The Development and Implementation of a Peer Mentoring Scheme for Sociology Early Career Academics (ECAs) in Ireland: Lessons from Research, Insights from Practice

ANNA BUSSU, Lisa Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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Abstract

The paper discusses a structured peer mentoring scheme for Early Career Academics
(ECAs) in Sociology during COVID-19 and post-Brexit, the pedagogical framework adopted
and programme challenges, benefits and learning. Internationally, structured peer mentoring
schemes for ECAs are sparse and discussions of 'what works' in the context of dedicated
peer mentoring programmes for ECAs are limited. This programme, designed and executed
by the Sociological Association of Ireland (SAI) and a professional mentoring trainer in 2022,
involved 8 peer mentors, all of whom were senior and mid-career academics and 10
mentees comprising PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. It encompassed formative
sessions for peer mentors and mentees and a final joint session, which took place online.
Subsequently, peer mentors facilitated online peer mentoring sessions, with mentees
supporting them to explore, plan and achieve their professional goals. The authors discuss
the pedagogical content and active methodologies adopted in relation to reflective practice
and knowledge-exchange, whilst illuminating that more investment in and research on
structured peer mentoring programmes in Higher Education can lead to better outcomes for
ECAs. We underline the potential of similar inter-professional mentoring schemes for ECAs
and key learning, which could benefit future programmes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalIrish Educational Studies
Early online date7 Jun 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2024

Keywords

  • Mentoring
  • Early Career Academics (ECAs)
  • Sociology
  • Peer Mentorship
  • peer mentoring
  • sociology

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