Thesis Mentoring

TM logoAre you writing your thesis? Are you struggling with writing, or understanding what a great thesis looks like? Not sure how to approach the mountainous task? Under pressure with conflicting deadlines? Finding it hard to motivate yourself? Worried, or anxious about your deadline*? Your participation in the scheme will be kept completely confidential. Places are limited!

The Thesis Mentoring programme can help. It pairs you for 4 months with an experienced Early Career Researcher who is trained in the skills of mentoring. Click here to see some feedback from PhD students who have completed the programme.

Participation in the mentoring programme could help you:

    ++ Understand how you work best, and how to get the best from others;
    ++ Understand what is expected of you and what a great thesis looks like;
    ++ Break down the task and set milestones for your writing;
    ++ Keep up momentum, get started and stay started;
    ++ Be more effective and productive as part of a writing community.

The programme runs twice a year January-May and July-November. It starts with a 2h induction session for all mentees. Mentoring comprises 8 x 1h sessions over 16 weeks, ending with a formal evaluation.

Places are allocated by submission deadline -- most urgent need first. The content of the sessions will be tailored to your objectives, and will develop as your writing develops towards thesis submission.

Complementary: mentoring sessions will not cover English language skills (see ELTC for this), proof reading of the thesis, or research topic-specific discussion. The mentor you are matched with will be purposefully outside your subject area in order that the partnership can focus on your writing habits, behaviours and blocks, not your research data or analysis. In this way, the programme aims to complement the role of your supervisor and of other specialist support services.

Commitment: Mentoring is an active process, and requires mentees to manage their commitments in order to make time to meet and reflect. Making the commitment to meet your mentor and work together is vital to success and positive outcomes, only researchers who understand and agree to this condition can be accepted onto the programme.  

Data: This is a 'research-led' programme, which means that evaluation data will be formally collected and analysed. Data are used to make programme improvements, and to inform planning and development of educational programmes and services for doctoral students. Data is always aggregated and anonymised, individuals will not be identifiable.

* If you are very worried, stressed, anxious or panicking a lot of the time, if it's really getting you down, or if you just don't feel like yourself anymore, you can make contact with the University Counselling Service (UCS) who can help you find ways to manage this kind of academic related pressure. This is a free confidential service available to all students at The University of Sheffield and can help by recommending 1:1s, group work, self help resources, and drop in workshops designed to help you take control. Without registering, you can work independently on a growing number of excellent online sites. UCS recommend NHS Moodzone, Mental Health Foundation and Mind. We also have a range of Apps on our iPads - check out Unstuck and an NHS self-help suite.