Mentoring network

  • Many Things to Many People: Formal Mentoring Schemes and Their Management 2019

    This is our report on the state of formal mentoring schemes - a first in reviewing the nature and state of formal mentoring initiatives across sectors and contexts. In this report we share some of the results from our mixed methods study into formal mentoring schemes using the three Ps - Purpose, Practicalities and People.

    Click here to download the report >>

    Click here to download slides from the report launch event >>

  • STAMINA Mentoring Network

    The STAMINA Mentoring Network is a group for mentoring scheme leads, coordinators, administrators and mentoring champions. Our name has emerged out of our mission which is to share good practice across mentoring schemes and support their sustainability - hence our name SusTAinable MentorINg Network. The network is based upon a project funded by the University of Oxford's ESRC Impact Acceleration Award in 2016/17.

    Survey - We have recently received funding to develop our understanding of the nature of mentoring across the UK - if you run a mentoring scheme please consider completing our survey  via this link – this survey is still open if you would like to participate.

    Report launch - On the 12th September 2019 we launched the initial report based on the survey (responses January – August 2019) and interviews with a selection of participants – the slides for this event at Oxford Brookes University are available here (new link)

    Mentoring Map - You can also access the mentoring map we created based upon the formal mentoring schemes we identified.

    Click here to access the STAMINa Mentoring network map of formal mentoring schemes >>

    This map is live and will be updated monthly. You will find it useful for identifying formal mentoring schemes which are geographically close to your own scheme or those that operate in the same sector/with the same purpose in mind.   

  • Get Involved

    We are looking for other people passionate about mentoring to join the network and support the sustainability and sharing of good practice across schemes. Contact us via

    Email: mentoringnetwork1@brookes.ac.uk

    Twitter: @MentorNetwork1


    Facebook: STAMINA Mentoring Network

    Please see more information about the project associated with the development of the Network below.

  • Background

    This project builds upon expertise and research interests of the team across three local Universities (Oxford, Oxford Brookes and Reading) and further through a Programme for Enhancement of the Student Experience (PESE) project at Oxford Brookes University on developing sustainable mentoring schemes (Gannon & Maher, 2012; Gannon, 2016; University Alliance, 2013), the Radcliffe Department of Medicine Mentoring scheme (RDMMS) at Oxford University and The University Mentoring Project at Reading University.

    The central tenet of the project is to share good practice in developing mentoring schemes across disciplines and contexts. There are three main issues that mentoring schemes typically face as they grow and develop within the HE setting. These issues are sustainability, effective transitions for administrative systems and practices for reporting on impact and these same issues are recorded to a greater or lesser extent across different settings in the wider mentoring research (Clutterbuck et al, 2016; Karallis & Sandelands, 2009).

    This network offers a unique opportunity to build upon our existing scholarship, research and expertise and share the approaches and practices which offer mentoring scheme longevity across disciplines. This is distinctive in the area of mentoring where the focus has tended to be on how to set-up mentoring schemes and fails to expand on the issues associated with growth, problem-solving and sustainability.

    The team involved in this project is multi-disciplinary and responsible for developing and researching mentoring schemes across a range of settings, healthcare, higher, vocational and professional education. The core of the team have developed expertise in creating and supporting mentoring schemes and moving through key transition points including widening participation and incorporating the use of IT. The potential contributors include a range of industries and settings, education, healthcare, STEM subjects and the arts from the private sector to voluntary/charitable sector. From this diversity of expertise in managing mentoring schemes and our existing research we hope to share expertise in managing mentoring schemes and wider good practice in sustaining mentoring schemes.

    This multi-disciplinary approach will allow those involved in mentoring schemes to explore good practice in this area and benefit from the dissemination of knowledge and practices from across the extensive range of settings where mentoring takes place. Supporting this bid will enable researchers and practitioners to draw on a wider set of expertise on mentoring (Gannon & Maher, 2012; Gannon, 2016). Specifically, it is envisaged that participants will be able to build sustainable mentoring schemes through identifying practices for mentoring schemes themselves and further disseminate good practice on the recruitment of mentors, training resources for mentors and mentees, planning and implementing clear reporting for impact procedures, and enhancing administrative systems which allow effective reporting and longevity for mentoring schemes. 


    The aim of this project is to share good practice on mentoring schemes, transitions, sustainability and reporting through the creation of a multi-disciplinary network of mentoring scheme coordinators, researchers and champions. The specific objectives for this bid are to.

    • Coordinate and share across multidisciplinary settings expertise on mentoring scheme growth and sustainability
    • Coordinate and develop a network of practitioners and researchers committed to enhancing our understanding of how and where mentoring works across disciplines
    • Disseminate resources on good practice in mentoring scheme administrative systems, practices, reporting and evaluation practices across multidisciplinary settings


    The outline format for the network includes:

    • Network meetings – opportunities for the network participants to meet and identify their priorities for our work on sustainable mentoring schemes. Three meetings are envisaged to allow the network to set the agenda, prepare the workshop, design the social media campaign and plan a forum/symposium
    • Workshop – Initial workshop will be run which will focus on mentoring scheme growth and sustainability in relation to administrative systems and transitions to IT systems - beyond spreadsheets.
    • Social media campaign – Develop a campaign asking mentoring programme coordinators to share good practice on mentoring topics. Aimed at ensuring a relevant, contemporary and accessible way for non-academics to inform the discussion on mentoring scheme longevity and ensure good practice exchange.
  • The main outcome of funding this bid would be the development a network of multidisciplinary mentoring scheme coordinators, researchers and organisations. This would be unique in allowing expertise to be shared on developing sustainable mentoring schemes and managing the challenges of growth which mentoring initiatives typically experience.
    Various definitions of mentoring have emerged over the years and these adaptations reflect the wider developments we see across societies, workplaces and the ways we interact with each other. For this reason, our definition of mentoring is ‘a form of developmental relationship which supports, nurtures and challenges, and provides opportunities for realizing our life choices as mentors and mentees.’

    You may be interested in the STAMINa Mentoring Network if you…

    • Are setting up a mentoring scheme … and want to know what has been done before, what works and what doesn’t, what to prioritize
    • Currently involved in a mentoring scheme but need some help with trouble-shooting or problem-solving. In such cases we can help by sharing experiences from our own schemes and practice, what we have tried along the way to developing sustainable mentoring schemes
    • Need to grow and scale up an existing scheme … this is something we have dealt with from various angles, whether that is increasing the numbers of mentors and mentees on a scheme, or justifying why growth should be to managed and constrained to ensure quality
    • Revising and refreshing an existing mentoring scheme is your current priority. We provide ideas and insights on revitalizing mentoring schemes and breathing fresh perspectives into what might have become tired participants and systems
    • Research mentoring and mentoring schemes … you may find some of our resources and cases helpful in your work.

    The resources and support we offer come in the form of

    • A Framework for different ways of delivering mentoring schemes
    • Case studies from a range of mentoring schemes
    • Frequently asked questions (and answers) for mentoring scheme coordinators
    • Resources and a Resources audit which identifies the resources different types of schemes use and ideas on how to develop resources to suit your scheme
    • Links to other organizations who are involved in mentoring

    In building the STAMINa Mentoring network we wanted to consider all the permutations of mentoring which can be offered so that we can share good practice in mentoring scheme sustainability across as wide a network as possible.

    When developing the STAMINa framework we shared our own experiences as mentoring scheme coordinators and researched various sources identifying some key themes which need to be considered when organizing a mentoring scheme. The themes or strands are there to help you navigate the options you have as a mentoring scheme coordinator and the options/changes you might need to consider when trying to refresh /problem-solve /grow a mentoring scheme.

    Key themes and issues associated mentoring schemes:


    Purpose of the Mentoring scheme

    Determining what the purpose is of your mentoring scheme is crucial. What does your mentoring scheme set out to achieve for its participants and for the organization(s) concerned? You may have more than one purpose, however, so do think about what may be the secondary as well as the primary purpose of your mentoring scheme. Review our list of possible purposes and read the case studies associated with those categories.

    • Organizational socialization
    • Employability
    • Transition between education/career
    • Leadership
    • Organizational Focus/Strategy
    • Equality/Diversity
    • Retention
    • Return to work
    • Supporting social enterprise
    • Community engagement
    • Retirement
    • Improving workplace culture
    • Readjustment (post institutional)


    Forms of Mentoring

    There are many ways of delivering mentoring and this strand captures some of the options which can be considered in the development of a scheme. It may be that your scheme could several of these forms of mentoring or use more than one form to reach a wide range of mentors and mentees.

    • 1 to 1
    • Face to face
    • Group mentoring
    • E-mentoring
    • Reverse mentoring
    • Speed mentoring
    • Hybrid mentoring


    Marketing of the Mentoring scheme

    Our experiences suggest that it is important to effectively engage your mentors and mentees throughout the lifecycle of your scheme. There are several ways of achieving this and we outline the main options with examples from case study schemes to help you identify which might work for your mentoring scheme.

    • Open evening/event
    • Social media campaign
    • Word of mouth (through network and previous participants)
    • Trade Press
    • Newsletter
    • Press release
    • Website information
    • Career interviews
    • Annual symposium
    • Induction


    Recruitment and selection of mentors and mentees

    Acquiring mentors and mentees is another potentially challenging area for mentoring scheme coordinators. In this strand, we provide the choices available to coordinators. It could be that you should select different forms of recruitment and selection for your mentors and mentees, and deploy more than one method for some participants. Use the options below to identify the case studies and resources used by other mentoring schemes.

    • Self-referral
    • Referral
    • Application form (paper)
    • Interview
    • Engagement with related activities
    • Online promotion and registration
    • Sourced by networks (coordinator led)



    Coordinators have a range of options available to them when they match mentors and mentees. These options depend upon the nature of the mentoring scheme and comprise different levels of mentor and mentee input into the matching process. Review our list of possible matching practices and read the case studies associated with the options.

    • Speed matching
    • Mutual agreement of mentors and mentees
    • Blind matching on both sides
    • Mentor or mentee agrees (semi-blind matching)
    • Software matching
    • Coordinator matched
    • Mentoring committee


    Administration and training

    Operating a mentoring scheme involves a great deal of administration and deciding how to manage the practical details and activities associated with highly personal data is a crucial part of a coordinator’s role. In our experience, as mentoring coordinators we have tried various administrative approaches and moved between approaches as our schemes have grown and developed. The following list provides the key administrative practices we have used as well as linked case studies and outline resources.

    • Paper based
    • MS office (Excel) or spreadsheets
    • Website development and use
    • Specifying online mentoring system
    • Shared drives approach - Google Docs, OneDrive, Dropbox solutions
    • Use of online mentoring platform


    Monitoring and management of mentoring relationships

    Another key aspect of operating and managing a mentoring scheme involves identifying how involved coordinators/administrators become in overseeing and supporting individual mentoring relationships. It may be that within your own scheme mentees or mentors may need additional support or various check-in points to encourage dyads to develop their relationships. Below we outline the main options with examples from case studies to help you orientate which might be suitable for your mentoring scheme.

    • Induction/Briefing
    • Online goal setting
    • Regular email/calls check-in with mentees/mentors
    • Informal networking/Social events
    • Awards ceremony
    • Recognition and announcement communications



    Evaluation of mentoring schemes is a widely-discussed topic. There are several aspects to consider from the scheme’s practical operations through to how well the mentoring relationships develop and ultimately achievement of the purpose of the scheme. In our experience, evaluation can usefully take place at several points, as a formative activity (during the ongoing scheme), as well as at summative points (after the scheme). In addition, for clearer evaluation insights we also recognize pre-and post-evaluation opportunities and practices. The following list provides the key evaluation methods we have experiences as well as linked case studies and outline resources.

    • Formative evaluation surveys (mentors and mentees)
    • Before and After evaluation surveys (mentors and mentees)
    • Summative evaluation surveys (mentors and mentees)
    • Central HR data (re-grading, promotions, awards)
    • Organizational metrics (Athena Swan plan)
    • Staff attitude surveys
    • Focus groups
    • Social Media capture – blogs, vlogs and posts
    • Retention and Turnover rates
  • Mentoring Scheme Case Studies

    As part of the STAMINa mentoring network project we have collated case studies on mentoring schemes so you can learn about different schemes and how they have developed and operate. Each of these schemes has been initially summarised using our framework for Mentoring scheme Sustainability so you can select the case studies which may best suit the type of mentoring scheme you run, or are seeking to run. This means you can identify the case study by its Purpose, Forms of Mentoring, Marketing of the Mentoring scheme, Recruitment and Selection of Mentors and Mentees, Matching, Administration and Training, Monitoring of Mentoring Relationships and Evaluation.  
    We would like to add to our range of case studies so if you have a case study to share - please get in touch with Dr Judie Gannon via jmgannon@brookes.ac.uk or mentoringnetwork1@brookes.ac.uk