Research Mentoring Strand

Who is it for?

The research mentoring strand is for university staff engaging in, or planning to engage in research and is voluntary and widely accessible across university staff engaging in, or planning to engage in research ensuring equality and diversity of access.


Mentoring cycle

It is expected that a mentoring relationship will last between 6 months to 1 year, and have well defined objectives. At the end of the agreed period of mentoring the mentor and mentee will review and evaluate the process and assess whether objectives have been met. If the mentor and mentee decide further mentoring would be beneficial, they are free to enter a new cycle after setting fresh objectives.


Registering to become a Mentor/and or Mentee on the Research Mentoring Strand

Please download and read the Introduction to the University of the Highlands and Islands Mentoring Scheme guide before registering on the mentoring system Sumac.  Once you have decided that you would like to register as a mentor and/or mentee on the research mentoring strand then please register your details in Sumac by following this link: 


Benefits for the Mentor

  • Development of interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Development of coaching, support skills and experience;
  • Opportunity to reflect on one’s own practice and affirm your own expertise and value of experience;
  • Increased self-awareness and being positively challenged;
  • Builds leadership/managing skills – without line management responsibility the mentoring focus is the person and not task focused;
  • Supports engagement and development;
  • Sense of achievement in helping someone else grow through mentoring.


Benefits for the Mentee

The table below provides an overview of indicative roles at the university for the research mentee group and the areas of benefit for mentees.

Mentee Group

Indicative roles at UHI

Potential Areas of Benefit

Early Career Researchers


Recent PhD graduates and newly appointed researchers.


Final year postgraduate researchers aspiring to an academic career.


Part-time postgraduate researchers also employed as staff

  • Proposal writing and review guidance.
  • Paper writing and publishing guidance.
  • Paper review – involvement in the process and what is required.
  • Support and guidance in joining journal editorial boards.
  • General mentoring / personal career advice.

Staff Aspiring to/returning to research


Colleagues newly joining UHI with research backgrounds looking to further their research career in the university


Existing Colleagues in the university returning to research after a career break (numerous reasons for this including maternity/paternity leave, management and/or teaching responsibilities etc).


Colleagues looking to establish a research active area.
  • Guidance on where to start.
  • Confidence building – pointers to relevant training & coaching.
  • Specific skills requirements i.e. update laboratory skills.
  • Introduction to research networks in subject area.
  • Preparation of papers and review.
  • Guidance in preparing for and taking on research student supervision.
  • Familiarisation with UHI.
  • General career advice.

Academic staff


Colleagues with limited research background but aspiring to undertake research to support and enhance their subject expertise, this might include undertaking a research degree.
  • Support to develop project proposals to undertake research (organising and managing the release of time from lecturing).
  • Advice in time management; prioritisation and achieving personal goals.
  • Support in securing research funding; writing papers/and presenting at conferences.
  • Guidance in developing research networks.
  • Confidence building / coaching.
  • Identifying relevant staff development to release time for research.
  • Guidance in choice of research degree and subject.


Established researchers

Colleagues with an established research career looking to develop in terms of: improving performance as a principal investigator; leading research teams; strategic research leadership.
  • Support in identifying and enhancing areas of research leadership strength
  • Helping to set realistic goals
  • Support in identifying gaps and targeting actions to achieve goals
  • Confidence building / coaching


Who should I contact with enquiries?

If you enquiry is relating to the mentoring system Sumac or the mentoring process then please contact  If you enquiry is specifically related to the research mentoring strand then please contact the lead for this strand, Melanie Smith


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