Think Ahead Mentoring

Open to postdocs, research associates, assistants, and fellows, university teachers, teaching fellows, and all academic staff at the University of Sheffield!

What's involved?

We will match you with a mentor outside your own dept who can help you develop your career here, or into your next position whether that is within the academic environment, or in one of the hundreds of alternative career paths.

Our 150+ mentors are senior academics who have volunteered their time, they are trained and experienced in helping staff to take control of their career through established mentoring and coaching techniques.

Programme evaluation data indicates that mentoring helps:

  • to have dedicated time to focus on your professional development and career plan
  • to understand the options for your next move and make active choices
  • to find new ways to build constructive working relationships
  • to raise your profile in academia or in a new field
  • to be listened to, improve your confidence and motivation at work
  • to prioritise and find balance against multiple projects and demands

We have two intakes per year (in March & September), each welcoming around 75 mentees. See the timeline for the mentoring programme.

You will be matched with a mentor after attending an induction and mentoring skills workshop and completing a matching form where you can specify your own requirements for mentoring. We strive to pair you with a mentor of the right experience and expertise to support your aims.

Click here to see some of the excellent work going on within programme.

Your mentor will be assigned to you for 6-months and you will be expected to meet a minimum of three times over that period. The mentee drives the relationship and is responsible for setting up meetings, and actively engaging with the mentor.

Elevate mentoring supports acadmeic staff in Learning & Teaching development Contact Rachel Bovill for details.

GROW mentoring is for professional services staff (administrative, managerial, technical).

Engage mentoring can support you develop your Impact and Knowledge Exchange ideas and activities. Contact Sarah Geere for details.

Academic Woman can also access a mentor through the HR Impact and Futures programmes. Contact Debbie Mullins for details.

Mentoring expertise


This programme is research-led, and was designed and developed in conjunction with staff groups. Dr Kay Guccione designs and delivers the Think Ahead mentoring and coaching programmes, and does consultancy work across the University of Sheffield and beyond. Please email her to discuss a mentoring idea for your scdepartment.

Kay offers full support for mentoring. If you have any questions about the programme, about your mentee or mentor, techniques to use in mentoring, or you need to know where to look for help, guidance or support please get in touch.

Participant Feedback

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Kay is a full member of the Association for Coaching, and all programmes align with the AC professional standards in coaching framework, and the ethical code of conduct.