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Current Postgraduate Students


Mentoring has been defined in many different ways, but is basically a system of semi-structured guidance whereby one person shares their knowledge, skills, and experience, to assist others to progress in their own lives and careers.

In our department, it has been agreed that, for every student, the Academic Mentor (Note 1) will be appointed by Department Graduate Office and will usually be chosen from the Supervisor’s primary RIG members.  He/She should be able to bring sufficient expertise to the team in order to carry out the following:

  • act as a second point of contact for academic advice for the student (after the Supervisor).
  • be available to read your work and to discuss academic progress on a termly basis in informal meetings organised by the student.
  • normally take on the position of being one of the student’s first year report Assessors (Note 2).

The Academic Mentor is not normally expected to:

  • provide regular, formal supervision.
  • write supervision reports in CGSRS.
  • be appointed the internal Examiner for the student’s PhD thesis.
  • provide pastoral support for the student or Supervisor, or mediate the relationship between them, although he or she may offer advice to either party if asked and willing to do so.

Meeting your academic mentor 

We have an evening event scheduled during November every year, at which you will be able to meet your Departmental Tutors and Academic Mentors.  However, you should find out from your Academic Mentor beforehand if they will be able to attend the event as academic staff can often have other commitments which take them away from the department. If they cannot, you should arrange a time before Christmas at which you can both meet: it is usually the responsibility of the student to contact their Academic Mentor, not for them to contact you so do go ahead.

Note 1: The University term this role the 'Adviser' but our Department has agreed that this could then be confused with 'Supervisor' and has therefore retained the title of 'Academic Mentor'.

Note 2: In the case where the Academic Mentor has had to take an active role in supervising their Mentee (for example, if the Supervisor has had to be absent for an extended period) or where a potential personal or professional conflict of interest is identified, a substitute first year Assessor must be appointed in place of the Academic Mentor.  This will be done by the Graduate Student Co-ordinator, in consultation with the Supervisor.  The second Assessor will be recommended by the Supervisor in the usual way.