Flinders University has launched a researcher mentoring scheme that pairs researchers in the early stages of their careers with experienced University academics who will act as their mentors, guiding and supporting them in all aspects of academic life.


Mentors and mentees will meet monthly to tackle various challenges such as forming and maintaining fruitful collaborations, getting published, writing grants, maximising research output and achieving a balance between teaching, research and administrative demands.


Researchers will be paired with an academic outside of their own discipline to gain broader perspectives and improve their communication skills, while regular evaluations will be held throughout the course of the program to allow participants to reflect on actions and their personal development arising from the partnership.


The 2012 program will see at least 25 early career researchers paired with 25 senior academics, including three mentees and one mentor from Flinders regional and interstate campuses in Darwin, Alice Springs and Mt Gambier.


Flinders Researcher Mentoring Scheme project manager Dr Marina Delpin said the program was open to researchers who have finished their PhDs in the past five years and those who have joined the University in the past two years but completed their PhDs at least 10 years ago.


“This means our early career and newly appointed researchers will have access to high achieving senior academics who have been able to navigate their way through the system and can pass on their skills and strategies,” Dr Delpin said.


Dr Delpin said research from similar women’s-only schemes previously run at Flinders had demonstrated results in helping participants achieve their goals such as getting promoted and receiving higher grant income.


“The current program is different because it’s open to all staff and it has a strong research output focus, although we’re hoping it will achieve similar successful outcomes for our mentees,” she said.