23Things International – Engagement Mentor Opportunity

23 Things international – Engagement Mentor, University of Surrey

23 Things International is a unique collaboration between universities across the world, led by the University of Surrey. It’s an online learning programme that introduces researchers of any discipline and career stage to useful online tools and techniques to support their work and professional profile building.

In 2022 we had 550 participants from the Universities of Surrey, Cambridge, Royal Holloway and Swansea (UK), University College Dublin (IRL), Otago and Auckland University of Technology (New Zealand) and Avondale University (Australia), as well as the Africa Research Excellence Fund, and the Techne doctoral training partnership. For 2023 we also welcome Kings College London (UK) and the International College of Management (AUS), as well as guest institutions in Ireland and the USA.

One of the best parts of 23Things is that we put researchers from similar disciplines into ‘pods’, to instantly create connections around the world. It’s a chance to meet new people, work together on the tasks for each Thing, and dream up new collaborations beyond the programme.

This year we are delighted to recruit an Engagement Mentor, with the specific task of facilitating interaction within the pods, adding new content relevant to Techne researchers, and assisting with our small research project into participants’ experience. The mentor will be a Surrey PGR from any discipline.

As Engagement Mentor you will be responsible for devising and implementing strategies to help our pods communicate, making sure that initial contact takes off and each pod has a plan for how they want to meet. This could involve different online platforms. You will also be asked to give participants feedback and encouragement through the community forum, and to support other activities as needed.

Depending on your interest and agreed time commitment, you may also be involved in supplying content and resources for the blogs, and helping to run our participant feedback questionnaire and focus group. There may be opportunities to contribute to subsequent research outputs.

You will report to project lead Mike Rose (FASS FRIO / Doctoral College, University of Surrey) and will be part of the core organising committee. You will be offered full support and mentorship training.  

Start & end date of placement: The core period will be March-June 2023, over the 14-week duration of the programme. Depending on the mentor’s preference, they may get involved in the planning stages before this (from late February), or in the assessment and research, June-Aug 2023. 

Hours of work: Hours can be arranged to suit the individual mentor. During the 14-week programme we would anticipate around 8 hours/1 day per week supporting the pods; additional hours can be agreed for specific tasks.

The placement PGR will be paid via Unitemps at the usual GTA rate 2b5. (£16.14 per hour)

Because you will be working with ‘pods’ split over different time zones, some early morning / early evening meetings will be required.

Essential criteria:  the placement is open to all Surrey PGRs. It will suit researchers with an interest in fostering international collaborations, public engagement work, and mentoring.

No prior experience or knowledge is necessary, but the successful applicant will demonstrate an understanding of building team relationships, and the ability to give constructive feedback.

The role will be largely self-directed, so a proactive approach is crucial. Knowledge of some of the ‘Things’ will be helpful, but more important will be an interest in learning.

All of our project meetings are online, so you will need to have your own IT equipment and internet connection. No regular travel is required.

Depending on what is feasible during the programme, we may hold occasional in-person live events to supplement the online programme. You may be compensated for travel to these events if attending (but it would never be compulsory).

Expected project outcomes: the engagement mentor role is designed to promote greater connections within and between pods, allowing research relationships to flourish. 23Things is a growing project, with unique opportunities to contribute to its future shape. For the mentor, this is an opportunity to make connections internationally and across disciplines, with potential research publications, as well as developing new skills in mentoring, digital tools, and project management.

At the end of the placement we will ask the mentor to write a short report on their experience to inform future recruitment.

To apply, please send a short CV and cover letter to Mike Rose: M.Rose@surrey.ac.uk. The cover letter (max one page) should include a paragraph on how you see yourself contributing to the project.

Deadline: Applications must be submitted by 17th February 2022.

For further details, please contact Mike Rose: M.Rose@surrey.ac.uk