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ADAN-UK is devoted to ensuring the professional growth of academics of African origin is supported and developed.  The scheme provides an environment to cultivate mentor-mentee relationships between doctoral researchers/early academics with more experienced academics/researchers across universities in the UK, and in the African Continent.  The scheme is…

Click to open About the scheme
  • Voluntary
  • Confidential
  • Guided by mutual trust and respect, and
  • Based on common agreed objectives that meets the mentee’s needs.

+ The Goal:

The goal of the ADAN mentorship scheme is to nurture and support the next generation of academic leaders.

+ The objectives are to ...

  • Facilitate skill development for current and future leaders.
  • Expand the culture of collaboration, cooperation and commitment.
  • Build a strong community network of scholars in the UK and in Africa.
  • Foster interactions and shared experiences among African scholars in universities in the UK and Africa continent.
  • Encourage a culture of research excellence amongst African scholars/researchers
  • Provide support and guidance for African scholars during and after their programmes in the UK

+ Who are mentors

  • Academics
  • Researchers

NB: Individuals with more than five years in the post can mentor their peers.  All academics/researchers irrespective of their number of years in the post can mentor doctoral students.

+ Who are mentees

  • Doctoral students (whether they are aspiring academics or not).
  • Early career academics and researchers (with less than five years in the post).

+ Benefits to mentors

  • Opportunity to make a difference by developing future academic leaders.
  • Be part of an increasingly growing cross-disciplinary community.
  • Networking opportunities.
  • Skills development.
  • You will find new and interesting outlets for your existing skills and will potentially gain co-authorships on original, international quality publications.

+ Benefits to mentees

  • Opportunity to network and discuss your ideas.
  • Gain assistance with mapping out a career path.
  • Opportunity for skill development and to acquire new knowledge.
  • Increased self-awareness and self-confidence.
  • Better understanding of the academic environment and excellence expectations.

Click to open Becoming a Mentor

Mentors and mentees are able to join the scheme on a rolling basis.  If you are interested in taking part or would like to find out more, please email membership@adan-uk.com.

+ Becoming a Mentor/Mentee

Mentors and mentees will be asked to complete a simple form that draws up their profile together with an outline of the areas they would like to mentor/be mentored.  Mentors and mentees can include any preferences they might have.  Mentees will be asked for information about what they hope to achieve.  This information will help during the mentee-mentor matching process.

The aim of the scheme is to nurture and develop academic leaders; therefore, matching people from different backgrounds might be more productive.  However, for skill and research development purposes the scheme endeavours to pair up mentors and mentees based on their disciplines.  In the absence of such, mentors in the closest possible field are to be paired up with such mentees.  In the absence of any ‘qualified’ mentor in the mentees area of specialisation, any interested/willing mentor wanting to expand their scope of knowledge can take up a purely advisory role in mentoring the researcher.

+ Commitment and Length of Mentoring Relationship:

  • The mentorship relationship is for one calendar year in the first instance.  The relationship commences once individuals are paired up.
  • The mentorship period can be renewed every year if both the mentee and mentor deem this as necessary so as to achieve mentee’s goals, for example.
  • A combination of e-mentoring, telephone mentoring, face-to-face mentoring can be used.  It is recommended that mentees and mentors meet once a month via any agreed means including Skype, telephone, social media, web-based forum, or emails.  In addition, one face-to-face meeting is strongly encouraged at least once a year.
  • The mentors and mentees determine the specific content and duration of their meetings.  It is suggested that mentees take time to prepare ahead for their meetings and reflect on their discussions afterwards.
  • Upon completion of the mentoring period, both mentors and mentees are required to give ADAN-UK feedback on their experiences, and to support with the evaluation of the scheme.

Click to open Terms of reference

Mentors are expected to play support and advisory roles – they act as role-models and as a resource.  Mentors are NOT a replacement for supervisors in cases where mentees are doctoral researchers.  The role of the mentees’ academic supervisors must be respected and not contended by the mentor.

+ Mentors will be expected to:

  • Demonstrate a concern about the mentee’s well-being.
  • Be a sounding board for the ideas of their mentees.
  • Provide support and encouragement.
  • Help and inspire mentees towards finding their own solutions and develop their own agenda.
  • Share relevant expertise, knowledge and experience with mentees towards their research and professional development.
  • Be available and accessible.
  • Commit to speak with their mentees at least once a month via any agreed means.
  • Help identify relevant skills and knowledge gaps in mentees
  • Recommend points of contact and information sources when they are not in a position to help on issues/gaps identified
  • Give honest, accurate and constructive feedback
  • Provide feedback to ADAN.

+ Mentees will be expected to:

  • Prepare in advance for all meetings
  • Question as appropriate
  • Explain any particular requirements/rules of their academic institution to help guide the mentors in their roles
  • Take any recommended action(s) that is agreed between both parties
  • Respect Mentor’s views and not take them as ‘golden rules’ against supervisor’s wishes
  • Attend agreed meetings
  • Take initiative to reach their mentors and must not constitute a nuisance to them.
  • Ask and understand the expectations of their mentors from the first series of discussions after pairing.
  • Take responsibility for re-scheduling if a meeting needs to be rearranged. Mentors are very busy and their times must not be wasted.

+ Cultivating a healthy mentor–mentee relationship:

  • Agree on structure and objectives of the mentor-mentee relationship.
  • Set ground rules that both mentees-mentors value for example:, on confidentiality, time-keeping, task accomplishment to name but a few.
  • Identify mentee’s knowledge and skill gaps: e.g. personal, professional development, skill development, academic guidance, research
  • Set short-term, mid-term and long-term goals and expectations
  • List specific opportunities sought such as career progression, grant writing
  • Plan for regular meeting and set their agendas.  It is recommended that you agree a series of meeting dates to avoid other work preventing the mentorship meeting taking place at shorter notice.
  • Ask questions and actively listen.
  • Follow through on assigned tasks and ask for feedback.
  • Be responsive and flexible.
  • Send a thank you note after every meeting.
  • Review/evaluate the effectiveness of the mentoring relationship and provide feedback in confidence.   (Some of the example of review questions to ask: what am I gaining from the relationship? how do I want the relationship to develop? Is the relationship still beneficial to both parties and in what ways?)
  • Talk to your mentor about next steps after the conclusion of your mentor-mentee relationship.

Click to open Frequently asked questions

Question on our mentorship programms.

+ My mentor-mentee relationship is not working

Just like any other relationship, mentorship relationship may not work very well for various reasons.  If unfortunately the mentor or mentee is facing difficulties, please contact ADAN as soon as possible. We will endeavour to provide you with information and support.  If a mentor, you can request ADAN to assign you new mentors.

+ I am a mentor but I do not have any or enough mentees

ADAN aims to match students with appropriate mentors.  A lack of students indicates only that no student in your area of expertise has signed up.  We encourage you to remain registered as a mentor until new mentees enrol.  We will pair you up with other mentees in your secondary area of expertise if you will be willing to take them on.

+ I need to withdraw my mentee services

We appreciate mentors are giving time out their very busy schedules and believe all arrangements will be made in good faith. However in the event of unexpected changes to the mentoring arrangements, mentors are expected to notify ADAN mentorship scheme coordinator in good time giving due explanations. We will attempt to find an alternative mentor for your mentee.

+ I am a mentor or mentee who needs to change the arrangement part way through the mentorship relationship

We ask that any planned changes to the arrangement are brought to ADAN’s attention so that we can act as a broker to those changes.  It may be necessary to have more than one mentor on a project, for example.

+ My mentorship relationship has come to a natural end, or about to end.

ADAN encourages you to remain registered as a mentor and we will endeavour to match you with any mentee enlisted to the scheme.  The aim of the scheme is to nurture and develop academic leaders; therefore, matching people from different backgrounds is more productive.  However, for skill and research development purposes the scheme endeavours to pair up mentors and mentees based on their disciplines.  In the absence of such, mentors in the closest possible field are to be paired up with such mentees.  In the absence of any ‘qualified’ mentor in the mentees area of specialisation, any interested/willing mentor wanting to expand their scope of knowledge can take up a purely advisory role in mentoring the researcher.

+ My mentor has gone incommunicado

We would expect mentees to inform ADAN of long term mentor’s absence after concerted attempts to reach them.  ADAN will ensure such mentor is followed up and in the event of unsuccessful attempts, we would immediately seek alternative arrangements till the status of the initial mentor is determined.

+ What support does ADAN provide?

  • Match the mentors and mentees.
  • Follow up on any concerns raised by mentors or mentees.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the mentoring scheme.  ADAN provides useful tools to evaluate whether the scheme is achieving its aims and fulfilling its potential.

Disclaimer

We aim to optimise the matching of mentors and mentees but ask all parties to recognise that we are not responsible for specific mentor-mentee arrangements. We cannot accept accountability for the success or failure of PhD projects or collaborative research that involve mentoring arrangements.  We are also in no way responsible for the conduct of parties involved in the scheme, who are representatives of their academic affiliations.  We would however expect any inappropriate behaviour to be reported to ADAN without delay.  Mentors are all working on a voluntary basis and this should be respected.