Conscia Research Staff Mentoring

The Conscia Research Staff Mentoring Program pairs staff with a research work-function with a more experienced academic research mentor to develop their research career, meet research goals, and strategize for future academic success.

Applications for 2024 are closed.

  • About

    Conscia provides staff with the opportunity to learn from, and work with a more experienced researcher to explore and gain insight and support in areas such as developing their research capabilities, outputs and outcomes, as well as leadership and career development.

    • Research Skill Development
      The mentor and mentee will work together to identify and set goals to develop the mentee’s research skills. This may include supporting the mentee to develop and refine a research strategy for translating research to impact, and developing skills related to publications, grant development and management, and engagement. The mentor will provide guidance, feedback, and resources to guide the mentee about how to achieve their goals.
    • Leadership skill development
      The mentor will support the mentee in understanding leadership in the university context and support the mentee with developing skills such as communication, planning, time management, problem-solving, decision-making and leadership.
    • Networking
      The mentor will support the mentee to grow their external engagement. This may include introducing the mentee to their network of contacts, providing them with valuable resources and connections.
    • Career Guidance  
      The mentor will provide guidance on the mentee’s career path and potential opportunities, as well as advice on the best strategies for achieving their EDRS goals.
  • For Mentees

    Why become a Mentee?

    • Learn theskills for becoming a strategic, purposeful, agile and evaluative researcher
    • Clarify the expectations and responsibilities for achieving research impact
    • Grow with and learn from your peer, research and professional networks
    • Develop confidence, leadership skills and clear career goals

    Eligibility criteria

    Mentees in the Conscia Research Staff Mentoring Program need to meet the following criteria.

    • Employee of Charles Sturt University
    • Employed at Academic Level B and above (Level A considered on merit)
    • Ongoing appointment or a fixed-term employment contract until at least December 2024.
    • Have Teaching and Research, Research Only, Research Professional, Teaching Professional or Teaching focused appointments (Staff with Teaching Professional or Teaching focused appointments will need approval of their Head of School and Associate Dean (Research))
    • Able to commit to the program for the duration
    • Available to meet with their mentor regularly (minimum six times, normally 10 times in a calendar year)
    • Able to establish and maintain a professional relationship with their mentor
    • Willing to take initiative and participate in the mentoring process
      • Readiness to set and pursue research goals aligned to EDRS objectives
      • Open to feedback, advice and guidance
      • A strong desire to learn and develop for research and academic success
  • For Mentors

      Mentors can choose to mentor up to four mentees (one-to-one or in small groups with up to three mentees).

      Why become a Mentor?

      • Nurture early career researchers
      • Develop effectiveskills for mentoring
      • Develop valuable leadership, communication and professional skills
      • Foster a sense of belonging and social integrity in the wider scholarly community

      Eligibility criteria

      Mentors in the Conscia Research Staff Mentoring Program need to meet the following criteria.

      • Experienced employee of Charles Sturt University
      • Employed Academic Level C and above
      • Ongoing appointment or a fixed-term employment contract until at least December 2024, or hold an Adjunct appointment
      • Meet minimum RPI expectations for their academic level
      • Able to commit to the program for the duration
      • Available to meet with their mentee regularly (minimum six times, normally 10 times in a calendar year)
      • Have a strong desire to help others learn and develop research and professional skills
      • Able to establish and maintain a professional relationship with their mentee(s)
      • Willing to take initiative and participate in the mentoring process
        • Committed to helping the mentee reach their research and career goals
        • Open to providing feedback, advice and guidance
        • Willing to set and pursue SMART goals
  • Key Dates

    Week beginning


    26 Feb

    Applications Open

    25 March

    Applications Close

    1 April

    Applicants Notified

    8 April

    Information session

    15 April

    Program Start

    10 June

    Mentoring Masterclasses

    15 November

    Program End

    29 November

    Online End Program Celebration

  • Contact

    More info contact Tri-Faculty Research

  • FAQ's

    Who is the Conscia Research Staff Mentoring Program for?

    Ongoing and fixed-term and Adjunct academic staff at any Charles Sturt location can apply to be mentors (Level C and above).

    Ongoing and fixed-term staff at any Charles Sturt location can apply to be mentees (Level B and above). Applications from Level A staff or undertaking a PhD or other Higher Degree Research (HDR) studies will be considered on an individual basis and with Faculty Associate Dean Research (ADR) approval.

    Should I apply to Conscia as a mentee or a mentor?

    Many staff members will be eligible to join the program as either a mentee or mentor. Mentoring is a two-way partnership, where both mentees and mentors can benefit by improving their research and professional skills, and personally.

    To decide which role best suits you, we encourage you to consider your personal circumstances and current career stage. To join as a mentor, you should be willing to share your experiences and skills, support Charles Sturt academics thrive in research, and be looking to develop your connections. To join as a mentee, you should be looking for guidance and advice, be open to learning and have a clear sense of what you would like to achieve through mentoring.

    Can I join Conscia as both a mentee and mentor?

    Yes, you can participate in Concsia Research Staff Mentoring program as both a mentee and mentor.

    What is the time commitment to be involved in the program?

    Mentees and mentors will be expected to participate in a one-hour information session before commencing your mentorship. Mentees and mentors will also be invited to attend a Masterclass to facilitate the success of the mentoring relationship and outcomes.

    Program participants are expected to meet a minimum of six times across the duration of the program. Participants meet at mutually agreed times and locations. The recommended duration for a mentoring meeting is one hour.

    Is mentoring included within work hours?

    Conscia Research Staff Mentoring Program is a Charles Sturt-supported researcher development program. You can choose when to meet so long as it suits both the mentor/mentee and your job requirements.

    Is mentoring counted toward my RPI?

    Yes.  Mentoring and being mentored with a research focus are outcomes included in Category B and will be implemented with the new RPI tool.

    Mentoring: 10 RPI points may be awarded for mentoring, up to four per year.

    Being mentored: 10 RPI points may be awarded once per year.

    The eligibility criteria for being mentored are described in the current RPI Guide but have been expanded to include staff who:

    • are an early career researcher,
    • are new to research;
    • are returning to research after an extended period of leave, e.g., family leave, personal leave;
    • have been in a role with a heavy administrative load for an extended period;
    • have a specific research goal, approved by the mentee’s ADR, e.g., to successfully apply for an external grant, increase publication of high-quality journal manuscripts; or
    • are teaching professional staff.

    The revised RPI Guide (to be launched with the new tool) also expands the evidence criteria, requiring a mentoring plan, demonstrated progress in achieving research goals and outcomes and written feedback in addition to the already listed evidence of 10 meetings in a calendar year.  Evidence in Conscia may be used to support the CRO (Pure) entry.  More information about the eligibility criteria and how to submit a CRO entry.

    Do I need my supervisor’s approval to participate?

    You do not require your supervisor’s approval to participate in the mentoring program, unless it were to impact your work in some way. However, we encourage you to discuss your participation in the mentoring program with your supervisor as part of your EDRS career conversation.

    How will I be matched?

    Using an AI driven self-matching model, the Chronus mentoring software allows mentees to choose from a shortlist of suggested mentors who might best suit their mentoring goals. The online platform will display the closest mentor matches based on the search criteria.

    To enable the matching process, both mentors and mentees provide information about their areas of expertise, areas of learning and motivations for joining the program. Given the specific and unique nature of each individual's needs, not everyone can be guaranteed a match. You will be notified if this is the case and we will work with you to find a suitable mentor.

    Mentees will send their chosen mentors a match request via the platform. When a mentor has accepted a request, the mentee will be prompted to schedule the first meet-up.

    What if I already have a mentor/mentee?

    Conscia Research Staff Mentoring Program allows for existing, new and continuing mentorship using the platform. Please complete the EOI to be included in the program and to gain access to the Chronus platform.

    Will my conversations with my mentee/mentor be confidential?

    Mentors and mentees will be encouraged to complete a mentoring agreement at the beginning of the program. The agreement encourages confidentiality and facilitates discussions around your preferred communication style and meeting frequency.

    Conversations during mentoring meetings should remain confidential, unless there is a concern for either mentor or mentee well-being or the well-being of a third party. In this instance, please contact your Faculty Associate Dean immediately for advice.