Centre for Health Services Studies

Excellence in Health Research


The Centre for Health Services Studies (CHSS) is launching a new scheme that will provide mentorship for researchers based on the national programme offered by NIHR for Clinical Academic Fellows.

The aim of the CHSS scheme is to enable growing and more established researchers to develop your potential in your research careers by defining your own goals, intentions and longer term plans with your mentor and then working together to enable you to achieve it. As a researcher in CHSS you will be able to select from a pool of trained mentors a person that will most meet your needs based on their experience and mentoring style. The mentors who have agreed to be trained so far have benefitted from the same training that is provided to the NIHR mentors.

Before you embark on the scheme you will probably have some questions:

“My mentor is not just concerned with my day to day problems but with how my career is going to develop, so gets me to think one step ahead. She is an inspiration.” - NIHR mentee

What is a mentor?

Mentors are people who, through their action and work, help others to achieve their potential (Shea, 1992)

Someone who supports people to manage their own learning in order to maximise their potential, their skills, improve their performance, and become the person they want to be (Parsloe, 1992)

Mentorship can be seen as a Gift of Wisdom from one person to another, through building a trusting relationship that focuses on the learning and development needs of the mentee.

Why might I need a mentor?

Education and research funding may not be sufficient to enable you to achieve your goals.
Researchers following an academic career more likely to succeed if they receive additional support and guidance from those who have proved themselves successful in combining recognised research output, excellence in clinical practice and success in building research capacity (Whitworth 2007)

You will be more likely to have a greater sense of personal achievement and success.

I already have a supervisor or line manager, why do I need a mentor?

Mentorship is not the same as either research supervision or line management and it is not intended to conflict with these other roles. A mentor has no other agenda than to support you in achieving your career goals and to enable you to think about the challenges and opportunities on the way. A mentor is there to focus on you and does not advise on other academic matters such as methodology, analysis or employment conditions. They may however help you to consider funding opportunities, collaborations and networks.

What are the benefits for me and for CHSS?

For the mentee:
Improved performance and productivity
Enhanced career opportunity and career advancement
Improved knowledge and skills development
Leadership development
Greater, confidence, well being and motivation

For the mentor:
Improved performance
Greater job satisfaction, commitment and self-awareness
New knowledge and skills acquired
Leadership development
Enhance professional network and involvement in a community of mentoring and discovery

A motivated research team who work together to achieve their goals and support each other and in so-doing contribute to institutional strategic goals such as the REF and Athena Swan.

Requesting a mentor

If you think you would like to have a mentor, then you will need to follow the 3 quick steps below:

1. Browse the profiles of our available mentors by clicking on their photos below. Each mentor has a 'Mentorship' tab on their profile which details their style and motivation for mentoring.

2. Choose 2 mentors who you think would best meet your needs.

3. Complete the Mentorship request form.

To request a mentor, click the button below and complete the mentorship request form. Once submitted, someone will reply to you as soon as possible to arrange a meeting.

Do I have to have or be a mentor?

Not at all, this is a voluntary scheme that you can engage with if you would like to. There are no disincentives for not taking it up. Some people will seek their support through other avenues and that is completely fine.

What skills do I need to be a mentor?

If you think you would like to become a mentor the main attribute is motivation to support others. The ability to listen and ask the right questions are also important. You don’t have to be a Professor or PI, seniority is not the main criterion. But life and research experience do obviously play a significant part in enabling others. The role is voluntary and altruistic and does not attract a work allocation allowance.

How much time does it take?

Most mentors-mentees decide between themselves what time allocation to put into the relationship. On average, people tend to meet for about 1-1.5 hour every 6 weeks or so. Meetings are best face to face but can also work successfully by skype or email. Mentees often find keeping a reflective notebook helpful alongside the meetings.

Become a mentor

If you would like to become a mentor, then you should first consider the following questions:

1. What is your motivation for becoming a mentor?

2. What do you think would be your 'style' of mentoring?

3. How much time could you commit to mentoring per week/month?

As stated above, you don’t have to be a Professor or PI to become a mentor. Life and research experience, as well as motivation to support others, are the key attributes.
To apply to become a mentor, click the button below and complete the mentor application form. Once submitted, someone will reply to you as soon as possible.


Our current mentors

This scheme is provided as part of the NIHR/HEE Integrated Clinical Academic Mentorship programme as part of its out-reach work.
For further information about mentoring and the NIHR scheme go to:



Centre for Health Services Studies, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

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Last Updated: 05/10/2017