UGR Mentoring Programme for doctoral students

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UGR Mentoring Programme for doctoral students

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Royal Decree 99/2011, which regulates doctoral studies, indicates the following in relation to training activities of doctoral students:

Article 4. Organisation of doctoral training. 1. Doctoral programmes will include research training that is not structured in ECTS credits and that will comprise both cross-disciplinary and specific training, although research will always be the primary activity of doctoral students. 2. Information on the organisation and monitoring of this training will be included in the doctoral programme validation report contained in Annex I of these regulations. This information will be part of the subsequent assessment for the accreditation renewal of doctoral programmes. 3. Training activities completed by the doctoral student will be included in the doctoral student's activity document referred to in Article 2.5.

As a result, this Mentoring Programme is designed to improve doctoral training by recognising as a training activity the counselling and support work provided by doctoral students to undergraduate and master's degree students. The main objective is: a) to help undergraduate and master's degree students develop their academic and research training through their undergraduate and master's dissertations, and b) to introduce doctoral students to leadership and mentoring tasks in the context of research initiation projects such as undergraduate and master's dissertations.

This programme seeks to formalise an activity that doctoral students have already been carrying out on a voluntary and informal basis: supporting the work of undergraduate and master's degree students whose dissertation topics are similar to their doctoral theses.

Under no circumstances may this programme replace the role of undergraduate or master's dissertation tutors, who must monitor the progress of their students. This programme is exclusively educational in nature and it is conceived to provide additional independent support to tutors of undergraduate and master's degree students. Therefore, the mentoring will in no case constitute a contractual relationship or have any other effects than those associated with a training activity carried out by junior research staff, as indicated in Royal Decree 99/11. The activity will be included in the doctoral student's activity document.

Additionally, mentoring contributes to the improvement of doctoral programmes that incorporate this activity into their academic offer. If a doctoral programme chooses to incorporate this activity, this will be reflected in its programme improvement plan and taken into account for future formal modifications of the doctoral programme.

  • Eligibility requirements

Doctoral students from the University of Granada can participate in this programme if their doctoral thesis proposal has been approved and if they have been registered for at least 12 months (full-time) or 20 months (part-time) on the same doctoral programme of the University of Granada, not counting temporary leaves.

These doctoral students can be mentors to one or more undergraduate or master's degree students per academic year, provided that the latter are registered for the undergraduate or master's dissertation course, as appropriate. The programme will be open throughout the academic year and mentoring can be requested in more than one academic year.

The University of Granada is particularly interested in mentoring international students whose mother tongue is not Spanish. In these cases, doctoral candidates are not required to speak the mentee's language, as the aim is to immerse students in Spanish language and culture. However, it is recommended to have at least some basic foreign language skills to facilitate communication. Doctoral students are also not required to have completed a three-month international stay, but it is highly recommended.

  • Activities to be carried out by mentors

Mentors will have a maximum load of 50 hours per academic year. These hours must be evenly distributed among all the mentees.

The tutor of the mentor must control the 50-hour limit by taking into account issues such as the number of ECTS credits of the undergraduate and master's dissertations. In terms of recognition, this programme has no other purpose than to serve as a doctoral student's activity. The completion of this programme will be included in the doctoral student's activity document and in no case will any ECTS credits be recognised.

All activities will be reported in advance to the undergraduate or master's dissertation tutors, as well as to the mentor's tutor and thesis supervisor.

Mentoring activities may include, among others, the following:

  1. Assisting undergraduate and master's degrees students with research tasks related to their dissertations.
  2. Providing training sessions for mentees on specific aspects of research, such as the use of specialised software and instrumental techniques, among others.
  3. Monitoring mentees regularly through individual and group meetings.
  4. Organising individual or group sessions to prepare for dissertation defences.
  5. Offering mentees training sessions on specific aspects of their postgraduate education, such as available master's degrees and doctoral programmes, grants, seminars, etc., as well as training activities and research tasks associated with doctoral studies at the University of Granada and other universities.
  • Applications and assessment

Doctoral students must submit their application through the Academic Monitoring Portal for Doctoral Students. Their application must include the names of the mentees, the degree programme they are enrolled in, the title of their dissertations and the expected defence date, as well as a brief description of the mentoring project for each mentee.

Applications must be signed by the doctoral student and the mentees, and they must have the approval of the dissertation tutors and the coordinator of the undergraduate or master's degree programme.

The coordinator of the doctoral programme, on behalf of the doctoral programme academic committee, will assess the viability of the application, which will be communicated to the doctoral student by the Doctoral Service. If the application is positively assessed, the Doctoral Service will include the activity in the doctoral student's activity document.

  • Application period

The application period will run until 30 April of each academic year. In no case will we accept applications requesting retroactive approval of mentoring activities.

  • Obligations of mentors

At the end of the annual activity, the doctoral student must submit a report of the activities carried out. Mentees must sign this report and their undergraduate or master's dissertation tutors must approve it. It must then be uploaded as an activity to the Academic Monitoring Portal for Doctoral Students, and the tutor of the doctoral student must assess it during the annual period for monitoring doctoral student activities.

This process may be repeated each academic year until the doctoral student receives their doctoral degree.

  • Benefits for students

The UGR Mentoring Programme for doctoral students is an excellent opportunity to expand the training of mentors and mentees, and to establish academic relationships among students at different levels of education.

Mentoring will be recognised as a training activity for the doctoral student and it will be included in their activity document with a load of up to 50 hours per academic year, provided that it has been positively assessed by the tutor and the doctoral programme coordinator of the doctoral student. Consequently, mentoring activities are planned to be carried out and assessed while the doctoral student is still registered on a doctoral programme and before the thesis is submitted and defended.

Mentoring activities approved in the doctoral student's activity document may help you obtain extra points for conference and translation funding programmes offered by the Doctoral Schools, as well as for international mobility programmes and research projects for young researchers of the Vice-Rectorates for Internationalization and Research and Knowledge Transfer, respectively.

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