The mentoring scheme offers research career development support on a one-to-one basis, primarily to ECRs (with a PhD gained in the last 5 years) and current PhD students. It is being led by CPAF, with help from BAFA/CDAF in promoting the scheme, identifying and encouraging ECRs to apply. No professional service fees are paid, so BAFA is not contractually responsible for the quality or performance of the role. Rather, the aim is to attract mentors who are willing to help ECRs for other reasons, i.e. recognition (contributes to REF environment for their own department) and/or co- authorship.
BAFA may award an annual prize for best mentor (rather like journals do for best reviewers). For PhD students, participation in the scheme would require their supervisor/Head of Department awareness/agreement, to avoid any conflict. Indeed, most post-doc academic staff in REF-able departments will have an internal mentor/coach, so again we should avoid any conflict. The scheme could also be used to recognise informal mentoring arrangements already in place. Transparency is key in operation of the scheme.
Mentoring: What is it?
The role may be defined as working (meetings could be face to face or on-line) with the ECR to support their research career development, e.g. by (not necessarily or exclusively):
- Reading and commenting on draft journal papers prior to (1st) submission
- Reading and commenting on journal reviews/response to reviewers prior to re- submission
- Reading and commenting on draft funding bids prior to submission
- Guiding the ECR through the process of acting as a journal reviewer (i.e. reading through the submitted paper and draft review and offering advice on the tone and content of the review).
Why Would a Non-ECR Volunteer to Act as a Mentor (unpaid)?
This is an altruistic way of putting something back into the academic community (that may have supported them when they were ECRs), to be acknowledged (formally in published papers and via recognition by BAFA) and/or by being named as a co-author on papers they have spent significant effort on refining for publication.
Matching: Who is it for and how will it work?
ECRs (newcomers or returners to research) will complete a short application form outlining their needs and objectives in applying as mentees. Mentors are identified from the BAFA membership and related networks (e.g., Tax Research Network, Management Control Association). The lead for the Research Mentoring Scheme will identify a match between the mentor and mentee. The mentor and mentee are asked to commit to 12 months in the first instance to the mentoring relationship.
How Do I Apply?
Downland and complete the application form. Completed application forms should be submitted to admin@BAFA.ac.uk.