PGR Mentoring Logo

Postgraduate Research (PGR) Mentoring is a new initiative to support new entrant PGR students through peer mentoring enabling participating students to commence and complete programme while making their broader University experience exciting, fulfilling and successful. The programme was developed to address issues that can affect PGR students such as loneliness, anxiety, difficulty making friends, trouble getting started or finding information and integrating within the university and wider community. The expected outcome is that students are better supported in adjusting to their new academic and social environment so that they will commence and complete their research within time, and will have a network of researchers beyond their immediate chosen subject area to support them during and beyond their research degree.

The programme matches later stage students (Mentors) with incoming students (Mentees) based on College affiliation, background, experience and/or chosen subject area where possible.

Please find futher information in relation to Mentees, Mentors and Co-Ordinator below.

The Mentees 

The mentee is any new entrant research student to NUI Galway. Signing up to become a mentee gives you access to a wide and deep supportive network of peer researchers, already embedded within their subject area, School, College, NUI Galway and the region and with immediate past experience of the issues you may face in adjusting to life as a research student in Galway.

Contact Christopher at pgrmentoring@nuigalway.ie to sign up!

The Mentors 

A mentor in this programme is a research student who has completed at least one year of their research. A programme guidebook and leadership training is offered to each mentor. All volunteers will receive an ALIVE certificate at the end of the mentoring programme.

The Mentor role is to:

  • Assist the new student mentee settle in to PGR lifestyle
  • Be available to answer any mentee questions, using a selected communication platform
  • Send electronic updates and news periodically
  • Meet periodically with mentee groups, mentor leader and co-ordinator
  • Encourage mentees to get involved with activities within NUI Galway
  • Act as a ‘sign post’ service, indicating where the mentee can find information

Each mentor should be prepared to commit to a minimum of 1 hr per week over a 10 week period, for scheduled meetings and ad-hoc communication with mentee groups, mentor groups and co-ordinator. 

Becoming a mentor will

  • develop your leadership skills
  • improve your communication and interpersonal skills
  • enhance your organisational and management skills
  • broaden your network through meeting new people
  • improve the student experience for new entrant mentees through sharing your experience and knowledge

Contact Christopher at pgrmentoring@nuigalway.ie to sign up as a mentor!

Mentor Groups

Mentor groups are typically made up of one mentor, and between 5-10 other mentees. Mentors are not always assigned mentees in similar research areas as this programme aims to avoid providing academic support in place of the student’s supervisor(s). However all mentors are supported through their own mentor leader in a group along with other mentors, as well as through the knowledge network.

Knowledge Network

The knowledge network is the repository of mentor and mentor leader experience and knowledge. This network facilitates matching of mentees with a mentor from any subject area/discipline/school while also providing a resource to find information relevant to them. This resource discovery operates through electronic communication channels.

An example of the use of the knowledge network would be:

A new entrant PhD student in the discipline of English asks a question about contacting someone in their relevant school office (School of English & Creative Arts, in this case). Their mentor is a student in the discipline of Geography and does not know the answer. The mentor communicates with the knowledge network, containing all the volunteers on the PGR mentoring programme. Another mentor or mentor leader in that group, a student in the School of English & Creative Arts, can answer the question.

The Mentor Leader

A mentor leader acts as a mentor to the mentors in this programme. Typically a mentor leader will be in a later stage of their research degree programme with prior mentoring experience. A programme guidebook and leadership training is offered to each mentor leader. All volunteers will receive an ALIVE certificate at the end of the mentoring programme.

The mentor leader role is to:

  • Assist the co-ordinator in managing the programme
  • Monitor mentor groups
  • Ensure mentor-mentee meetings are happening
  • Report any issues that may arise
  • Facilitate the knowledge network through group discussions

Each mentor leader should be prepared to commit to a minimum of 1 hr every alternate week over a 10 week period, for scheduled meetings and ad-hoc communication with mentor groups and co-ordinator.

Becoming a mentor leader will

  • develop your leadership skills
  • improve your communication and interpersonal skills
  • enhance your organisational and management skills
  • broaden your network through meeting new people
  • improve the student experience for new entrant mentees and later stage mentors through sharing your experience and knowledge

Contact Christopher at pgrmentoring@nuigalway.ie to sign up as a mentor leader!

The Co-ordinator

The co-ordinator monitors the overall running of the programme. His/her role is to:

  • Match mentors and mentor leaders
  • Support all volunteers within the programme
  • Facilitate group meetings
  • Report on the progress of the programme
  • Check all mentoring assignments are taking place
  • Deal with any issues that may arise
  • Improve the programme based on feedback
  • Guide overall direction of the programme

Co-ordinator's Details: Christopher McBrearty at pgrmentoring@nuigalway.ie