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As a GMS supervisor, you may be invited to act as a mentor to one of our first year students. Mentor roles are intended to provide each new student with a named person who can give support and advice on an informal basis throughout the first year. This is in addition to the support from the GMS Programme Directors, Course Administrator, Teaching Leads, and their College Advisor. 

As they navigate their first year on the programme, GMS students attend a term of teaching and select up to three rotations with different research groups; aiding their decision-making process for choosing rotations is a key role for mentors. Discussions with a mentor can help the students identify suitable host groups and encourage them to step out of their comfort zone in at least one of their rotations. Interactions between mentors and students are flexible, though we recommend mentors offer at least 2 opportunities for the student to meet with them each term.  We also ask mentors to contribute to Graduate Supervision Reporting throughout the year.

Key MENTORING responsibilities

Mentor responsibilities and suggested meetings include:

  • a short initial welcome/introduction meeting - either arranged at your convenience with the student or at a GMS programme event 
  • speaking with the mentee in early November ahead of the first rotation choice deadline 
  • checking-in with them mid-rotation (February) in case they have any concerns/problems and haven't felt able to raise these with the host group or GMS committee. 
  • helping the student decide about further rotations and the final DPhil project they want to pursue
  • attending rotation presentation talks where possible
  • offering support at key points in the first year and helping monitor their general progress and well-being, raising any concerns with the Course Director (Julian Knight)
  • Termly reporting for Graduate Supervision Reporting (GSR).

Mentor roles are voluntary and matched to student backgrounds where possible; they offer an important layer of support to GMS students settling into the programme and we greatly appreciate the efforts of those who are able to take on the role.