Peer mentoring aims to address the diverse needs arising out of the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate research education. Postgraduate research study requires new learning skills and strategies as students learn to adapt to the research environment. Mentoring at the early stages of a research degree enhances the student experience through offering a longer and more tailored induction thereby facilitating integration into the research environment. Peer mentoring also helps to promote a strong, supportive culture in schools and throughout the wider university.
Some of the benefits of the scheme are as follows:
There are also benefits for mentors, who receive a hands-on experience of applying skills such as communication, problem solving and team working. There is specialized training and support materials for the mentoring process, such as the manual for mentors which can be downloaded here. Mentors, who are typically in the 2nd or 3rd year of the PhD cycle, receive skills training credits and can gain valuable experience for their future careers.
Peer Mentoring at Queen’s – Frequently Asked Questions
How long has Peer Mentoring been in operation for PGR students?
Peer mentoring for 1st year postgraduate research students started with a pilot in 2010 and is now running in six schools.
How does a scheme start?
Each year, the Postgraduate centre advertises and typically a staff member such as the chair of Postgraduate Committee indicated interest. Then there is a preliminary meeting to exchange information between the School and the Postgraduate Centre representative.
Do the schools all have the same kind of mentoring?
There are similarities in that there is a standardized recruitment pack and training package; however, each school is different and has autonomy in regard to how they would like mentoring to work.
Are PGR students involved?
Very much so. Part of the training involves considering the experience of new research students and who better to do that than students who have recently experienced 1st year. For this reason part of the training involves students and staff tailoring a Peer Mentoring programme that will work in their school.
Staff or postgraduate research students who require further information should contact:
Annette MacArtain Kerr at the Postgraduate Centre on 9097 2585, 9097 5194 or by email: email@example.com