Each postgraduate research student within NHLI is assigned a mentor at the start of their studies.
Supervisors must identify a mentor for the postgraduate student, with the help and advice of the Director of Postgraduate Studies if required. The main role of the academic mentor is a pastoral one. It is not intended that the academic mentor should act in a supervisory role and the role of academic mentor must remain separate from the role of supervisor.
The idea of the academic mentor is to provide the student with an additional person with whom to consult informally.
The academic mentor must:
- be employed by Imperial College London
- be independent from the research group and section
- have supervision experience
- ideally have attended the supervision workshop.
It would be helpful if the academic mentor had some knowledge of the area of research, but this is not crucial to the role.
If the mentor leaves Imperial College London during the course of the student’s registration a new mentor must be found by the supervisor as soon as possible.
It is important that the student’s mentor is carefully chosen to be able to play an active and clear role during the period of research study in order that conflicts of interest might be prevented. Therefore a research student should not have a supervisor and a mentor who are related by marriage or who are partners.
Formal meetings between the student and their mentor
Students are able to contact and meet with their mentor at any point during their research degree. At a minimum, formal meetings should be organised for a discussion of progress upon:
- Submission of the first 6-monthly report
- Submission of the last 6-monthly report (30 months for PhD and 18 months for MD(Res) students)