get help with my grant applications, and so on. Really appreciated.

CM

"It was completely brilliant to have someone willing to help me look at the big picture and to take the time to prioritise all the different strands I was busy with. I really appreciated her patience and gentle questioning to help me figure out what was important about each of these projects, which relationships/collaborations were likely to be long-lasting and could help me further in the future, and which activities were ones that would be lost either through circumstance or by choice."

GM

"I'm very satisfied to have joined this program. I have shared difficult experiences that I have faced to find that my mentor has also faced them, and told me how she dealt with them, which made me feel supported. My mentor also made me realize how I'm stopping myself, and that I can move forward by asking a simple question: what is stopping me now from doing ___? A great question that I use a very often since then. I'm really thankful for the time she dedicated to support my career."

JD

"Julia really did make a difference. Firstly, I met a nice person full of interest for what I was saying, and also a good role model — able to maintain a good balance between work and life (or so it looked to me). Second, Julia really helped me to improve my CV: we considered if there were parts that needed to be better enhanced, and which were the weak points and how to improved them."

MD

"I feel that from an unbiased point of view, Martina pointed out opportunities to me that I otherwise would not have known about and that will really help broaden my CV. She has been supportive and has known when to push me and when to suggest I don’t take on too much as I can get carried away with saying yes to things!"

SS

"The mentoring processes has allowed me to express and explore attitudes towards my career path, without judgement or fear of consequence. I think having access to such and experienced person outside of the department in which you are based is so valuable. She has listened and been responsive and this has been so helpful."

March 2016

BG

 “My mentor is a very genuine person, who is interested in my development. He knows how to listen, and can guide the conversion with key questions to bring important points to light effectively.“

CSh

 “Cathy is a perceptive and responsive mentor who was very good at helping me to clarify particular courses of action. Cathy was able to identify what aspects of my research worries I could actively address and what aspects would be better left in the background. She was reassuring about academic skills and provided much needed boosts to confidence at a time when it was under siege. She was very knowledgeable about all aspects of preparing for the REF, for grant applications and journal articles and gave me concrete advice on how to proceed with various endeavours.“

PMo

“I really enjoyed the meetings I had with Pete during the last six months, since his flexible and thought-provoking approach matches my personality quite well. He helped me a lot to consider my current career situation, how to plan strategically for the next few years, and about alternative career possibilities. He was very approachable and made me feel at ease all the time. It was clear that he also enjoyed the meetings and contributing to the mentoring programme.“

PMa

 “Peter, is a very generous, straight-forward and honest mentor, which are qualities I greatly appreciated.  He not only shared advice, but more importantly in this context, first took the time to really listen to my reasons for seeking out mentorship in order for him to share pertinent guidance.   Additionally, he really challenged me, forcing me to consciously examine my current actions and thinking, which allowed me to focus upon specific areas for my professional development.  I found his mentorship to be invaluable these past 6 months, and am genuinely grateful for his guidance. The mentorship has enabled me to develop a feeling of personal empowerment, which will support me to forge ahead with my career.  This is a brilliant and unexpected outcome to have achieved from this process.“

GM

 “I've really enjoyed my meetings with Gaynor.  It's been great to be able to discuss my professional circumstances with an experienced, impartial person who seems to want to know! She's made a lot of helpful suggestions, and her comments on my CV led to some improvements just before a potential employer requested it. My experience with Gaynor also prompted me to sign up as a Thesis Mentor, which I am finding to be very rewarding."

RG

 “I was very comfortable around my mentor. He gave me valuable advice and information on choosing an academic career. He helped me to realise what was lacking on my CV and also helped me to address those issues. As a result I applied for two funding schemes one of which was successful. He also encouraged me to give a seminar in another institute which is now arranged for the near future. These activities certainly improved my CV, thank you.“

SM

"My mentoring experience was extremely positive. I was having a tough time deciding what path my career should take and chatting informally with someone outside of my department and a few years further down the line from me was extremely helpful. I really appreciated the flexible and informal nature of the partnership and feel more confident about my career as a result of our meetings. I would strongly recommend the program to anyone else."

SP

 “My mentor gave useful suggestions in shaping up my work patterns in a disciplined and systematic manner. He was generous in  showing  me new resources within and outside the university for fellowship opportunities and funding bodies. He has pointed out strong and weak points in my CV and guided me to other resources in proposal writing.“

CH

 “My mentor gave useful suggestions in shaping up my work patterns in a disciplined and systematic manner. He was generous in  showing  me new resources within and outside the university for fellowship opportunities and funding bodies. He has pointed out strong and weak points in my CV and guided me to other resources in proposal writing.“

IH

 “This partnership has been simply fantastic. It has made a tremendous impact on my career, which was at a critical junction when the mentorship began, as well as on my personal wellbeing. I was facing some challenging situations at work which I was insufficiently skilled or supported in dealing with. Through the mentorship, and particularly thanks to the mentor herself, I have re-gained my confidence and commitment to my career and I have developed skills and abilities to manage such situations better in future. The mentorship made the difference, frankly, between remaining at Sheffield University happily, or regrettably moving elsewhere. I cannot thank my mentor enough! “

ROH

 “I developed a really good relationship with my mentor. It was great to have the time and space to speak about any current issues and my future. My mentor was able to sign-post me to opportunities, ideas and other people who have had similar experiences. I'm really grateful to Rachel for giving her time and sharing her experiences.“

SL

 “I have found the mentoring experience extremely useful as it generally gave me a lot more confidence. Kay especially did a brilliant job of matching me to my mentor Sarah who also seemed to have a similar non-conventional career progression pathway to what I seemed to be faced with. My meetings with Sarah just gave the extra bit of motivation that I happened to need at that point of my career to progress . I am grateful for all the support that she has provided“

CS

 “Carolyn has been very patient and supportive. She made me feel very comfortable and encouraged me to open up about the issues I was facing and helped me to overcome communication barrier I was experiencing in my group. Her mentoring has helped me to set short term goals and have a plan to work for them."

AGB

“It was very valuable to have the support of my mentor in trying to help me understand and improve my relationship with my supervisor, and to help me try to develop skills in time management. It was also very useful to discuss my future plans, and how to achieve my long term goals.“

RP

 “My mentor was really helpful and available to discuss all the angles of my career, from the merely professional side to the work-personal life balance.“

SS

 “Sarah gave me very positive feedback and made suggestions on my grant proposal; one very notable tip that helped me a lot was around recruiting senior researchers into my research bid as collaborators. She also helped me to develop a realistic time frame for submitting it, taking into account my allocated research work, and my team members' time. Sarah really helped me with networking, and by introducing me activities going on in other departments“

VS

“Virginia was very kind and helpful. She showed how I could take more responsibility in my department and learn more skills in supervising students. She has also helped me a lot in how to write a grant application. She reviewed my proposal twice and it made the proposal so much more more reasonable and measurable. Her help made me more confident in grant applications, and I am now more independent in my research work.“

September 2015

AC

"I was dealing with a lot of stress at work, self-doubt and confusion. Talking with my mentor has helped me see things from a different angle. She listened and pinpointed exactly what the confusion was, always calm and relaxed. She happily shared her experience and by just doing that, it showed me that there are many paths that one can walk on."

JC

"When I started the mentoring programme I was seriously considering leaving academia and was unhappy in my position. The mentoring sessions allowed me to get a fresh perspective on life in a University, and gain help and re-assurance regarding my working relationships. I was fortunate to move into a new post, in which I feel far more comfortable and although I was unable to maintain the mentoring relationship as James left, I feel the help and guidance was vital in keeping up the motiviation and drive to develop my career"

PM

"Meetings with Pete were very interesting and positively stimulating. He always managed to supply me with some good “food for thought” so that I could re-invogorate my aspirations and future actions. He is a great listener and very knowledgeable about the challenges of working in academia so it was great to compare our different experiences and opinions."

AL

"Andrew was an extremely generous mentor who was also able through some gentle steering to keep me on track with a large writing task I was aiming to complete during the programme's duration. While I didn't quite get to completion, I made some significant progress. I was also able to get a real sense that it is possible to build a successful academic career in a changing and challenging environment without sacrificing a rich and rewarding life outside of work. "

JS

"The mentoring relationship has allowed me to get an in depth view on the career trajectory I wish to take, identify key strengths and tools and discuss challenges. As a result of the mentoring scheme I have scrutinised my CV and recognise areas of improvements as well devise a plan of strengthening my weak areas. My mentor has shown a great deal of understanding and ability relate to the issues and obstacles I was facing as well as advise on the options I have at my disposal to overcome barriers and achieve my objectives."

RP

"Rebecca took time out to listen and to share her own journey, this was really positive to see that different routes into academia are possible and can be very successful. She was very approachable and i really felt at easy to share my concerns about the direction of my career and feeling some pressure into achieving a PhD. I found the information that she provide me really valuable and I have acted on it. I was very appreciative of the time and space that this programme and Rebecca gave me."

CM

"I had got myself into a negative rut when it came to thinking about my career. Candice has helped me to view myself with more kindness and I have improved my CV during our meetings to better highlight my skills and value. Candice has made a difference to my life at the university and my plans for the future and I am so grateful for our pairing in the scheme."

MC

"Matthew has this wonderful ability to patiently listen and then re-express my thought process in a different light.  The discussion environment he fostered was hugely supportive and made space for him to share his wide range of experiences to help contextualise my perspective.  The ideas and approaches discussed during our meetings have helped me discover a positive future direction and methods for achieving this."

RPu

"I think that Robin has the excellent quality of making you think about and around your role. For example proposing hypothetical scenarios and asking you to think and plan. It was very useful for spotting non-obvious drawbacks that could happen."

SKP

"Simon has very amicable disposition. This made him quite approachable and easy to communicate with. In my interactions with him, I found him very supportive and encouraging. He guided me to explore various options for academic publications. Further, he also motivated me to make the career decisions that best fit with my aims, rather than following the conventions."

DC

"Duncan's mentoring has been highly enjoyable, productive, and had a immediate positive impact on my career. I joined the mentoring scheme to support my applications for research fellowships so it was great to be paired with a mentor who held several prestigious fellowships from schemes that I wish to apply to. After our first meeting, I had interviews for and was awarded a Vice Chancellor's Fellowship at Sheffield. Duncan gave really useful advice and feedback about my achievements so far and future research plans which was really helpful in getting this fellowship. He has helped me decide how to approach future fellowships and research grants and discussed the groundwork needed to make these applications competitive. Conversations with Duncan have given me a new perspective on my career and a better understanding of how things work in the University and research more generally, and his time has been so valuable to me. Thank you!"

NM

"Nicola has been a great listener helping me to clarify my doubts about academia and industry paths, giving me advice about how to improve my CV and she also motivated me to start writing a fellowship. Nicola's ideas were relevant and melped me make decisions and take action to improve my career path. Definitely, it was a very powerful experience."

SB

"My mentor has offered me guidance and practical support as an early career researcher following my first SRDS within the university. She has helped me to tailor my CV to meet the criteria required within academia and research. Building on this my mentor has helped me to target specific gaps in my knowledge and experience that are necessary to achieve my identified career goals.  Her supportive approach to mentoring has given me more confidence in my ability, motivation to pursue my goals, and has helped me achieve a more manageable work/home balance."

March 2015

RS

"As a mentor, Bob was very understanding and an excellent listener. He was also very pro-active. He read through my CV and an article which I was struggling to finish, providing good positive feedback about both, which helped me with confidence issues. He managed to de-demonise public speaking for me and provided practical advice about time management and steps I can take to improve my future career prospects. He also provided information on collaborative projects that I could feasibly contribute to. Overall, his mentoring skills are perfect and he has made a genuine positive impact on me."

EW

"Elizabeth enabled me to identify the challenges that I am facing to my career progression. I think that I knew what many of these were and the likely solutions, but she really made me see them for what they are and challenged me to do something about them. I think had I not met with her then I would have continued to feel frustrated with my situation, feeling as though I had no time to deal with any of the problems and that it was not my place to approach my HoD. Speaking to Elizabeth allowed me to see the solution and gave me the confidence to approach my HoD. Ultimately, my HoD is now working with me to developing strategies for progression."

CL

"Mentoring has had a really positive impact on myself. It has provided me with time to think over the direction my career is heading and start to set goals to get where I need to go. This has given me greater confidence in pushing myself to be a successful researcher beyond my peers, something that will stay with me for a long time. Chris was an excellent mentor from whom I have learnt a lot from (including how to be a mentor myself!). It was excellent to have protected time with someone who was interested to just listen and chat about myself, something which I hadn't had before. Chris was a superb match and I don't think I would have pushed myself as much without his input."

BC

"I was very unsure about 'mentoring' before I joined the programme - I was sceptical as to what really could be achieved by having meetings with a ‘mentor’ every so often. However, within two meetings with my mentor I was already making significant, positive, changes to my career. Without a doubt, I was fortunate to be mentored by Bernard because he very quickly identified, clarified, and articulated the issues I was struggling with, and then proposed solutions in the form of opportunities leaving it to me to pursue those opportunities - a valuable and productive experience. Thanks Bernard!"

JC

"The mentoring partnership has enabled me to progress in a personal and professional way. It has enabled me to widen the areas of opportunity that I had not considered for my development within and outside academia; given me the confidence to establish a more effective communication with colleagues; and helped me to view things from a different perspective. To achieve that, it was important that my mentor was very enthusiastic, honest, listened carefully to understand my input, and provided encouraging, informed and concise feedback."

DC

"Denis has been instrumental in putting me in the right frame of mind to start thinking about how to advance my research career, and has also given me the motivation to actually do something to achieve this goal. He was approachable and was a very good listener, asking the right questions at the right time. His insights and experience (and his willingness to share these) have also provided me with different ideas of what I could do to progress in my research career as an Early Career Researcher -- both short-term and long-term -- some of which I have not considered or of which I was even unaware."

LB

"I feel very fortunate to meet such a nice, experienced, and outstanding mentor, using her own experience to inspire me. The way of approaching scientific research and the management style she demonstrated have been great. She shared about how to deal with difficult situations from her personal experiences which was really inspiring and encouraged me to stand up. I have gained a lot confidence for decision making and working in the male-dominated environment. My mentor is like a role-model for me, she encourages me to be strong and tough carrying on the wish to do science and benefit humanity."

TP

"Being Tessa’s mentee was a wonderful experience. She demonstrated both active listening and coaching skills that, in the first instance, helped me to put my fears on the table and disentangle things, and in a second step, to develop a performing strategy to achieve the writing of papers. The fact of knowing that someone else knew what I was doing, together with the compromise I had on the strategy to achieve it, made a huge difference to find the time to write the articles, and also feel better about work and life balance."

PM

"Having access to an independent person is of critical value in career and/or personal development in the workplace. Pete offered this through his flexible, thoughtful (and thought-provoking) approach to mentoring."

CH

"Chris is an enthusiastic and very approachable research fellow and has a lot of experience when it comes to highlighting issues with respect to gaining fellowships, moving them to a different university and starting a research group. This knowledge will be invaluable to those thinking of going down a research career path."

RP

"It was really nice to be able to discuss my issues and be listened to in a very constructive and supportive way. I'm very grateful for the time taken to mentor me - and for both patience and enthusiastic encouragement!"

PVS

"Working with Pirashanthie has been wonderful. I have really valued Pirashanthie's support throughout the mentoring process. Our mentoring meetings coincided with key decision points in my work and she has been fantastic in her suggestions, the incisive questions that she has continued to pose and her ability to determine with me strategies that can be followed through in my next stages. My interactions with Piranshanthie have influenced me positively in my work. I really liked the session where she prompted me to present options as part of negotiating with others. I also found it helpful to work with a mentor within the same Faculty - her considerable knowledge and understanding of the Faculty and University has been valuable for me in determining my plans. I hadn't expected the mentoring process to impact upon me as much as it has done - the sessions with Pirashanthie and the opportunity to step back in a constructive dialogue with her left me exhilarated and inspired. I am grateful for all the support she has provided and feel very fortunate that she is happy to continue to meet with me on an informal basis in the future.  She is an exceptional asset to the programme. Thank you!"

JO

"My mentor helped me to see things differently. To expand my horizons and plot a path towards a goal that during the process became clearer. With only 6 months until the end of my contract, the discussions I had with my mentor allowed me to realise the applicability of my skills in other fields and ultimately resulted in a refined career path. I have now secured a new job where I'm sharpening the skills that I need to pursue the path that suits my skills and goals."

September 2014

BC

"Bernard is guiding me through the unfamiliar area of my eventual career progression with skill and real knowledge. He is making things that looked difficult and unrealistic before, to feel achievable and within reach at the moment. In my experience, he is not only an excellent scientist (opinion based on his publication record) but also an exceptional person who is trying - and succeeding - to make a difference in the world."

JK

"My mentor has been of huge help to my career, helping me in a very decisive moment to think about ways to improve my project outcome. She identified very fast the skills I need to put in practice to feel better about myself and therefore increase my motivation. I am now more confident of my competence at my project and how can I improve in the future."

JP

"It was fruitful for me to have a mentor with a very productive careerto date. I think that having a mentor with a great reputation helps a lot in mentoring. It would have been tough for me to relate to someone I do not admire. I appreciated the mentor's professional approach to coaching at work. He has also been a proactive listener and very respectful of my opinions. Although we had limited time, the mentor helped me to focus better on my weaknesses, gain more confidence to pursue my career strategy, and reinforce my values. In this experience I strengthened my feeling that meeting a great mentor with positive values at the right stage of your career can boost your potential: he has very lucky students!"

SB

"My mentor has consistently listened to my concerns and provided invaluable advice, sharing her own experiences of developing an academic career, including tips about what to focus on and what helped to make a difference in her own development. This advice has been invaluable in helping me to see myself as more senior academics would see me, and to target activities to improve my profile and academic CV."

CH

"Chris has the experience of obtaining an EPSRC fellowship, which is exactly what I need for the preparation of my application. He helped me understand some important criteria used by the selection committee, which I did not really pay much attention to before. Since the first meeting with him, I have started to improve the weak points in my profile. He also gave great comments on the topic I chosen for my proposal, in particularly from a different angle which I could not see myself."

MM

"Munitta is a very warm, open and friendly person, so I found it very easy to be honest with her about the issues I wanted to discuss. She is a very good listener and has lots of knowledge and advice to impart. I feel that Munitta is genuinely interested in what I have to say and keen to help me reach my full potential."

PMat

"I found having Peter as a mentor to be extremely effective in a variety of ways. Firstly, he helped me acknowledge my areas of development and plan for future research and career aspirations. On a day to day basis he made me aware of the factors that were reducing my productivity and then aided me in finding ways to overcome these. This has had a dramatic impact on my rate of work and has also increased my positivity towards my work. Peter’s approach to mentoring enabled me to find my own answers to my questions. I feel that this has improved my independent thinking both as a researcher, and in my life outside work."

RG

"The partnership has given me increased confidence, helping to highlight opportunities available and increase my confidence to get involved and apply for new things, as well as giving advice from a academic perspective on the needs and requirements and what people may look for in the applications for academic roles. Roderich was also great for discussing different career options with."

DL

"I do believe that the mentor made a difference. He showed support and interest in the problem I came to him with, and through discussions and a suggested thought process I managed to find a solution that I am happy with and that I did not consider before joining the mentoring programme. I thoroughly enjoyed the discussions with him and to have access to someone I would normally not manage to. Thank you!"

KM

"I have found it really useful to be able to discuss openly thoughts about developing my career with someone without any conflicts of interest. My mentor was friendly, a good listener and willing to make suggestions. Developing my career direction is an ongoing process and my mentor has kindly agreed to continue to meet up."

CS

I embarked on mentoring lacking in confidence and at a point in my career where I needed to make some important decisions. I was trying to balance family and work life, without compromising too much on both. I needed some support and direction on how to present my achievements to date and where I wanted to be to my Head of Dept. From the first meeting Carolyn was friendly, encouraging, understanding, open, honest and professional. Through sharing her experiences and offering advice she has allowed me to regain confidence and take control of my career progression.

JG

"Joanna was wonderful as a mentor. She listens carefully and asks proper questions that make you reflect on your situation, problems. In consequence, her skilful way of asking questions make you find your own answers. Thus, throught the mentoring conversation you could feel that you were growing into a more independently thinking person."

LB

"I am glad I was given the opportunity to interact with Dr. Lance Burn as my mentor in this programme.  He is a patient listener and a great advisor. I had informative discussions with him regarding my career path and possibilities. He has greatly contributed to new thoughts and approaches to my career. He was always more than willing to help and come up with new possibilities, all of which was very encouraging for me as a mentee. Our discussion led to a definite change in my approach to my career and to its possibilities. I would like to Thank him for his time and his advice."

SBax

"It makes a big difference in decision making and confidence to have someone consider your ideas or thoughts about your work and build them up with you. That's not available as a matter of course; it takes engagement in attending to another person, which I was shown by Sue."

RP

"My mentor has a genuine interest to help others develop positively following the good mentoring experience that she received in the past. My mentor is open and enthusiastic in sharing her experience that has contributed to her achievements and success. The mentoring has helped me gain a better perspective, more motivation and confidence in decisions relating to my career and development as a researcher."

NW

"I wish to thank my mentor for taking the time to listen to me and for giving me both honest impartial feedback and guidance. This has helped me to clarify both my options and the direction in which I should be moving my career. Within a few weeks of completing the mentoring program a post became available that was pertinent to both the discussions that we had been having and the conclusions that were drawn. I applied for and obtained this post. Without a doubt having the confidence to apply was heavily influenced by the conversations I had with my mentor."

March 2014

GS"I felt very comfortable and relaxed around my mentor from our first meeting and the conversation flew very nicely. Graham was able to listen to my problems and help me to develop plans to overcome such problems. I was provided with invaluable advice regarding my future options and how to improve my CV. I highly recommend Graham as a mentor!"

AH"Annette has been a fantastic source of support to me at this early stage of my career. Following meetings with her, I felt inspired and rejuvenated. She has enhanced my confidence greatly at a time when this was lacking."

SD"The mentor -ing partner -ship has allow -ed me to discuss issues around both my work and work/life balance that I could not discuss with people on my team, or my manager. My mentor is a thoughtful and considerate listener but she is also clearly a highly motivated and successful academic and in that sense demonstrates something which I aspire to achieve in the coming years. I don't think that she knows how much it meant to me to be able to discuss my work and career with someone who has children -I just never meet anyone else in this position. I am very much hoping that I will be able to meet up with my mentor when I return from maternity leave, and that I will be able to draw on her knowledge, experience, and support in managing the return to work."

DR"In our first meeting, she asked a few questions which were really important and challenging for me to answer. When I can answer them confidently, I will be able to make the decisions I have been postponing. The work is in progress at the moment."

JO"My mentor has related to me in a human capacity - not just as an academic. She has recognised and validated my emotional responses to finding my way within academia and provided reassurance and a space to express fears at an important time for me. She has been prepared to share her own experiences as a way to help me make sense of some of my own. My confidence has improved as a result and I am very appreciative for that."

BD"I was really happy to met and discuss my situation with my mentor. Buick's approach to the mentoring role was quite clear and in circumstances where I perhaps overstepped the confidentially of the relationship, he brought me back in line in a clear way without upsetting our relationship. I think above all he showed a real empathy for my situation and was able to offer some clear advice as to what I should do. I think we were both aware that some of his suggestions might not have worked for me, but it was good to hear a range of ideas for how I might deal with situations I was in."

IH"This mentoring partner -ship has been useful in clarifying exactly where I am in terms of my career, and providing realistic and achievable options for my future career. It has emphasized my strengths and weaknesses in a way that I now feel better motivated to target areas that improvement. As well as the key abilities of being able to listen and guide, my mentor has shown experience and compassion."

PMat"Peter has really helped me rethink the way in which I work and the way in which I approach preparing my research for publication. By talking to him I have become more aware of the publication process, but have also managed to make some fundamental changes in my attitude and working patterns which will help me to make use of my time more effectively. He has also really helped me to think in a more structured way about how much I can achieve within a realistic time frame. Although I was quite daunted by the idea of the mentoring sessions at first they have really made a difference to me."

jS"My mentor is the absolute real deal for this scheme. He is very approachable and has challenged me to re-think a number of things over the time we've met. He's definitely someone that I feel I can go to and be challenged in a realistic and grounded manner that for me is important to be able to make changes to get results. Especially because he has given me the space and time to explore the issues that I wanted to bring, allowing me to find new ways for thinking about paths forward, and helped me think constructively. I feel our way of working together has been a real, tangible benefit, we've kept things relatively informal (albeit with a formal structure of review actions, talk about current situation and set goals) which I think has really aided the process of working on things. I'm especially happy that he's committed to working on long-term goals as this matches my own motivation, and for me he is an exceptional asset to the scheme."

JG"My mentor has given me the confidence to take control of my career path. Instead of waiting for opportunities to arise I have updated my CV and been more proactive in applying for different jobs. The process also help me realise what I want to do in my next position."

BS"He has shown great listening skills, a  thoughtful consideration of issues, a willingness to assist with improving my paper for publication, and has been encouraging and constructive."

RG"He irradiates optimism, is friendly, shows sympathy with your personal situation, is able to listen and ask valuable questions, provides honest and genuine feedback, responds promptly to emails, is flexible to meet, and remembers what was discussed the last time we met! I really value his support, especially when discussing about strategies for fellowship applications and the preparation for my recent lecturer interview in one of the Departments at our University. He showed an incredible patience during the rehearsal of my Powerpoint presentation. Big thanks!"

PVS"The partnership gave me a real boost in confidence to consider and apply for a different career path. My mentor made me re-evaluate my career options by listening and then offering advice that I had not considered and made me view things in a very different light. Additionally my mentor was generous in sharing her previous experiences both of her personal and work life which I found enlightening, inspirational and confidence building."

CS"My mentor has really gone out of her way to help me with my CV and I am so grateful for the time she has managed to find to do this, as I know she is very busy. I also appreciate how open and informal the meetings have been, and the fact that my mentor actually listens and understands is invaluable! I hope we can continue to meet in the future."

IB"The partnership with my mentor has meant a great deal to me. I requested a mentor because I felt lost and confused as to how to progress my career, and as a consequence my motivation and passion for my work had significantly decreased. Discussions with my mentor gave me the confidence to question whether academia was truly the right path for me, and to find out what it takes to move into industry. Further, with my mentor's guidance I set out a plan to further my academic career, including writing papers which had been on the back burner for a while. As a consequence, one paper has been submitted to a journal and I have written my contribution to several others. With that weight off my shoulders I have re-discovered my love of academia and have applied to the Early Career Researcher Scheme and have successfully applied for an undergraduate summer student."

MC"I very much enjoyed my informal chats with Mike and he provided an encouraging and non judgemental sounding board for talking through my current career situation and my medium to long term plans. We were both of the opinion that the six month mentoring period was a very short time frame for the more medium to long term career development issues we have been discussing, so I was delighted when he offered to continue to provide arms length support in an informal capacity."