Contract Research Staff and the postdoctoral research community are identified as particularly vulnerable groups as a consequence and impact of COVID-19 given security of tenure and unprecedented uncertainties in the research environment and culture. Feedback from our participation in the Culture, Employment and Development in Academic Careers Survey (CEDARS) 2020 and our 2019 Concordat for Researcher Development Action Plan 2020-22 identified the critical urgent requirement for mentoring to support careers and wellbeing in this key group of staff and support the long-term career, professional development and wellbeing needs of researchers Similar experiences amongst the same group have been reported across the sector.
The Project, which will include an element of peer-to-peer mentoring, will be delivered in partnership with RKEDU and Dr Gráinne Barkess, Head of Researcher Development, Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) with both institutions providing mentors and mentees.
A key aspect will be to explore the matching of need aligned to protected groups, specifically researchers returning from maternity leave.
It is the intention that the pilot will lead to longer term collaborative structures to support inter institutional research mentoring between QMU and ENU.
Development of pilot scheme guidance and procurement of a platform which both institutions can use to support the collaboration. The pilot will be supported by a series of joint QMU/ENU training schemes, promotional initiatives and monitoring and evaluation events.