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Finding a mentor

A mentor is a must to achieve success in your research career. Discover how you can find one to support you.

How could a mentor help me?

Mentors offer free advice and can:

  • provide you with information and knowledge relevant to your own personal circumstances

  • often see where you might need to improve, when you might not

  • find ways to stimulate your personal and professional growth

  • offer encouragement and help to keep moving forward or consider a change of direction

  • act as sounding boards you can bounce idea off them for an unfiltered opinion

  • have experiences you can learn from

  • be trusted advisors

  • connect you to people you might not otherwise have the opportunity to meet 


How do I find a mentor?

Who you might approach to act as a mentor is a personal choice.  Think about what you might be looking for from a mentor.  Mentoring brings mutual benefits. A mentor might agree to take you under their wing for the personal satisfaction that it brings. They may be delighted to give something back after having received similar positive support themselves earlier in their career.


There are several ways by which you might source a mentor:


What should I look for in a mentor?

In looking for a mentor, it is important to be clear what you want, find someone you want to be like, and equally (if not more importantly) find someone you like. Remember that while a mentor can offer you invaluable advice and perspectives, they are not there to make your choices for you. A good mentor will leave you feeling empowered, encouraging you to take full responsibility for your own career decisions and the consequences that come with them.

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