Developing research skills and capability in higher education: Combining collaborative research with mentoring
Jiao, Xiaomin; Kumar, Reshmi; Billot, Jennie; Smith, Richard
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Citation:Jiao, X., Kumar, R., Billot, J., and Smith, R. (2011). Developing research skills and capability in higher education: Combining collaborative research with mentoring. Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/2269
Mentoring provides an effective way of assisting emerging researchers to understand more fully how academics engage in research activities, enhance their research skills and gain confidence in pursuing their own research interests. Although mentoring can be constructed in diverse ways, the most valuable mentoring is that tailored appropriately to meet the developmental needs of the mentee (Brown & Daly, 2009). In this paper we examine mentoring as a form of researcher development and our own approach which emphasises mentoring with, and alongside, other researchers. Two academics assembled a research team for a collaborative project and, while they oversaw the project, roles were assigned to individuals through discussion and consensus. This paper identifies the parameters for the collaborative venture, identifies the focus for mentoring and provides the reflections of the two mentees who look back on their experiences of being part of a research team. We affirm our contention that mentoring can be an evolving process as well as an active relationship in which assistance and reflection go hand in hand. The narratives provided by the mentees indicate that mentoring as part of a collaborative research project is not an occurrence, but an ongoing developmental process and an opportunity to learn and contribute simultaneously.