Carnegie Research Mentoring
About Carnegie Research Mentoring (CaRM)
Carnegie Research Mentoring aims to provide collegiate support for staff to develop their research and scholarly activity. The system operates by matching a mentee with a mentor who has relevant research expertise, skills and interests. The mentor's role is to help the mentee achieve certain agreed objectives in order to progress along the research continuum.
The mentoring relationship can take many different forms, and supports mentees at different stages of their career in a range of ways. For example, mentoring can be useful to new researchers attempting a journal article or presenting a paper at a research conference for the first time. It can provide support in the process of planning and initiating a research activity arising from professional practice. Mentoring can also be fruitful to someone who is organising a research symposium or bidding for research funding. Mentors can also offer guidance and support to researchers who have taken on new leadership roles.
CaRM is an important element in our work to enhance the research environment for all staff in the School of Sport and those contributing to the Research Excellence Framework Unit 24.
We also recognise that not all staff have the same opportunities or are equally represented along the research pipeline to the highest levels. CaRM contributes to the Institute for Sport Physical Activity and Leisure commitment to making and mainstreaming sustainable structural and cultural changes to advance gender and race equality. See the Athena Swan Action Plan here and the Race Equality Charter Action Plan here for further information.
Carnegie Research Mentoring
Research Mentoring is a mutually beneficial process that provides learning opportunities for both mentor and mentee. The primary aim is to support the on-going research and related activities of the mentee.
Mentoring is an integral part of professional development for all academics.
A research mentor's role is to help the mentee achieve their research goals. Both parties should agree, and periodically review, priorities and a course of action.
Research Mentoring is a development opportunity distinct from PDRs and from any other supervisory process, such as those involved in undertaking a PhD or funded research projects. The mentee, however, may wish to take forward issues arising in PDRs during the mentoring process, and vice versa.
The mentoring initiative is sustained and developed by the CaRM Development Team which welcomes new members at any stage throughout the year. Please get in touch with us if you would like to join the team.
Mentors are drawn from across the School and beyond. A list of available mentors is regularly updated and can be accessed here.
A research mentor does not necessarily require specialist knowledge of the mentee's specific research area to provide valuable support and guidance. Mentees can identify a mentor in the following ways:
Contact any member of the CaRM Team who can help you identify a suitable mentor. The CaRM colleague will then approach the mentor on your behalf.
Approach a colleague (from the mentor list) directly to invite them to mentor you. If they agree, you should then inform the CaRM Team to register the relationship.
Those interested in being a mentor should contact any member of the CaRM Development Team (listed at the bottom of this page). The CaRM Team may also approach you to request that you become a mentor.
Mentoring meetings occur about three times during the academic year, although more frequent meetings are mutually negotiable. It is helpful to draw up an agenda before each meeting. At the end of the meeting goals should be agreed by both parties. These should be discussed and reviewed again in future meetings. Other forms of contact may develop between meetings, such as corridor/lunch conversations, emails and phone calls. These help to sustain momentum and develop rapport between mentor and mentee.
The mentor/mentee relationship should be reviewed at regular intervals. The review might be time based (annual) or outcome based (taking place once a specific goal has been achieved).
Mentoring Case Studies
Kevin chaired the seminar that Nigel presented, and as part of a writing plan both worked on a book chapter that fell into an area of mutual interest on 'Race', East London and the 2012 Olympics (2009). They then went on to develop the chapter into a peer reviewed journal article for an international journal London 2012: 'Race' Matters, and the East End (IJSPP, 2012). The mentoring relationship has been renewed at the beginning of each year and meetings are informally scheduled approximately four times a year.
Philippa's current research focuses on professional issues relating to the pedagogies, practices and professional experiences relating to Design and Technology (D&T). Philippa approached Jon in 2011 from the position of having D&T expertise and much experience of supporting undergraduate students in Primary Education in their development of knowledge and skills in this curriculum area. Philippa was interested in research but was uncertain as to how to start to build research into her professional profile.
Entering into a research mentoring agreement with Jon, Philippa first began by outlining her research ideas/ interests concerning D&T. From this first meeting, Jon then supported Philippa in securing a small amount of funding to enable some data collection and interview transcription to take place. In addition, with Jon's insight into practitioner research approaches, Philippa began to look at how her own practice provided opportunities for data generation, requiring her to view her teaching, assessment and curriculum design through a 'research' lens. Such a re-visioning of what research involves has been very important to Philippa, and has encouraged the preparation of articles for submission to journals.
Frequently Asked Questions
For the mentee: a realisation that my research interests and aspirations are important; a clearer understanding of the contribution I am making to the research community; progress in developing research skills and knowledge whether a emerging or experienced researcher; confidence in my ability to reach research-related goals; re-direction; a celebration of my achievements.
For the mentor: a clearer understanding of the contribution I am making to the research community; confidence in my mentoring skills and abilities as a role model; ideas for my own work, etc.
The supervisory team should be the point of reference for a staff member working on a PhD. However, once the PhD is completed, transferring to CaRM may help colleagues to sustain momentum. Undertaking part-time postgraduate research is time consuming and requires sustained periods of focused concentration. To engage in the research mentoring process at the same time might prove unhelpful and distract the candidate from PhD-related goals.
This is very much an individual choice, and may be triggered by the mentee or mentor feeling that it is time to move on.
If you feel you have too many mentees or if the process is taking up substantial periods of time, please speak to a member of the CaRM Team. Some mentees have greater needs than others and make greater demands on your time at different points in time, for example, if they require support during the writing or publication process. It is important that you seek to balance your overall commitments and responsibility. While a maximum of three mentees per mentor is recommended, the decision to work with a new mentee is ultimately a personal one.
Talk to a CaRM team member, and join us in one of the workshops for mentors and mentees.
CaRM Development Team (Research and Enterprise Leads)
Professor David Carless – SPEX Psychology - Dr Julian North – Sport Coaching - Professor Anne Flintoff – Physical Education (Emeritus) - Professor John O’Hara – Physiology and Nutrition - Dr Andy Pringle – Physical Activity - Dr Paul Widdop – Sport Business - Dr Beccy Watson – Social Sciences and Sport Development