Early Career Mentoring Scheme

BAFTSS is pleased to announce its piloting of an Early Career Mentoring Scheme. This is for BAFTSS members whose doctoral research has been completed and who are now pursuing careers in Higher Education. Mentees on the scheme will have completed their PhDs (or equivalent career qualifications) and will be on hourly paid or other temporary fractional contracts. The scheme is not open to PhD students, who will have the benefit of institutional support mechanisms.


This difficult transitory period is sadly a feature of current British academia and it brings its own particular challenges. People who may feel institutionally disconnected and professionally vulnerable are working hourly-paid contracts, often at a number of institutions, while they develop their publishing profiles and apply for salaried positions too. We hope our modest scheme may be of some help.


What we are piloting is a ‘buddying’ scheme, which will pair early career scholars with a more experienced mentor who has navigated those choppy early career waters and secured a position in academia. One of the desired outcomes of the scheme is the widening of all our networks – so mentees may be introduced by email to mentors they do not yet know. The nature of the mentoring is flexible. It may be in person if that is geographically convenient, or it may be primarily by email, telephone or skype. There is a description of the mentor’s role in the next paragraph.  


A Call to Potential Mentors


Please get in touch with us if you are willing to share your worldly experience, sagacity and advice to less experienced scholars. Participating mentors will be asked to complete a short survey in November 2019 to enable us to review how it is working.


Mentor’s Role


The role is to provide good counsel (in person, by email, skype or telephone) on career matters. It is an informal relationship, founded on goodwill. Mentor’s will not be expected to read drafts of papers, articles or other manuscripts and neither with they be expected to provide references (though of course they may be happy to do so). They might discuss job applications, anxieties about presentations, institutional politics, issues in academia, research and publishing, and pedagogical tricks of the trade. Advice given by mentors will be ‘without prejudice’ and should be supportive. We anticipate that relationships will last for 12 months in the first instance, during the period of this trial. They may of course continue for longer. 


A Call to Potential Mentees


ECR colleagues wanting to apply to the scheme as mentees need to send us their details. We will aim to match prospective mentees with the mentor who best matches their interests, though exact fits may not be possible. During this pilot, we hope to be able to provide a mentor to all suitable applicants, though cannot at this stage commit to this. Mentees may approach their assigned Mentor for advice about career matters (see Mentor’s Role’ above). Mentees who are signed up and assigned a mentor will be required to complete a short survey in November 2019 to help us review the scheme.

How to apply to be a BAFTSS Mentee


1. You need to be a paid-up member of BAFTSS to take advantage of the scheme. You can join here: http://baftss.org/join/


2. Provide a one-paragraph outline of your scholarly interests. We will use this to pair you with a mentor. Also write a short statement about what you might hope to get out of a mentorship. 


3. Prepare a short CV (no more than 2 pages). Ensure that this clearly shows where you are currently working in academia, what sort of contract you are on, and when your period as a registered postgraduate student finished.


4. Email these documents to Andrew Moor at A.Moor@mmu.ac.uk no later than January 31st 2019.  We will then aim to introduce mentors and mentees by email by February 28th 2019.

Current Mentors


Names of Mentors who have kindly agreed to take part in the first pilot phase over the next twelve months.


  • Dr Melanie Bell, University of Leeds

  • Dr Lucy Bolton, Queen Mary, London 

  • Professor Chris Berry, King's College London

  • Professor Stella Bruzzi, University College London

  • Dr Lucy Bolton, Queen Mary's College, University of London

  • Dr Felicia Chan, University of Manchester

  • Dr Malcolm Cook, University of Southampton

  • Dr Katherine Farrimond, University of Sussex

  • Dr Austin Fisher, Bournemouth University 

  • Dr Gabor Gergely, University of Lincoln

  • Professor Lee Grieveson, University College London

  • Dr Benjamin Halligan, University of Wolverhampton

  • Dr Rebecca Harrison, University of Glasgow

  • Professor Andrew Higson, University of York

  • Dr Amy Holdsworth, University of Glasgow

  • Professor Catherine Johnson, University of Huddersfield

  • Professor Paul McDonald, King's College London

  • Dr Karen McNally, London Metropolitan University

  • Dr Alison Peirse, University of Leeds

  • Dr. Tom Rice, University of St Andrews

  • Dr Deborah Shaw, University of Portsmouth

  • Dr Melanie Williams, University of East Anglia​


​BAFTSS extends a huge thanks to them for this. If you would also like to participate as a mentor, do please get in touch with James Leggott at james.leggott@northumbria.ac.uk.  

'New Connections' research papers

As part of the mentoring scheme, BAFTSS has inaugurated as series of research papers by ECRs delivered to universities around the UK under the banner 'New Connections'. To find out more and to see a list of up-coming talks, visit the New Connections tab at the top of this page.