Research Mentors Program

The University of Melbourne Research Mentors Program was established in 2010 to help build research leadership and the research culture of the University and its Institutes through effective mentoring and related activities.

The aim of this elite Program is to provide outstanding research leaders in the University with the ideas, concepts, and tools to become more knowledgeable and effective mentors of their research staff and students. As such, the Program is like a series of Master Classes in the art and craft of research mentoring. An article about the Program (‘The Big Idea’) was published in the Melbourne Voice, February, 2011.

The Program, established and developed with the support of The CASS and Pratt Foundations, involves some of the most experienced research leaders and mentors in the university who work to support the program and its delivery overall. The Senior Mentors group includes:

Prof Sir Gustav Nossal Prof Bernadette McSherry Prof Lesley Stirling Prof Lyn Yates
Prof Janet Hergt Prof Leann Tilley Prof Bob Williamson Prof Barbara Howlett
Prof John McKenzie Prof David Macmillan Prof Leon Mann Prof James McCaw

Prof Kanta Subbarao

Prof John Haisken-Denew

Prof Thas Nirmalathas


How to Apply

Applications for the 2018 Program are now closed.


The Research Mentors Program runs as a series of 12 two hour Master Classes held on Wednesdays from 3.15 – 5.15pm throughout the year (usually the last Wednesday of the month), followed by refreshments at University House at 5.30pm. The 2018 program will commence with session 1 on 28 February.

The venue for 2018 will be Room G26, BioSciences Building 1 (map) [map link:]

Who is this Program for?

The Program is intended for staff who have mentoring experience and are responsible for supervising and mentoring research staff and students. Participants will normally hold Teaching and Research or Research-Only positions at Level D or E within the University and its affiliated Institutes.

The full set of dates for the 2018 program are:

February 28 May 9 August 15 October 17
March 28 May 30 August 29 October 31
April 18 July 25 September 19 November 28

The Program operates as a learning circle in which everyone is expected to participate and contribute to the monthly sessions. All participants in the Program will help develop the topic content and help plan and run sessions.

A condition of acceptance into the Program is a commitment by all participants to attend at least 10 of the 12 sessions and help plan and deliver two of those sessions in collaboration with members of the Senior Mentors group.

The program content is renewed each year.  As an indication, topics covered in the 2016-2017 Program were:

  • Being an Inspiring Mentor
  • The Mentoring Spectrum
  • Mentoring for Sparking the BIG Idea
  • Mentoring for Research Ethics and Etiquette
  • Mentoring for Team Building and Interdisciplinary Research
  • Mentoring for Management and Motivation of Staff
  • Mentoring for Resilience and Set-backs
  • Cross-cultural and International Aspects of Mentoring
  • Women Research Leaders and Equity in Mentoring
  • Why Mentoring Matters: Next Steps
  • Program Wrap Up


For general queries regarding the Research Mentors Program, and for assistance in applying for the program once applications open, please contact:

Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education
T: +61 3 8344 4605

For further details on participating in the program, you may contact members of the Steering Group: