NIHR creates a safe space for health-care professionals to kickstart their career in Research

Kristin Nankervis
Kristin Nankervis
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The Campaigns Group at NIHR came to Mentorloop looking for a system to help them set up a mentoring program to encourage and support health care professionals entering Research as a career development pathway. They were looking for a software that would help them run a time-limited mentoring program where research beginners were able to ask questions to more experienced researchers. The program, called Link and Learn, was part of the NIHR’s annual career development campaign, Your Path in Research.

Managed by Giuseppe Rella  and Lois Whitehead alongside working on other streams of the NIHR campaign , the program demanded an efficient, easy to use system that would empower and support participants to take ownership of their mentoring experience and, ultimately, their own career development. 

Welcoming unknown mentors and mentees to join, having a centralised space for them to connect was also really important to Giuseppe, for not only facilitating these mentoring connections, but also for measuring the impact of the program. 

Seamless onboarding

With such a positive objective behind the program, it comes as no surprise that it proved a very popular initiative, only requiring one week of active promotion online to recruit the target number of 100 Participants! 

The easy signup process eased the onboarding of the 100 people for Giuseppe and Lois , who, in turn, demonstrated how to build, launch and recruit for a program with such efficiency and organisation. Successfully having reached his target number of participants, sign ups were then closed and matching could begin! 

On joining the program, the Mentorloop resources and easy access to support gave participants immediate and ongoing guidance on how to use Mentorloop and be great mentors/mentees. 

An empowered approach to matching

When it came to finding them a match, Giuseppe opted for a Blended matching approach, which combined: 

  • Self matching: Aligning with the program’s purpose of empowering mentees to take ownership of their own career development, Self match took the pressure of the program coordinator to manually match everyone individually. 
  • Manual matching: having the capability to create Loops manually meant Giuseppe was able to step in and support people in finding a match as needed, and ensure the  program timelines were being met.

Once matched, mentors and mentees connected via their 1:1 loops on Mentorloop, which allowed them to easily schedule and launch meetings from within the app.  

Real-time Sentiment scores

The program structure and timelines meant that mentoring meetings were to take place within one month of the program launching. With that in mind, as well as a streamlined onboarding and matching process, having full visibility into the pulse of the program was essential to ensuring that mentoring was not only taking place, but that Participants were satisfied in their match. Mentorloop’s surveys and Sentiment page gave Giuseppe the real-time insight needed to be able to step in and course correct immediately, if required. 

With this information instantly available and updated in real-time, Giuseppe put together a well informed report of  the success of the program, which will play a key part in planning what the future holds for mentoring initiatives at NIHR. The program success is evident in the report, with an impressive overall Mentoring Quality Score of  4.53/5 and a match rate of 94%, and independent feedback surveys confirming an increase in mentee confidence regarding their next step in research.

NIHR used Mentorloop Pro for Your Path in Research to set their program up quickly and easily, without compromising on success. Find out more about our self-serve solution here.

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