Mentoring for early and mid-career researchers (EMCR) has long been identified as an area of need for academic professional development. The purpose of mentoring is two-fold: to help build research capacity of academic staff and to enhance the human capital of our organisation.

By definition, Early and Mid-Career Researchers (EMCRs) are new and emerging researchers usually within their first decade of academic or other research-related employment, following completion of postgraduate research training

Why consider a mentoring partnership?

Effective mentorship assists the mentee to strategise different career pathways and research opportunities so that they are more likely to reach their short- and long-term goals. The personal connection that develops between mentee and mentor can also be pivotal in the mentee’s personal growth. This growth is achieved by the mentor exposing the mentee to supportive experiences that will build the leadership skills, attributes, and confidence levels necessary to navigate their future career and research aspirations.

Finding a mentor

Mentors are defined as an experienced and trusted advisor who is willing to invest their knowledge, expertise, and time in helping the mentee to achieve their research and career goals. An effective mentor should do several things including challenge you, believe in you and advise you. Mentors are not, and should not just be ‘yes’ people.

As with any human connection, you need to find a mentor that is a good fit for you and one you respect. Having a good mentor is really one of the most rewarding relationships any of us can have. And although the individuals may change throughout your career the core attributes of mentoring are consistent regardless of the level of the mentee.

Importantly, mentoring offers the opportunity to share and learn from your successes and failures. It allows for the growth and development of professional networks and for professional identifies to be created.