UCL Division of Biosciences


Division of Biosciences Mentoring Programme for Research and Teaching Staff-2023


Aim & Expectations

Our aim is to support the development of academic and research staff in the Division by promoting mentoring in the Division.  The stream provides the opportunity for staff to receive advice, perspective, and support for 1) future career progression and 2) challenges that impact professional life.

It is a positive developmental partnership, which is driven primarily by the mentee. It offers a reflective space where the mentee can take responsibility for and discuss their development. Mentors can help highlight issues and to assist the mentee in planning ways through them. They can help clarify the mentee's perspective while bringing an additional impartial view to bear on the issues.

This page describes the mentoring programme for staff engaged in research.  


Who will be mentored?

Postdoctoral researchers, Research Fellows, Technicians (can choose Academic or Professional Services mentor), Lecturers and Lecturers (Teaching) would be encouraged to choose a mentor, who is currently in an academic role more senior themselves.  Although for postdocs and technicians, your supervisor will also act as a mentor, you should choose in addition another person as your mentor who is NOT involved in your project or a very close collaborator of your supervisor.  The second mentor will provide additional advisory support. 


Who will serve as mentors?

We will ask group leaders to volunteer to become a mentor. You can choose your mentor from this list or consult your supervisors (sponsors) who will help you to find a mentor.  You could consult with the departmental mentoring facilitator for advice (see below for contacts). The mentor can be from UCL (any department) or outside UCL, if professionally useful, and can change over time, depending on your needs.  Detailed resources for choosing a mentor are described on the Divisional Athena SWAN website (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/biosciences/about/equality-diversity-and-inclusion...).  


How mentoring will work

For new staff,mentor assignments should be within 6 months of arrival and are logged in their probation meetings. For existing staff, supervisors should discuss this at the annual appraisal or before and ensure that your direct reports have chosen a mentor. 
•    It is up to the mentee to contact potential mentors, in consultation with your supervisor or using the resources mentioned above.
•    The mentee should meet with potential mentors, as needed, to establish compatibility.  
•    Once mentors have been confirmed, we would encourage mentees to indicate who their mentors are with their departmental EA and mentoring facilitators.  The departmental EAs will try keep the records of mentors and mentees on the shared drive and records of mentee-mentor meetings.

Having a mentor will allow the mentee to:

• Address the issues and concerns of their daily working life and find solutions that work for them • Improve their level of performance and satisfaction • Understand key institutional and decision-making structures at our institution (UCL)

• Build good relationships with the supervisor, HoD and colleagues and to also feel part of the community

• Manage the integration of job, career and personal goal


The responsibility for arranging and logging at least two meetings per year lies with the mentee.  Details of the actual meetings do not need to be recorded, just that the meetings have occurred.
The mentor should be available to meet with their mentee at least twice a year.  This time will be acknowledged in their ‘workload/contribution models’.  The mentor is not required to undertake training, however for inexperienced mentors, several training options, listed on the Divisional mentoring page are available https://www.ucl.ac.uk/biosciences/early-career-researchers https://www.ucl.ac.uk/biosciences/research/early-career-researchers-reso...

Departmental Mentoring Facilitators

Each HoRD has appointed Mentoring Facilitators in each Department to oversee the programme and ensure that mentors are selected and that the required meetings take place.  The facilitators are as follows:
•    CDB – Patricia C. Salinas    p.salinas@ucl.ac.uk
•    GEE – Julia Day                  j.day@ucl.ac.uk
•    NPP – Josef Kittler              j.kittler@ucl.ac.uk
•    SMB – Kostas Thalassinos  k.thalassinos@ucl.ac.uk

If you have any questions, please contact your departmental facilitator in the first instance.