Introducing the Knowledge Translation (KT) mentoring scheme
Mentoring is one way for people working on KT projects or activities within Cochrane to learn from others with existing expertise and experience. Cochrane piloted a KT mentoring scheme in 2019-20 and you can read more about it here.
A second round of the mentoring scheme is now open for mentors and mentees and all applications are welcomed. Details about the scheme and how to apply are below.
What is the purpose of the mentoring scheme?
The mentoring scheme aims to connect people who are planning or running a KT project or activity within Cochrane (mentees) with people who have experience and knowledge of delivering KT activities or projects (mentors). Mentors will support their mentee in building their KT skills and expertise, and guide them in their activity or delivering their project.
Through a series of conversations with a mentor over a period of six to nine months, the aim is that the scheme will support the growth of the mentee’s KT skills and increase their confidence in delivering KT-related work.
Who is the scheme for?
Anyone in Cochrane who has a role in a specific Cochrane KT project or activity is eligible to apply to become a mentee.
Examples of Cochrane KT projects or activities include, but are not limited to:
- developing a KT strategy for your Cochrane group;
- planning and implementing the evaluation of your Cochrane knowledge translation work
- identifying key stakeholders for your Cochrane group and developing strategic partnerships with them;
- running a Cochrane prioritization process;
- strategies for involving consumers or other stakeholders in the development and dissemination of a Cochrane Review (co-production)
- creating a programme for your target audience to be able to build their capacity to use Cochrane evidence;
- developing and implementing a plan to produce user-friendly summaries of Cochrane Reviews in different languages.
The scheme is not designed to mentor authors through the process of completing a Cochrane Review.
If you are unsure whether your project is eligible to be included, please contact Karen Head.
If your application is successful, we will match you with a mentor based on the type of KT activity or project you are undertaking. We will also try to match you with someone who speaks your preferred language and is based in a compatible time zone. You will arrange with your mentor to meet for approximately 60 to 90 minutes per month.
There will be an optional online session to "meet" other mentees and to ask any questions before the mentoring begins.
Some of the mentees in the previous scheme have talked about their experiences in this Cochrane community blog.
Mentors can be from inside or outside of Cochrane and will volunteer their time and expertise for 60 to 90 minutes mentoring per month for up to nine months. Mentors will have experience of delivering KT projects and activities; however, they do not have to have expertise across all areas of knowledge translation. During the application process, potential mentors will be asked to say which areas they would be happy to mentor in. An online session to "meet" other mentors and to build or refresh mentoring skills will be available before the scheme for those mentors who want to attend.
How will the scheme work?
People interested in becoming a mentor or a mentee will be asked to complete online application forms. Mentees will need to complete the form by Wednesday 30th September and mentors by Friday 9th October.
We will use the applications to match mentors and mentees based on the type of KT work, language and time zone of the people involved. Once matched, mentors and mentees will each receive an information pack about the scheme, including advice on how the mentoring should run, where to get support, and your mentor / mentee contact information.
The scheme is "mentee led". This means that the mentee takes responsibility for initiating contact. Mentors are asked to respond in a timely manner.
The mentee will identify parts of the project / activity that they want support on. The mentor and mentee will talk through these parts, and the mentor will use their experience to provide advice, suggestions and guidance based on their expertise of delivering similar projects.
It’s likely that most mentoring will take place virtually; in other words, it will be through an online video conferencing platform such as Skype or Zoom. The mentor and mentee will arrange a time to talk for 60 to 90 minutes per month, and the scheme will run for about six to nine months, depending on the project.
We will evaluate the scheme to find out how people found the mentoring experience, how smooth the process was for them, and how we can improve future mentoring activities across Cochrane.
When is this happening?
The timelines for the mentoring scheme are as follows:
Online briefing sessions
- Tuesday 15th September, 08:00 (UK time)
- Tuesday 15th September, 16:00 (UK time)
- Thursday 24th September, 09:00 (UK time)
- Thursday 24th September, 16:00 (UK time)
- Applications open, Tuesday 1st September
- Applications close for mentees, Wednesday 30th September
- Applications close for mentors, Friday 9th October
- Mentors and mentees matched and notified, October 2020
- Initial (optional) orientation session for mentees, November 2020
- Initial (optional) training and orientation session for mentors, November 2020
- Mentoring begins, November 2020
- Evaluation, June-August 2021
There are information sheets available which provide additional information:
If you have any questions about the scheme, please contact Karen Head (Cochrane's KT Project Manager).
We would like to acknowledge the invaluable support this project has received from Lindsay Coomer (Mentoring Lead, University of York, UK) who provided guidance on running this mentoring scheme, and generously shared material to be adapted for our purposes.