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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2019

Maha Al Makhamreh and Denise Stockley

The purpose of this paper is to examine how doctoral students experienced mentorship in their supervision context and how the mentorship they received impacted their well-being.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how doctoral students experienced mentorship in their supervision context and how the mentorship they received impacted their well-being.

Design/methodology/approach

An interpretive phenomenological methodology was selected to frame the research design. This research approach seeks to study the individual lived experience by exploring, describing and analyzing its meaning.

Findings

The findings revealed three different quality levels of mentorship in this context authentic mentorship, average mentorship and below average/toxic mentorship. Doctoral students who enjoyed authentic mentorship experiences were more motivated and satisfied, students who reported average mentorships needed more attention and time from their supervisors, and students who had below average/toxic mentorships were stressed out and depleted.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this study is the lack of generalizability owing to the small sample size typical in qualitative studies. Another limitation is that this research did not include students who quit their programs because of dysfunctional supervision experiences.

Practical implications

Students and supervisors can use the findings to reflect on their beliefs and practices to evaluate and improve their performances. Also, authentic mentors can benefit from the findings to create a positive culture for all students to receive support. Finally, current supervisory policies can be reviewed in light of this paper’s findings.

Social implications

The findings show the nature of mentorship in an authoritative context, and how it can be toxic when power is misused.

Originality/value

This study provides new knowledge in relation to the different types of mentorship experiences that exist in doctoral supervision, and how each type can influence students’ well-being differently. Additionally, it reveals that doctoral students can graduate, even in the face of toxic mentorship, but at the expense of their well-being.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2018

Amy Elizabeth Fulton, Christine A. Walsh, Carolyn Gulbrandsen, Hongmei Tong and Anna Azulai

This paper aims to present a thematic analysis investigating the experiences and reflections of doctoral students in social work at a Canadian university who were mentored…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a thematic analysis investigating the experiences and reflections of doctoral students in social work at a Canadian university who were mentored in the development of teaching expertise, including course design, delivery and evaluation, by a senior faculty member. Recommendations to others who are considering engaging in doctoral student teaching mentorship are presented.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines the authors’ reflections on their experiences of doctoral student mentorship through their involvement in collaboratively designing, teaching and evaluating an online undergraduate course. The inquiry used a qualitative approach grounded in Schon’s concept of reflexive learning.

Findings

Based on the results of the thematic analysis of the mentees’ reflections, this paper presents the collaborative teaching mentorship model and discusses how receiving mentorship in teaching facilitated the mentees’ development as social work educators.

Originality/value

Although quality guidelines in social work education recommend that doctoral students should be adequately prepared for future teaching opportunities, there is limited discussion about doctoral student development as educators within the academic literature, especially from the perspective of doctoral students. There is also limited articulation of specific models of doctoral student mentorship in developing teaching expertise. The authors hope that sharing their reflections on their experiences and describing the collaborative teaching mentorship model will serve to deepen understandings and promote further exploration and development of doctoral student mentorship in teaching.

Details

Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4686

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2020

Jennifer M. Blaney, Jina Kang, Annie M. Wofford and David F. Feldon

This study aims to examine how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics doctoral students interact with postdocs within the research laboratory, identifying the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics doctoral students interact with postdocs within the research laboratory, identifying the nature and potential impacts of student–postdoc mentoring relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of 53 doctoral students in the biological sciences, this study uses a sequential mixed-methods design. More specifically, a phenomenological approach enabled the authors to identify how doctoral students make meaning of their interactions with postdocs and other research staff. Descriptive statistics are used to examine how emergent themes might differ as a product of gender and race/ethnicity and the extent to which emergent themes may relate to key doctoral student socialization outcomes.

Findings

This study reveals six emergent themes, which primarily focus on how doctoral students receive instrumental and psychosocial support from postdocs in their labs. The most frequent emergent theme captures the unique ways in which postdocs provide ongoing, hands-on support and troubleshooting at the lab bench. When examining how this theme plays a role in socialization outcomes, the results suggest that doctoral students who described this type of support from postdocs had more positive mental health outcomes than those who did not describe this type of hands-on support.

Originality/value

Literature on graduate student mentorship has focused primarily on the impact of advisors, despite recent empirical evidence of a “cascading mentorship” model, in which senior students and staff also play a key mentoring role. This study provides new insights into the unique mentoring role of postdocs, focusing on the nature and potential impacts of student–postdoc interactions.

Details

Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4686

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Jennifer N. Boswell, Angie D. Wilson, Marcella D. Stark and Anthony J Onwuegbuzie

The goals of a mentoring relationship are important to the development of mentees. The purpose of this paper is to focus on the specific needs of students and junior…

Abstract

Purpose

The goals of a mentoring relationship are important to the development of mentees. The purpose of this paper is to focus on the specific needs of students and junior faculty in counseling programs.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used a psychological phenomenological research approach to understand the role and significance of a mentor and the mentoring relationship. In this qualitative research study, pre-tenured faculty, doctoral- and master’s-level students in counselor education programs in the USA were interviewed (n=30), to explore the mentorship needs.

Findings

In the study, the authors identified 28 codes that emerged from the participants’ lived experiences, which then were organized into seven meta-codes. The seven meta-codes were: relationship between mentor and mentee; communication style or patterns; preferred gender of mentor; introduction to the relationship; mentee needs; mentee benefits; and experiences as a mentee.

Originality/value

In the paper, the authors sought to explore the mentoring needs of students and junior faculty in counselor education programs and how these needs can begin to be addressed effectively.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Chyllis E. Scott and Diane M. Miller

The purpose of this paper is to narrate authors’ personal and professional experiences as doctoral graduate students, highlighting the personal and academic growth…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to narrate authors’ personal and professional experiences as doctoral graduate students, highlighting the personal and academic growth fostered through an organic peer mentorship and advocating that these relationships be cultivated actively by faculty advisors.

Design/methodology/approach

The concepts of purpose, planning, and positivity are employed to organize the discussion, which is based on relevant literature and the authors’ lived experiences.

Findings

Like most students who pursue and complete doctoral degrees, the authors experienced transformative learning. The authors acknowledge myriad ways their informal peer mentoring relationship was a critical component of successful degree completion.

Originality/value

While their relationship remains unique and perhaps inimitable, the authors seek to extrapolate the universal qualities relevant to others seeking a deep and personal support system during their doctoral degree-seeking journey.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Aurianne Stroude, Tanja Bellier-Teichmann, Odile Cantero, Nora Dasoki, Laure Kaeser, Miriam Ronca and Diane Morin

Despite increasing numbers of women attaining higher levels in academic degrees, gender disparities remain in higher education and among university faculty. Authors have…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite increasing numbers of women attaining higher levels in academic degrees, gender disparities remain in higher education and among university faculty. Authors have posited that this may stem from inadequate academic identity development of women at the doctoral level. While gender differences may be explained by multiple and variable factors, mentoring has been proposed as a viable means to promote academic identity development and address these gender gaps. A “StartingDoc program” was launched and supported by four universities in French-speaking Switzerland. The purpose of this paper is to report the experience of one of the six “many-to-one” mentoring groups involved in the StartingDoc program in 2012-2013.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on the description of a group experience within a university-based mentoring scheme offered to women entering in their PhD program in French-speaking Switzerland. It is examined using a qualitative, narrative case study design.

Findings

Themes from the narrative analysis included the four dimensions of the Clutterbuck model of mentoring (guiding, coaching, counselling, networking), as well as an additional five emerging themes: first expectations, process, sharing, building identity, and unmet expectations. The qualitative analyses suggest that mentoring can be an effective tool in supporting professional identity development among female doctoral students. However, further work is needed to elucidate the most effective strategies for developing and retaining women in academia.

Originality/value

While a many-to-one mentoring group has been theorized and is recognized as an effective means of supporting doctoral experience, its implementation in French-speaking Switzerland is in its infancy. This study provides insights into the value of such a mentoring scheme dedicated to women at the very beginning of their doctoral studies. Most notably it created opportunities for mentees to: discover aspects of academic life; break isolation; and develop some of the soft skills required to facilitate their doctoral journey.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 26 January 2021

Kathleen Sellers, Tasneem Amatullah and Joel R. Malin

The authors' purpose is to illuminate ways in which care within the mentor–mentee relationship influences the efficacy of mentoring for/in the professoriate, within and…

Abstract

Purpose

The authors' purpose is to illuminate ways in which care within the mentor–mentee relationship influences the efficacy of mentoring for/in the professoriate, within and beyond the novel circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

A narrative inquiry design drew on the authors' distinct positionalities and experiences of mentoring and being mentored by one another to provide a multi-layered analysis of mentor–mentee relationships. Utilizing care theory, we paid particular attention in our narratives and analysis to the affective dimensions of mentoring within the distinct context created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Findings

Our data analysis revealed three themes: (1) mentor humility was relevant to mentees' success, (2) relationship longevity mattered, and (3) caring mentoring relationships were affectively and empirically generative.

Research limitations/implications

Narrative inquiry, generally, is limited in its generalizability but can be a powerful tool to facilitate knowledge sharing. Our analysis suggests areas which merit further research and may have broader implications. Namely, during trying times the normalization of professor humility may enhance the quality and generativity of the mentoring relationships, especially when combined with networking support.

Practical implications

We make seven recommendations to enhance the efficacy of professors as mentors and mentees in need of mentorship.

Originality/value

Mentors who practice care-for their mentees, as opposed to care-about, enhance the efficacy of the mentoring relationship.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Bryan Gopaul

Although the production of a dissertation and the transition to an independent researcher undergird the outcomes of doctoral education, this study aims to emphasize issues…

Abstract

Purpose

Although the production of a dissertation and the transition to an independent researcher undergird the outcomes of doctoral education, this study aims to emphasize issues of inequality in doctoral study through the use of Bourdieu’s (1977, 1986) concepts of cultural capital and field.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative study with 15 doctoral students in Engineering and in Philosophy revealed that activities in doctoral study that tend to socialize students possess value, given the conventions of various contexts or social spaces related to academe.

Findings

Doctoral students who attain particular accomplishments experience doctoral study in ways that suggest that doctoral study is a system of conventions and norms that imbue particular activities with value, which then impact studentsdoctoral education experiences.

Originality/value

Inequality is tied to students’ portfolio of achievements, as the value of these achievements suggests differential socialization experiences, such that different students learn about the norms and practices within doctoral study in different ways.

Details

International Journal for Researcher Development, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2048-8696

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2012

Renate Petersen, Angelika Eggert, Ruth Grümmer, Ulrike Schara and Wolfgang Sauerwein

In Germany, scientific qualifications and an academic career in medical disciplines require mastering and balancing clinical, research and teaching activities. Systematic…

Abstract

Purpose

In Germany, scientific qualifications and an academic career in medical disciplines require mastering and balancing clinical, research and teaching activities. Systematic interdisciplinary human resource development is rare in German medical faculties. The purpose of this paper is to describe the MediMent programme, which is a model for systematic interdisciplinary support of early‐ and mid‐phase career development for medical academics. It comprises mentoring, training and networking modules tailored for pre‐ and post‐doctoral students at the Medical Faculty. It contributes to organisational development and reducing gender inequality by an affirmative action programme for women. The programme supports individual career‐building, teaches networking skills for an interdisciplinary workplace and assists in conflict resolution.

Design/methodology/approach

Mentors and mentees provided feedback via standardised forms. Additional open‐ended questions were interpreted by content analysis. Statistics were prepared using SPSS.

Findings

Evaluation of the first six‐year programme run revealed several benefits, indicating the trio of mentoring, networking and the accompanying seminar series efficiently supports career development of young medical academics. Participating mentees felt they achieved career goals within the mentoring programme. Evaluations indicated a strong potential for future investment in the organisation through better training, improving institutional visibility and stimulating recruitment of excellent students.Originality/value – The success of the MediMent programme described in the paper recommends it for implementation at other institutions.

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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2019

Sydney Freeman Jr and Frances Kochan

The purpose of this paper is to examine a long-term mentoring relationship between a White female from the Traditional Generation and an African American male from the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine a long-term mentoring relationship between a White female from the Traditional Generation and an African American male from the Xennial Generation, as engaged in a mentoring relationship within higher education institutions in the USA. The study investigated if, how and to what degree the differences and similarities between them influenced their mentoring relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used an autoethnographic approach involving extensive questioning, dialoguing, note keeping and analysis over eight months.

Findings

The analysis suggested that race had the greatest influence on the relationship. The primary reasons for mentoring success were similarities in family backgrounds and commonly held values.

Research limitations/implications

This study may not be generalizable to mentoring relationships that do not involve cultural differences in race, age or gender.

Practical implications

The paper offers a model for the types of strategies individuals can use in cross-racial mentoring endeavors to help build and sustain these relationships. It also includes suggestions for individuals engaged in mentoring relationships, which include gender, race or age differences, and organizations seeking to enhance diversity within their institutions.

Originality/value

There is not an extensive body of research on individual cross-racial, gender and generational mentoring that provides an analysis of the experience of those involved. Additionally, the model presented for examining cross-racial mentoring relationships is unique.

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