Mentorship Programme

The Football Collective Mentorship programme

One of the main ideas around the creation of The Football Collective is to provide support networks for those researching football. Without doubt members of the The Football Collective have benefited from the informal networks, contacts and friendships that have developed both online and in person. We are conscious that the development of these informal networks will be easier for some rather than others; therefore we have created a slightly more formal approach to help people both access support and support others.

Under the leadership of Dr Paul Kitchin we have developed The Football Collective Mentorship programme. Further information on the mentorship programme is below, alongside the information required to become a mentee or mentor. One of the core values of this programme is respect. The programme is planned to be launched officially at our conference in Sheffield (November, 2019). This gives us time for people to express an interest and for positive mentee / mentor relationships to be matched. As such, once your express an interest expect a response closer to November 2019. Please read the details below and share with colleagues. This opportunity is for members only.

Broad aim:

To encourage and empower individuals to develop their professional capacities within the multidisciplinary academic fields of the Football Collective.

The following areas are relevant to this type of professional development advice:


Across all aspects of research, developing research outputs; research funding; research impact; networking; public engagement; working with industry etc.

Learning and Teaching

Support for developing pedagogies, advice on traversing the PGCerts in Higher Education Practice (or equivalent), FHEA or SFHEA applications, discussions on National Teaching Fellowship Scheme etc.


Advice in developing collegial leadership /collaborative roles: validation and re-validation panels, journal and book reviews, PhD supervision, international employment opportunities, external examining, VIVA examinations, service leadership, etc.

General Guidelines

  • Mentoring will be on a one-to-one basis
  • Respect is key for everyone involved in the mentorship programme
  • Each mentorship match will be for twelve-month period
  • Mentors and mentees meet a minimum of once every four months with meetings normally lasting 60/90 minutes (a session of the Football Collective conference for face-to-face meetings could be an option).
    • We will try to place people based on appropriateness, including geography, however online (i.e., Skype / WhatsApp video calls) options of communication may be utilised.

Mentee’s Role

The relationship between Mentor and Mentee is very much Mentee-centred. The expectation of the Mentee is to take ownership and drive the relationship, drawing on the Mentor’s knowledge and experience. The Mentees role is to seek guidance and constructive feedback on his/her career development.

Mentoring is not a passive activity. As a mentee, you play an important and active role in developing mentoring relationships with colleagues. Understanding that you, and not your mentors are ultimately responsible for your success, underscores the importance of driving your mentoring experience.

Mentee Responsibilities

  • Takes responsibility for keeping in regular contact with your mentor and actively participate in the relationship.
  • Assesses academic/ professional strengths, learning and development needs, values and short and long term development goals.
  • Develops a plan with mentor for achieving these goals.
  • Respects the mentor’s time.
  • Maintains confidentiality at all times.
  • Openly shares successes and failures.
  • Is receptive to feedback and coaching.
  • Takes advantage of opportunities presented by the mentor.

Mentor’s Role

While the relationship is mentee-centred a mentor must invest in the role you have been given in the development of your mentee. The focus of the discussions is led by the mentee in an area they deem as of most value to them, the importance of constructive feedback on their plans and ideas is paramount. Mentor’s play a valuable role in empowering their mentee, the time taken to provide constructive advice and not merely opinion takes time to prepare and time away from other tasks. This reflects the investment required, as such mentors should work with only one mentee at any time.

Mentor’s Responsibilities

  • Responds to mentee’s queries and actively participate in the relationship.
  • Reviews and provides direction on the mentee’s academic/ professional strengths, learning and development needs, values and short and long term development goals.
  • Advises on, and agrees a plan with mentee for achieving these goals.
  • Respects the mentee’s time.
  • Maintains confidentiality at all times.
  • Openly shares successes and failures.
  • Is constructive and supportive in their feedback and coaching.
  • Makes mentee aware of development opportunities that exist.

The ground rules for a mentoring partnership are:

Commitment – As a mentee I will openly discuss my research goals and experiences for the purpose of shared learning and career enhancement. As a mentor I agree to respect my mentee in regard to their independent goals.

Confidentiality – We agree to maintain the confidentiality of the person and experiences that we share with each other. Furthermore, we understand that we will both uphold the same standard of confidentiality.

Meeting times – at least once every four months for a period of twelve months

How to apply:

Interested Football Collective members are encouraged to complete the registration forms available on the Football Collective website. See below.

A google form is available for both prospective mentees and mentors:

The Football Collective Mentorship Programme is led by Dr Paul Kitchin t: @PaulKitchin_ e:

We are actively developing this new initiative, do not hesitate to offer suggestions or ideas to enhance the programme.