Conscia Research Staff Mentoring

The goal of the Conscia Research Staff Mentoring Program is to provide staff with a research work-function with the opportunity to develop and strengthen their skills and competencies through the support of an academic research mentor.

We are now inviting expressions of interest from eligible researchers who wish to participate as Mentors or Mentees in the Conscia Research Staff Mentoring Program commencing May 2023.


  • About

    Concsia pairs early-career researchers (ECRs) and other researchers needing or wanting to improve their research outcomes with senior researchers who can support them to develop their research careers, meet their research aspirations and goals, and strategize for future academic successes.

    Through this program, the mentees will also form a University-wide and multi-disciplinary community of practice with their colleagues at similar research career stages. This community of practice will serve as a source of support and information for the mentees during the program and beyond.

    Initially, this trial program will run for seven months and will involve regular meetings between the mentor and mentee. Opportunities also exist for mentees wanting to participate in small group mentoring. This program will provide 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 career development.

    The Conscia Research Staff Mentoring Program will focus on the following areas:

    • 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 skills related to publications, grant development and management, engagement, and impact. The mentor will provide guidance, feedback, and resources to guide the mentee about how to achieve their goals.
    • 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 goals.
    • Personal Development  
      The mentor will support the mentee in developing skills such as communication, planning, time management, problem-solving, 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.
  • For Mentees

    Why become a Mentee?

    • Learn to navigate the challenges of building a successful research career
    • Grow with and learn from your peer, research and professional networks
    • Develop confidence, leadership skills and clear career goals

    Eligibility criteria

    To participate as a mentee in the Conscia Research Staff Mentoring Program you must:

    • Be an employee of the organisation
    • Be Employed Academic level B and above
    • In an ongoing appointment or a fixed-term employment contract until at least December 2023
    • Have Teaching and Research, Research Only, Teaching Professional or Teaching focused appointments (Staff with Teaching Professional or Teaching focused appointments will need approval of their Head of School)
    • Commit to the program for the duration of seven months
    • Be able to meet with mentor regularly throughout the program - a minimum of six times (will normally be 10 times in a calendar year)
    • Be able to establish and maintain a professional relationship with their mentor
    • Be willing to take initiative and participate in the mentoring process
      • Willing to set and pursue research goals
      • Open to feedback, advice and guidance
      • Have a desire to learn and develop research and professional skills

    Complete an Expression of Interest by 10 April 2023

    • Details about your research interests
    • Your mentoring goals and preferred mentor characteristics
    • What you hope to achieve from the program
  • For Mentors

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

      Why become a Mentor?

      • Develop valuable leadership, communication, and professional skills
      • Connect with rich research and professional networks
      • Foster a sense of belonging and social integrity in the wider scholarly community

      Eligibility criteria

      To participate as a mentor in the Conscia Research Staff Mentoring Program you must:

      • Be an experienced employee of the organisation
      • Be employed Academic level C and above
      • Be in an ongoing appointment or a fixed-term employment contract until at least December 2023, or hold an Adjunct appointment
      • Meet minimum RPI expectations for their academic level
      • Be available to participate in the seven-month program
      • Be able to meet with mentees regularly throughout the program - minimum of six times (normally 10 times in a calendar year)
      • Have a strong desire to help others learn and develop research and professional skills
      • Be able to establish and maintain a professional relationship with their mentee(s)
      • Be willing to take initiative and participate in the mentoring process
        • Committed to helping the mentee reach their goals
        • Open to providing feedback, advice and guidance
        • Willing to set and pursue goals

      Complete an Expression of Interest by 10 April 2023

      • Details about your research interests
      • Areas of strength/areas in which you feel confident to mentor others
      • Your motivation for being a mentor
  • Key Dates

    Week beginning


    27 March

    Applications Open

    10 April

    Applications Close

    17 April

    Applicants Notified

    24 April

    Information session

    1 May

    Program Starts


    Mentoring Masterclass

    30 November

    Program Ends

    15 December

    Program Dinner

  • Contact

    For more info contact Researcher Development.

  • 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).

    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?

    No, you can only choose one role.

    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.

    Program participants are expected to meet a minimum of six times across the duration of the seven-month 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 professional development program. You can choose when to meet so long as it suits both your 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 later this year.

    10 RPI points may be awarded for mentoring, up to four per year.  10 RPI points may awarded for being mentored, only once per year.

    The criteria are described in the RPI Guide but have been revised to expand eligibility to include:

    • early career researchers,
    • staff who are not early career researchers but are new to research or 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 or have had a specific research goal (and approved by the mentee’s ADR), e.g. to successfully apply for an external grant, increase publication of high quality journal manuscripts, and
    • teaching professional staff.

    The RPI Guide revision will also expand the evidence criteria, requiring a mentoring plan and demonstrated research goals and outcomes, in addition to the already listed evidence of 10 meetings in a calendar year.

    Mentoring for promotion is excluded.  Mentors must be meeting minimum research performance expectations for their own level. Mentees cannot claim being mentored while undertaking a research higher degree.

    Mentoring and being mentored is entered through CRO (Pure), following the pathway:  Activity – Supervision/Examination/Mentoring – Mentor or Internship Supervision.  The CRO entry records the relationship, with both the mentor and mentee identified on a single CRO (Pure) record.  Evidence to be attached at the completion of the (yearly) mentoring relationship.

    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 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.

    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 wellbeing or the wellbeing of a third party. In this instance, please contact Researcher Development immediately for advice.