Probation Mentor Guidance

Probation Mentor Guidance

These guidelines are intended to clarify the mentoring arrangements to assist individuals taking on responsibility for mentoring.   Mentors should also make themselves familiar with the University's policies and procedures concerning probation.

Mentoring is:

An informal and supportive relationship whereby a more experienced member of staff undertakes to help a new member of staff learn his/her job and its context in the university.

A mentor is:

  • preferably someone who broadly shares a new member of staff's professional/research interests;
  • nominated by the Head of College/Directorate from staff not on probation who have preferably been in post for at least a year

A mentor is not:

A substitute for effective line management and, therefore, should not be the new member of staff's Probation Supervisor.

A mentor should:

  • Contribute to the departmental induction
  • Provide the opportunity for the mentee to learn from the mentor's example
  • Be a role model and provide examples of, and guidance on, acceptable standards of work, in accordance with the College/Directorate and University’s agreed values.
  • Give guidance and advice on the application of College/Directorate and University procedures
  • Respect the importance of confidentiality to enhance trust in the mentoring relationship
  • respect the importance of confidentiality to enhance trust in the mentoring relationship

A mentor should be prepared to:

  • Initiate regular meetings with a new member of staff and be available, within reason, on request
  • assist with any problems relating to the performance of duties which a new member of staff chooses to raise
  • appreciate a new member of staff's differing experience and needs
  • be familiar with the University's policies and procedures on probation and promotion
  • make suggestions without sounding prescriptive

The duties of the academic mentor will also include:

  • meeting regularly with the mentee to give guidance and help in all aspects of the work of a university lecturer (at least twice a term in the first year, and at least once a term in subsequent years)
  • observing the teaching of the mentee and providing constructive feedback
  • allowing the mentee to observe his/her teaching, including lectures, tutorials, seminars and research supervision and discussing this with the mentee
  • discuss the construction of examination questions and advise on departmental marking conventions
  • offer feedback on the writing of research articles, conference papers and funding applications.
  • act as a role model and provide examples of, and guidance on, acceptable standards of work, in accordance with the College’s agreed values.
  • acting as an advocate for the mentee within the department in order to protect the mentee's workload so as to ensure that the mentee has a work pattern which will enable him/her to develop to the full the skills of teaching, research and administration