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Research Project on Recruitment Process in Reliance

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					Evaluation of the implementation of a pilot mentoring program
for early career researchers in allied health professions in the
ACT

                         Dr Coralie McCormack, University of Canberra
                                                           July 2008




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Contents


Executive
summary…………………………………………………………………………………….…3


Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………7


Program aims and expected
outcomes…………………………………………………….…………………………………7


Program
participants...…………….…….………………………………………………………………7


Program
structure.........................................................................................................................8


Evaluation
process...........................................................................................................................9
         Aims
         Evaluation questions
         Data sources


Evaluation
outcomes......................................................................................................................10
            1.          Outcomes
            2.          Processes
            3.          Relationships
            4.          Sustainability and transportability


Recommendations........................................................................................................33




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Executive summary

Program context

   In 2004, at a meeting of ACT allied health professionals to determine the barriers to
    research, a lack of mentoring was identified as a significant impediment to research activity
    in the allied health professions in the ACT.

   To meet this identified need, ACT Health, the ACT Health and Medical Research Council
    and the allied health disciplinary groups at the University of Canberra and the Australian
    Catholic University came together to initiate a mentoring program for early career allied
    health researchers in the ACT.

   A project management team was formed to oversee the development of a proposal and the
    implementation and evaluation of the pilot mentoring program.
        Karen Murphy, Allied Health Advisor, ACT Health, (Chair).
        Judy Stone, Inter Professional Learning Coordinator, Allied Health Adviser‘s Office,
        ACT Health.
        Associate Professor Gordon Waddington, Faculty of Health, University of Canberra.
        Dr Coralie McCormack, Senior Lecturer, Teaching and Learning Centre, University of
        Canberra.
        Giovanna Richmond, Lecturer, School of Social Work, Australian Catholic University.
        Katrina Milbourne, Manager, Workforce Policy and Planning Unit, ACT Health.
        David Robertson, Director, Workforce Strategy, Human Resource Management Branch,
        ACT Health.
        Joel Madden, Director, Organisational Development, Human Resource Management
        Branch, ACT Health.

   A ten-month pilot mentoring program for early career researchers in allied health
    professions in the ACT commenced in February 2007 and concluded at the end of
    November 2007.

   The program aimed to provide early career researchers with an opportunity to work on a
    research goal of their choice with the guidance and support of an experienced research
    adviser. The program sought to enhance mentees‘ research-related knowledge and skills,
    to begin to develop a research culture within the allied health professions in the ACT and to
    enhance mentees‘ research confidence and mentors‘ research satisfaction.

   The proposal document, copies of the communiqués and other program information is
    available at: http://www.health.act.gov.au/c/health?a=da&did=10113452&pid=1160963488.

   Eleven mentoring pairs began the program. Ten mentoring pairs completed the program.
    One mentee (and her mentor) withdrew in August due to a change in work location and
    responsibilities of the mentee.


Evaluation context

   The evaluation of the pilot mentoring program investigated two questions: What was the
    experience of mentors and mentees in the pilot program? and How effective was the
    mentoring program for mentors and mentees in relation to the process of implementation,
    and the achievement of program outcomes? The evaluation was approved by the University
    of Canberra Committee for Ethics in Human Research.




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   Pre-program, within-program and post-program evaluation data from mentors, mentees and
    the project management team was reported across five dimensions: outcomes, processes,
    relationships, sustainability and transportability.
Evaluation outcomes

   Key findings: program outcomes
       Mentees
         Felt the program met their expectations
         Learnt about research from their mentors
         Increased their research-related knowledge and skills
         Gained confidence in doing research
         Made connections with other allied health early career researchers as well as with
           experienced researchers
         Finding time to complete their research projects was difficult for all mentees
         Finding time became particularly difficult when lack of workplace support for
           program participation meant all or most of that time had to be found in life spaces
           outside the work day.
       Mentors felt
         The program met their expectations
         Their mentee had gained research-related knowledge and skills
         Confident about being a mentor
         Being a mentor had been a valuable experience eliciting both personal and
           professional benefits.
       ACT Health and the University of Canberra
         Both mentees and mentors identified benefits for ACT Health and for the University
           of Canberra
         Mentees‘ projects impacted positively and directly on the quality of patient care
         Mentees felt the benefits of their participation in the program would extend beyond
           the life of the program.


   Key findings: program processes
       The initial workshop was the element of the program structure that most helped
        mentors and their mentee construct a successful working relationship
       For those mentees able to attend, the professional development workshops were a
        highlight of the program
       The end-of-program lunch was valued for the opportunity it provided to hear what
        others had accomplished.


   Key findings: program relationships
       Relationships with their mentors and the outcomes of those relationships were positive
        for all except one mentee
       Most mentors agreed that they had developed a constructive working relationship with
        their mentee
       Program recruitment is most likely to be successful if undertaken using a variety of
        approaches
       Mentors and mentees agreed the brokering process employed to form the mentoring
        partnerships was successful.




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   Key findings: program sustainability and transportability
       Sustainability will be enhanced by retention of the following program elements:

                 current brokering model for matching mentors and mentees
                 structured nature of the program including the initial workshop, the ‗during
                  program‘ check-ins, the professional development workshops and the celebration
                  of program outcomes
                 credibility of the program provided by the clear support for participation and
                  valuing of research by ACT Health and the University of Canberra.
       Additional investments required to sustain the program:

               Active support from workplace supervisors for mentee and mentor program
                participation
               A permanent full-time position of Allied Health Research Adviser (a conjoint
                position 0.5 funding by ACT Health and 0.5 funding by University of Canberra)
               Establishment and maintenance of a pool of mentors keen to participate in the
                program
               Introduction of more health disciplines (as mentors and mentees) over subsequent
                offerings of the program
               Increased participant interaction during the program
               Development of a dissemination plan for research outcomes of mentors and
                mentees to ensure these outcomes benefit the wider health community (within
                ACT and beyond).
       The program elements that encourage sustainability also contribute to successful
        transportability to other health contexts.


Recommendations

   On the basis of evaluation evidence it is recommended that the mentoring program for early
    career researchers in allied health professions in the ACT continue beyond the pilot phase.
    Key findings across five dimensions — outcomes, processes, relationships, sustainability
    and transportability — suggest recommendations in relation to: program administration and
    funding, program recruitment, matching mentors and mentees, program maintenance and
    dissemination of program achievements and outcomes.

    Program administration and funding
               Establish a small motivated, committed and connected management group to drive
                the process and the program.
               Form an inter professional reference group to support the management group.
               Elicit program funding from a ‗package‘ of health stakeholders to reflect a ‗whole of
                person‘ perspective on health.

    Program recruitment
               Open the program to all health professionals.
               Introduce the program to new staff as part of their orientation to employment with
                ACT Health.
               Ensure ACT Health and the University of Canberra‘s commitment to the program is
                visible in all recruitment activities.




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      Continue to use a variety of approaches to recruit mentors and mentees, however,
       consider more face-to-face contact to recruit mentors.
      Include professional development incentives for mentors.

Matching mentors and mentees
      Establish an expertise database of potential mentors and mentees to facilitate
       matching.
      Retain the current brokering model for matching mentors and mentees.
      Continue to balance mentees‘ needs for both topic knowledge and research-related
       skills and knowledge in the matching process.

Program maintenance
      Fund a conjoint position of Allied Health Research Adviser, 0.5 funding by ACT
       Health and 0.5 funding by University of Canberra.
      Retain the three key structural elements of the program: the initial workshop, the
       participant telephone check-ins and the final celebration.
      Increase participants‘ interactions during the program.
      Provide opportunities for past program participants to join in the activities of the
       current program to continue to grow the research network.
      Improve mentees‘ desktop access to research-related resources.
      Ensure mentees are aware of, and feel welcome to participate in, relevant
       University of Canberra research education program events.
      Written agreement between ACT Health and workplace managers to guarantee
       regular and reasonable work-time for the mentee to undertake research.
      Mentees‘ workplace performance agreement to include guaranteed research time.

Dissemination of program achievements and outcomes
      Develop a dissemination plan for participants‘ research outcomes and
       achievements.
      Increase program visibility during the program through regular publicity about the
       program across health communities in the ACT and region and through increased
       opportunities for formal presentation of mentees‘ and mentors‘ research progress
       during the program.
      Provide incentives for mentees and mentors to publish together and to present their
       research on a regional and national stage.




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Introduction

In 2004, at a meeting of ACT allied health professionals to determine the barriers to
research, a lack of mentoring was identified as a significant impediment to research activity
in the allied health professions in the ACT. To meet this identified need, ACT Health, the
ACT Health and Medical Research Council and the allied health disciplinary groups at the
University of Canberra and the Australian Catholic University came together to initiate a
mentoring program for early career allied health researchers in the ACT.

In 2006, a project management team was formed to oversee the development of a proposal
and the implementation and evaluation of the pilot mentoring program.
        Karen Murphy, Allied Health Advisor, ACT Health, (Chair).
        Judy Stone, Inter Professional Learning Coordinator, Allied Health Adviser‘s Office,
        ACT Health.
        Katrina Milbourne, Manager, Workforce Policy and Planning Unit, ACT Health.
        David Robertson, Director, Workforce Strategy, Human Resource Management
        Branch, ACT Health.
        Joel Madden, Director, Organisational Development, Human Resource Management
        Branch, ACT Health.
        Associate Professor Gordon Waddington, Faculty of Health, University of Canberra.
        Dr Coralie McCormack, Senior Lecturer, Teaching and Learning Centre, University of
        Canberra.
        Giovanna Richmond, Lecturer, School of Social Work, Australian Catholic University.

A ten-month pilot mentoring program for early career researchers in allied health professions
in the ACT commenced in February 2007 and concluded at the end of November 2007.


Program aim and expected outcomes

The program aimed to provide early career researchers in the allied health professions in the
ACT with an opportunity to work on a research goal of their choice with the guidance and
support of an experienced research adviser. The program sought to enhance mentees‘
research-related knowledge and skills, to begin to develop a research culture within the allied
health professions in the ACT and to enhance mentees‘ research confidence and mentors‘
research satisfaction. The proposal document is available at:

        http://www.health.act.gov.au/c/health?a=da&did=10113452&pid=1160963488.


Program participants

Expressions of interest were received from 24 allied health professionals (12 potential
mentors and 12 potential mentees). One mentor withdrew their expression of interest due to
work commitments. One mentee could not be matched with an appropriate mentor. Eleven
mentoring pairs began the program.

Mentees were allied health professionals who self-identified as early career researchers. For
the purposes of this program early career researchers could include professionals who:
               might not see themselves as researchers (are doing research but don‘t class
                it as research)
               have only recently focused on research and would like additional support




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                 are recent PhD graduates who would like to publish from their research or
                  seek postdoctoral opportunities
                 are current or prospective research students.

Mentees came from seven areas of allied health: social work, occupational therapy, speech
pathology, podiatry, physiotherapy, radiation therapy and pharmacology (Table 2, Appendix
3). Most had an undergraduate degree (Table 4, Appendix 3) and had been employed as
allied health professionals for more than five years (Table 3, Appendix 3).

Most mentees had little research experience as indicated by the comments of three of the
mentees participating in the post-program interview (Appendix 16):

            I have no experience in research, my area is clinically based. (mentee
            interviewee 1)

            None really, except what I had at uni which was just putting together
            articles around a topic to support a treatment we were doing. (mentee
            interviewee 2)

            Pretty much zilch…I have reviewed journal articles in the past…but I
            didn’t do any research as such, never had the time. (mentee interviewee
            4)

Four mentees had limited research experience (for two mentees, that experience had
occurred over ten years ago). For example, one mentee had completed an honours program
and another mentor had partially completed a masters degree or, as described by interview
mentee 3, they had some research experience but were not confident in their research skills.

            I had some support a few years ago to begin to develop a research
            project based on some earlier work I’d done…I developed an ethics
            application with this support…then it stopped there…I wasn’t feeling
            confident about research at the beginning of the program, didn’t feel like
            I had the skills that would stand up in today’s research climate. (mentee
            interviewee 3)

Mentors self-identified as experienced health researchers. They were employed at the
University of Canberra, The Australian National University and the Australian Catholic
University (Table 9, Appendix 3).

All mentors who participated in a post-program interview were experienced researchers who
had completed doctoral studies. Most were currently academic staff balancing teaching,
research and clinical practice. For one mentor research was part of their day to day work: I
usually have at least one or two research projects going that interact with my clinical work and
then I’m also working with a variety of other researchers in all aspects of research…research
is a big part of what I do (Mentor 4). Mentors described themselves as quantitative
researchers rather than qualitative researchers, though one mentor with medical and a lot of
analytical research in the past was now moving more into social research areas with other
collaborative groups (Mentor 5). For another their research student experience had used both
qualitative and quantitative approaches (Mentor 3).

Ten mentoring pairs completed the program. One mentee (and her mentor) withdrew in
August due to a change in work location and responsibilities of the mentee.


Program structure




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The program required the mentee to set an achievable research related goal to be completed
over the 10 months of the program. The mentee chose what they aimed to achieve with the
support of the mentor and then received on-going support and guidance to achieve their goal.

The structure and timing of the ‗core‘ program elements was as follows:

Pre-program
       marketing the program, including face-to-face information sessions, emails, a website
       and word of mouth (November-December 2006)
       participant submission of an expression of interest form (November-December 2006)
       matching mentors and mentees (January 2007)

Program (February-November 2007)
      initial workshop, including pre-program questionnaire (February 2007)
      mentoring partnership meetings (including two telephone ‗check ins‘)
      on-going professional development workshops (six workshops, 1.5 hours for each)

Completion of program
      celebration of achievements, including end-of-program questionnaire (December
2007)
      post-program interview (March-April 2008)


Evaluation process

The evaluation of the pilot mentoring program was approved by the University of Canberra
Committee for Ethics in Human Research.

The evaluation sought to:
        Ensure program accountability
        Assess effectiveness of pilot program processes
        Assess extent of achievement of pilot program outcomes
        Explore mentors‘ experience of the pilot program
        Explore mentees‘ experience of the pilot program
        Explore the effectiveness of mentoring partnerships for the mentor and mentee
        Improve program processes and outcomes
        Make recommendations for the on-going implementation of the mentoring program.

Two questions guided the evaluation process: What was the experience of mentors and
mentees in the pilot program? and How effective was the mentoring program for mentors and
mentees in relation to the process of implementation, and the achievement of program
outcomes?

Evaluation data was gathered from mentors, mentees and the project team using a variety of
methods. The table below presents the number of participants contributing to each data
source.

                              Data source                            Number of participants

 Mentors and mentees

    Mentor expression of interest                                             12

    Mentee expression of interest                                             12*



                                                                                              9
    Mentor pre-program questionnaire                                                    10

    Mentee pre-program questionnaire                                                    11

    Mentor & mentee during program telephone conversation 1                  11 mentees, 11 mentors

    Mentor & mentee during program telephone conversation 2                  11 mentees, 9 mentors

    Mentor post-program questionnaire                                                   9

    Mentee post-program questionnaire                                                   9

    Mentor post-program interview                                                       5

    Mentee post-program interview                                                       6

 Project team

    Pre-program checklist                                                               4

    Post-program reflections                                                            5

 Core program element: workshops

    Initial workshop                                                                    22

    Final workshop                                                                     11* *
* Only six mentors completed an expression of interest form. ** in addition, 3 mentees who could not
attend forwarded written feedback

Mentors and mentees completed an anonymous pre-program questionnaire at the beginning
of the initial workshop and an end-of-program questionnaire on completion of the final
workshop.

During the program mentors and mentees participated in two confidential telephone
conversations (check-ins) with the program officer. Themes emerging from these
conversations were reported anonymously. No comments by individuals were recorded.

Approximately three months after program completion, a confidential in-depth interview was
undertaken with each mentor and each mentee who volunteered to participate. Interviews
lasted between 30 minutes and one hour. (See Appendix 14 for a description of the interview
sample.)

The project team completed a self-reflection checklist prior to the initial workshop. Following
program completion individual team members reflected on the program and forwarded their
reflections to the program evaluator. The project team members participated in a group
reflection session three months after program completion.

Core program elements, such as the initial and final workshops, were evaluated using
structured participant feedback questionnaires. Feedback was collected from participants at
three points during the initial workshop: immediately following the morning presentations,
immediately following the afternoon partnership meetings and at the close of the workshop.
Feedback was collected throughout the final workshop.

A description of each of the evaluation dimensions is included in Appendix 1. Appendix 2 lists
the sources of information and the methods contributing data to each of the evaluation
dimensions. Data from each of the above sources is included in Appendices 3 to 17.


Evaluation outcomes

This section of the report addresses the research questions:


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      1. What was the experience of mentors and mentees in the pilot program? and
      2. How effective was the mentoring program for mentors and mentees in relation to the
         process of implementation, and the achievement of program outcomes?

Evidence addressing these questions is presented under four headings.
      1.   Outcomes
      2.   Processes
      3.   Relationships
      4.   Sustainability and transportability
1.         Program outcomes
Under this dimension the extent of the achievement of program outcomes, that is, the aims,
benefits and expected outcomes, is investigated through an analysis of mentor and mentee
program expectations and experiences and through mentees‘ perceptions of the contribution
of the program to their research futures. The following summary in relation to program
outcomes is drawn from the evidence presented in Appendices 3, 5, 12, 13, 15 and 16.


1.1        Outcomes for mentees
Increased research-related knowledge and skills, increased confidence in doing research and
enhanced research connections were the key program outcomes for mentees. These
outcomes are illustrated for six individual participants in the table below. The first column
records their expectation of the program and the second column their achievement in relation
to this expectation.

                    Expectation                                              Achievement
Gain research-related knowledge and skills

I hoped it would give me an idea of how to start         I didn‘t actually enjoy research before doing the
doing research…how to read a journal article             program…but the program certainly made doing
properly, know what to look for, know what               research easier, I learnt where to look, key words to
statistics were…how to go about research rather          use, it really defined the research skills a lot better
than coming out with something at the end. My            and helped me figure out what was a good level of
goal was to find out how to read a journal article       evidence…is that study dodgy?...makes you think
and know if it was good evidence or not.                 about writing up your case studies.

...what I wanted to do was to use that information       It was personally helpful for me to see what was
to translate that data into some acceptable              involved in research…a good thing to get an
format that could then be published…I knew               appreciation of what people go through when they
what I wanted to do but not how to turn it into          do research and it was good to look at what I do
research.                                                objectively…I had to document my reasoning
                                                         processes…it was great…

Gain research confidence

I wasn‘t feeling confident about research at the         ...gave me time, direction, support, encouragement,
beginning of the program, didn‘t feel like I had         confidence and clarity about what to do and how to
the skills that would stand up in today‘s research       do it…that‘s pretty wonderful!... I am feeling more
climate.                                                 confident about my ability to do qualitative research.

I have to evaluate what I do…I have to do some           ...if I‘d been twenty years younger I would have had
research on the success of the program that I            a whole new career if I had these opportunities as a
run…I felt that if I do it well and I set it up with a   young person…it has given me the confidence to
data entry point for people to follow me then            set up something that someone else can pick up the
there‘s a good chance that it will continue and          ball and run with... the mentoring program gave me
that funding will continue …                             the confidence to talk at the Allied Health
                                                         Symposium about how I failed and what I learnt.

Make connections




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I saw it as a way to break free from the day to       I had the chance to meet people outside my
day clinical experience of my job and to do it in a   profession and other people in the program. I‘m now
structured way rather than being out there by my      feeling part of something bigger…the allied health
self not knowing what to do.                          community.

How to network with others in my field                ...gave me the courage to talk to a lot more people
                                                      that I wouldn‘t have contacted before, people I
                                                      respect and admire in the area and asking for
                                                      advice…I got inspired to engage and have
                                                      conversations with people that I would not have
                                                      done before.
Gain research-related knowledge and skills
Mentees began the program with an interest in, and a desire to do research and a desire to
increase their research-related skills and knowledge. All mentees felt they would like to learn
about research from an experienced researcher (Appendices 3 & 5). A desire to be
challenged through research and to move beyond the confines of clinical practice also
motivated some mentees to volunteer to participate in the program (Appendix 16).

       I was looking for a bit more to my career than just showing up every day…so
       when the email about the program came around it seemed to fit in with the
       direction I was taking…I saw it as a way to break free from the day to day
       clinical experience of my job and to do it in a structured way rather than
       being out there by my self not knowing what to do. It was a vehicle to get
       involved in research. (mentee 1)

       I was a year out of uni and a bit bored. My brain was at the point where it
       wasn’t stimulated any more. I hoped it would give me an idea of how to start
       doing research…how to read a journal article properly, know what to look
       for, know what statistics were…how to go about research rather than coming
       out with something at the end. My goal was to find out how to read a journal
       article and know if it was good evidence or not…met my expectations.
       (mentee 2)

       I was interested in developing research projects of a particular type…in
       action research, don’t see myself divorced from the coalface…wanted to do
       qualitative research. (mentee 3)

       I was inspired by the way the mentoring program was advertised…that a lot
       of clinicians have a lot of data sitting on their desks and they want to
       translate that data into knowledge that could be shared with the field. That
       was what interested me most…so what I wanted to do was to use that
       information to translate that data into some acceptable format that could
       then be published. (mentee 5)

Some mentees sought information about the research process in general; I knew what I
wanted to do but not how to turn it into research (Appendix 16, mentee 5). Others sought
particular research knowledge or skills. Table 8 (Appendix 3) lists the specific skills and
knowledge mentees expected to gain during the program.

During the telephone ‗check-ins‘ mentees reported increased skills in conducting literature
reviews, writing ethics applications, library searches and using software applications,
improvements in approaching methodology with rigour, realistic goals and ‗big picture‘ issues
as well as self care and work life balance support (Appendix 9). Mentees commented that the
setting of realistic goals was key to successful progress and most mentees stated that the
mentors had been very influential in helping set a realistic agenda for their chosen activity.

Mentees who attended the end-of-program celebration reported that they had learned and
experienced (Appendix 10).
          Writing an ethics application.


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         Submitting and successfully achieving ethics approval.
         Writing an abstract for a conference presentation.
         Presenting their research at a conference, including a poster presentation.
         Using their newly acquired knowledge to teach colleagues through in-house
          training programs.
         Delivery of community services which would otherwise not have been delivered,
          for example, a 12 month follow-up of new parents and an evaluation of the new
          parenting group program.
         Turning a ‗good practice‘ idea into a research project to provide evidence to
          support practice ideas and their dissemination beyond the initial context.
         Design of a research project.
         Statistical analysis of data.
         The use of a peer review process for validating research.
         Leadership in a research team.

All of the mentees‘ who responded to the end-of-program questionnaire agreed they had
increased their research-related knowledge and skills (Appendix 12). In addition, comparison
of individual mentees‘ questionnaire responses pre and post program indicated that, for the
seven mentees where matching questionnaires could be analysed, all mentees who felt they
would like to increase their research-related knowledge and skills prior to participation in the
program reported that on completion of the program they had achieved this outcome.
Similarly, all the mentees who expected to learn about research from their mentor reported
that they felt they had achieved this aim (Appendix 13).

Reflecting on their participation in the program (Appendix 16) mentees felt they benefited
through the acquisition of research-related knowledge and skills such as setting manageable
goals (mentee1 and mentee 3) and developing a research plan and keeping on track (mentee
3). The following comments illustrate some of the specific research-related skills developed
during the program.

      …practical experience with surveys was a major contribution. (mentee 1)

      I didn’t actually enjoy research before doing the program…but the program
      certainly made doing research easier, I learnt where to look, key words to
      use, it really defined the research skills a lot better and helped me figure out
      what was a good level of evidence…is that study dodgy?...makes you think
      about writing up your case studies. (mentee 2)

      I learnt about honing in, not taking on something that’s too big, focusing on
      something that is manageable and doable…and how essential it is to be
      clear about what you are going to do…without a mentor there would have
      been times when my attention would have got diverted to other things.
      (mentee 3)

      I would not have learnt about surveys and design without the program. I got
      more comfortable with numbers…I now know that number crunching can be
      flawed. (mentee 4)

      It was personally helpful for me to see what was involved in research…it is
      such a big thing…you have to have a passion and resources…a good thing
      to experience that and get an appreciation of what people go through when
      they do research and it was good to look at what I do objectively…I had to
      document my reasoning processes…it was great… and it was helpful for
      succession planning here too…it was nice to have gone through this




                                                                                              13
      experience…the ups and the downs and all…lots of aspects were helpful.
      (mentee 5)

Feedback from the telephone ‗check-ins‘ noted the speed with which some mentees gained
research-related skills and knowledge through the mentoring (Appendix 9). Some mentees
reported that they believed that they were years ahead now by being able to focus on specific
gaps in knowledge/skills. By the second telephone ‗check-in‘ in July/August, the majority of
participants saw ‗success‘ in terms of their own progress with their research projects.


Gained confidence in doing research
Confidence in doing research increased during the program. Prior to participating in the
program, all mentees (except one who neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement) did
not feel confident about doing research (Appendix 5).

During the telephone ‗check-ins‘ there was overwhelming acknowledgment that the
mentor/mentee contact had increased the mentees‘ confidence in research knowledge and
methodology and for some had also validated the skills that they already had in inquiry and
research (Appendix 9). The majority of mentees stated that they were gaining confidence in
their role as practitioner / researcher, generally being more confident in talking about research
and involving others both internally and externally. Most mentees reported an increase in their
confidence in being able to talk to their teams and workplaces about research and involving
their peers in taking an interest in the project. In addition some participants gained confidence
(through the knowledge and supportive relationship of their mentor) in presenting and
negotiating their way through research bureaucracy which was for some initially, a daunting
and negative experience.

At the end of the program, all mentees (except one who neither agreed nor disagreed with the
statement) agreed that they felt more confident about doing research (Appendix 12).
Comparison of individual mentees‘ questionnaire responses pre and post program indicated
that, for the seven questionnaires where matching questionnaires could be analysed, all
seven mentees gained confidence in doing research during the program (Appendix 13).

The achievement of this outcome was supported by mentees reflections on the program
outcomes three to four months after completing the program. In these conversations,
mentees reported that their acquisition of research-related skills and knowledge was
complemented by an increase in their research confidence.

      I think the program gave me time, direction, support, encouragement,
      confidence and clarity about what to do and how to do it…that’s pretty
      wonderful!... I am feeling more confident about my ability to do qualitative
      research…and more of it would be good. (mentee 3)

      Mentoring program gave me the confidence to talk at the Allied Health
      Symposium about how I failed and what I learnt. (mentee 4)

      It gave me confidence to engage in discussions about research. (mentee 6)

At the start of the program a majority of mentees felt doing research was overwhelming
(Appendix 5). At the end of the program, the number of mentees who felt like this had
decreased (Appendix 12). Nearly the same number of mentees felt doing research was
overwhelming as felt it was not overwhelming at the end of the program.

For those mentees who continued to feel overwhelmed, time to do their research seemed to
be the prime factor contributing to this feeling: I have learnt a lot but it still feels overwhelming
because research requires a lot of additional time (Appendix 12).

Mentees‘ energy levels for doing research increased over the program. With only one
exception, all mentees felt energised to continue to do research at the end of the program
(Appendix 12).


                                                                                                   14
Making connections
When given the opportunity to reflect on the outcomes of the program at the post-program
interviews mentees identified personal development and professional benefits for themselves
which included the opportunity provided by the program to make professional connections
across ACT Health and with University of Canberra staff.

      I had the chance to meet people outside my profession and other people in
      the program. I’m now feeling part of something bigger…the allied health
      community. (mentee 1)

      I liked the variety of people across ACT Health and the University so you
      weren’t limited to working with the people you worked with all the time.
      (mentee 2)

      Having access to networks was a key benefit. …the contacts were fantastic.
      Having access to UC people…you never know when you’ll need those sort
      of resources and just knowing they are there if you’ve got a question, you
      can just ring up or send an email and ask them, that’s just invaluable…it’s
      quite nurturing, it’s a really lovely thing. (mentee 4)

      That connection with academics was terrific…that completely different way
      of thinking …bridging the gap between the uni and the hospital was one of
      the greatest outcomes of the program…overall it was a great
      idea…particularly in terms of connecting people…a good move forwards.
      (mentee 5)

      I wouldn’t hesitate to call people from the mentoring program…seeing other
      people who wanted to do research like me, that was great…it was lovely to think
      I’m not the only ‘mad’ clinician who thinks it would be nice to do some research.
      (mentee 6)

Mentees‘ pre-program feelings about research isolation showed no clear pattern (Appendix
5). While most mentees felt they did not have many people that they could discuss their
research career with most neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement that ‗I feel isolated
as a researcher‘. An equal number of participants felt isolated as a researcher and not
isolated as a researcher. Some mentees felt part of an allied health research community in
the ACT, a few felt they were not part of such a network and others neither agreed nor
disagreed with the statement that ‗I feel part of an allied health research community in the
ACT‘.

For some mentees, participation in the program reduced their sense of isolation (Appendix
12). At the end of the program twice as many mentees disagreed with the statement that ‗I
feel isolated as a researcher‘ as agreed with this statement, whereas at the beginning of the
program, the number of mentees agreeing and disagreeing with this statement was equal. For
example:

      This program allowed me an opportunity for interdisciplinary research and to
      recognise and be better informed about the roles of other allied health
      professionals in the other areas of research activity undertaken in the ACT.
      (Appendix 12)

Most mentees agreed that they now know other allied health professionals doing research
(Appendix 12).


1.2     Outcomes of the program for mentors




                                                                                            15
As they began the program all of the mentors felt confident about doing research and about
being a mentor. They expected to learn more about doing research and to contribute to the
research career of their mentee. All the mentors felt that being a mentor would be a valuable
experience for them. Research was something that was very important to them. A majority felt
energised to undertake research and expected to enhance their communication skills during
the program (Appendix 5).

As for the mentees, mentors‘ feelings about research isolation showed no clear pattern prior
to beginning the program. Nearly as many mentors agreed with the statement ‗I don‘t have
many people that I can discuss my research with‘ as disagreed with this statement. Only three
mentors felt part of the allied health community in the ACT but five mentors said they did not
feel isolated as a researcher (Appendix 5).

Mentors expected to support their mentees to develop research-related knowledge and skills
and to assist them to enhance their research networks (Appendix 15). Some mentors also
expected to broaden their own research network.

      A good way for me, being based at the university, to make contact with other
      health professionals. (Appendix 15, Mentor 2).

      …the university can network with ACT Health…we need to integrate our
      interventions across all disciplines, so this was a great opportunity to do that
      and also to find out what other people were doing in the local
      area…opportunity to link our students with other allied health
      professionals…so networking was important as well as research. (Appendix
      15, Mentor 5)

On completion of the program most mentors reported that the program had met their
expectations, that they had enjoyed the experience and continued to feel confident about
being a mentor. All except one felt their expertise was valued by their mentee and that they
had developed a constructive working relationship with their mentee. Most felt they had
contributed to the research career of their mentee (Appendix 12). Over the ten months of the
program mentors felt they had supported their mentees to (Appendix 15):

    1. Gain research knowledge and skills. Scoping the research project was a common
    activity across partnerships:

      …it was too big, too many unknowns so we cut it down and developed smaller
      goals. (Mentor 2)

      The first couple of months almost was bringing the mentee back down to
      earth…reducing the scope of the project, putting it in scientific terms…try to
      dampen down enthusiasm but not lose it. (Mentor 4)

    Mentors and mentees also brainstormed ideas; framed research questions; determined
    and defined long and short term objectives and outcome measures. Mentees learnt how
    to do a literature review, how to use library databases and specific software. Mentors also
    shared insider research information acquired through their experience of being
    researchers.

    2. Manage research projects including setting ground rules and timelines and negotiating
    boundaries.

    3. Undertake specific research-related tasks the most common being to complete an
    ethics application. Other outcomes included documenting clinical processes; writing a
    literature review to a publishable standard; evaluating a program and writing up the
    evaluation in a formal report; refining a survey and analysing the data; an application for
    funding to further the outcomes of the mentee‘s research; and presenting at the Allied
    Health Symposium or to colleagues through in-service sessions. One mentee has
    subsequently enrolled in a Masters by coursework with a research component.



                                                                                              16
Particular examples of these research-related benefits for their mentee recalled by mentors
during the post-program interview (Appendix 15) were:

      At the start she thought you could just start a research project without doing
      reading…came to realise that reading is not as daunting as what she first
      thought. (Mentor 2)

      For the mentee it got her thinking about research and enthusiastic to do
      more research so could be on a path to a clinical research career. (Mentor 3)

      She was passionate but not confident to disseminate the information…oh
      yes, she’s confident now. She now has a publishable project which before
      [the program] it wouldn’t have been. She has set in place an on-going data
      collection…and now she’s collecting data that’s publishable…she had been
      doing the study before but hadn’t collected the right sort of data to be able to
      ask appropriate research questions and get it published…she recognised
      she had to ask the questions differently…it made her think about her
      practice as well by challenging her to think about how she would empower
      her intervention to change her practice. (Mentor 5)

      The program provides a way for mentees who want to do research, and
      have data, to get support to do research and to write up data. (Mentor 1)

Most mentors‘ energy for research remained unchanged during the program, though two
mentors did feel more energised to undertake research on completion of the program. Four
mentors felt they had enhanced their communication skills during the program while the
remainder neither agreed nor disagreed with this statement (Appendix 12).

While four mentors felt they knew more allied health professionals doing research after
participating in the program, the same number felt they did not know more researchers. At the
end of the program most mentors neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement ‗I feel part
of an allied health research community in the ACT‘ and two mentors continued to feel isolated
as a researcher (Appendix 12).

Mentors felt that being a mentor had been a valuable experience. Six of the nine mentors who
completed the post-program questionnaire felt they would like to be a mentor in the next allied
health mentoring program (Appendix 12).

Mentor‘s experience of the program elicited personal-professional benefits (Appendix 15).

      It will help in my promotion prospects. It has broadened my experience
      beyond just supervising UC students in my field… it will also contribute to my
      ongoing expertise as a researcher. (Mentor 1)

      Increased my awareness of research tools. (Mentor 2)

      …seeing the mentee develop her research skills was most pleasing thing.
      (Mentor 3)

      I learnt things along the way…not to make too many assumptions about a
      person’s strengths or weaknesses…something I can put on my CV…another
      step towards more formal supervision. (Mentor 4).

      …made me rethink how I think about how I conduct myself as a mentor and
      it was good for me, I learnt a lot…all about barriers and facilitators in
      particular population groups. (Mentor 5)




                                                                                              17
The program did not meet the expectations of one mentor. One mentor did not feel their
research expertise was valued by their mentee. They felt they had not contributed to the
research career of their mentee (Appendix 12).


1.3       Outcomes for ACT Health and the University of Canberra
All mentors saw both the potential of the program to support allied health professionals as
early career researchers and the potential benefits for the allied health community.

      I believe the values that the program has are important particularly in the
      ACT but also in the wider health community. I think it’s important to
      encourage allied health professionals to evaluate what they are doing and
      have a knowledge of research so that they can better evaluate what they are
      actually doing and hopefully that will lead directly to better patient outcomes
      and a better health system, a more robust, efficient and safe health system. I
      think that’s probably what I saw could be achieved with this program…if it
      continues that has a lot of potential to be built on. (Appendix 15, Mentor 2)

      I had been in the same position as mentees… When I was working for ACT
      Health staff often talked about doing research (they had data) but it wasn’t
      possible; time (as full time clinicians it is hard to find time) and lack of
      research skills being constraints. (Appendix 15, Mentor 1)

On completion of the program mentors noted a number of beneficial outcomes for ACT Health
and for the University of Canberra.

      …raised the profile of research in a small way in her [mentee’s] area but in a
      way that others could see that small projects can be done and finished and
      research can be a professional development strategy…a professional
      development strategy with a purpose…because its fairly flexible there is a lot
      of scope to negotiate a project that is conducive to both people involved and
      really to the whole area that the person works in…gives a voice to a process
      that’s not necessarily formalised in the hospital at the moment. (Mentor 2)

      …found that extremely useful for me…it made me rethink how I deal with
      students in terms of setting up their research…I found it worthwhile for
      me…provided time to rethink my teaching and my research…how can I do
      this in a more effective manner?...it added value for our research group at
      the university to be able to work with the mentee and her data. (Mentor 5)

      Increased opportunities for connections with ACT Health through
      opportunities to form research partnerships as I now know more about ACT
      Health (its structure and key people). I learnt how to form ongoing research
      partnerships with ACT Health. It has also enhanced my work with UC
      research students (crossover of skills in mentoring and teaching so I will
      become a better supervisor of UC research students). It has enhanced UC’s
      reputation which will contribute to attracting students. (Mentor 1)

During the end-of-program celebration it was notable that mentees‘ projects impacted
positively and directly on quality of care for patients (Appendix 10). For example:
          Improving the accuracy of radiation therapy for prostate cancer.
          Introducing a community focused health promotion program.
          Validating a physiotherapy triaging system.
          Validating the social engagement benefits for therapeutic groups of aged care
           patients within the acute hospital system.




                                                                                              18
         Investigating upper limb recovery times when immobilised with a brace or a plaster
          cast. This was a unique research project which a literature search revealed had
          not been previously undertaken.
         Investigating the efficacy of facial exercises following a stroke to improve speech.

Benefits for ACT Health identified by mentees (in addition to the research-related knowledge
and skills and the increase in their research confidence reported earlier in this section)
included:

      ACT Health got a more savvy employee as a result of the program…when
      you work in an isolated area it makes you feel more valued…helped me to
      do the best I can do. I’m really grateful. (Appendix 16, mentee 4)

      Will keep staff in the organisation, research prevents burnout. (Appendix 16,
      mentee 6)

      Provided evidence of being a researcher (or at least heading towards being
      one)…being part of the program helped to get a new job…a feather in my
      hat to have been in this program on my CV and to have had a mentor with a
      high standing in the eyes of the selection committee. (Appendix 16, mentee
      1)

Mentees expected the benefits of participating in the mentoring program to extend beyond the
life of the program (Appendix 16).

      I would feel more confident in the future about preparing surveys…currently
      continuing my project…haven’t stopped but it has slowed…my goal is to get
      back into clinical trials…I’m just waiting for an opportunity to come
      along…My goal is to be involved in clinical research…to be part of a bigger
      clinical trial…I really love that research environment. (mentee 1)

      …made me realise I want to work with adults in the future not kids…I really
      enjoyed it…I would do it again. (mentee 2)

      I certainly feel that it progressed my confidence and abilities, it’s certainly
      something I could build on if I choose to do so, if I have the opportunity…this
      was a good opportunity to see if I liked doing research and see if I wanted to
      do more…I discovered I liked it…it’s in my mind to enroll in a Masters in the
      future. (mentee 3)

      Can better evaluate what we do now and in the future…funding for the
      program will continue as a result of having the opportunity to do the
      evaluation as part of the mentoring program…I have ideas for future
      research. (mentee 4)

      It gave me some confidence to engage in discussions about research and
      the next thing that’s happening for me that might not have happened without
      this project is the Allied Health Symposium. I probably would have been one
      of those people that’s too busy to go, but I went to the last one. I was
      incredibly impressed with the program, having been involved in the
      mentoring program I understood just how hard research was…it didn’t
      matter that they were totally different fields from me, what I understood was
      the process…I found that really inspiring…I’m going to present something at
      the next one…that year gave me the confidence to grab opportunities…I’m
      going to definitely put that in…I feel like the year has set me up but I would
      love for it to continue. It set me up for future research…I would hope that this
      program is just the beginning…it’s absolutely essential if we are going to be
      able to do research. (mentee 6).




                                                                                             19
         Key findings: program outcomes


      Mentees
           Felt the program met their expectations
           Learnt about research from their mentors
           Increased their research-related knowledge and skills
           Gained confidence in doing research
           Made connections with other allied health early career researchers as well as with
              experienced researchers
           Finding time to complete their research projects was difficult for all mentees
           Finding time became particularly difficult when lack of workplace support for program
              participation meant all or most of that time had to be found in life spaces outside the work
              day.
      Mentors felt
           The program met their expectations
           Their mentee had gained research-related knowledge and skills
           Confident about being a mentor
           Being a mentor had been a valuable experience eliciting both personal and professional
               benefits.
      ACT Health & University of Canberra
          Both mentees and mentors identified benefits for ACT Health and for the University of
             Canberra
          Mentees‘ projects impacted positively and directly on the quality of patient care
          Mentees felt the benefits of their participation in the program would extend beyond the life
             of the program.




2.      Program processes
The process dimension evaluates the implementation of the structured program components
focused on preparing participants, supporting them during the program and celebrating the
program completion. Specifically, the initial workshop, the professional development sessions
and the end-of-program celebration lunch will be discussed.


2.1     Preparing participants: Initial workshop
The aim of the initial workshop was to:

         Provide participants with the mentoring knowledge and skills likely to facilitate
          successful mentoring partnerships
         Conduct the first partnership meeting
         Begin networking activities

On completion of the initial workshop participants reported that the main point they learnt
during the workshop was the ―importance of establishing and developing a good working
relationship‖ between mentor and mentee. They recognised that open communication [was]
the key to achieving success in most relationships. They also reported learning about
relationship styles, clarifying expectations and how we set up a relationship (Appendix 4).

One of the best aspects of the workshop for participants was the opportunity to network: to
meet others, making contacts, and meeting mentor and discussing ideas and directions.




                                                                                                      20
It was also reported in the feedback that scheduling a timeslot for research (and equally
translatable to other tasks) is a great way to ensure you can make the time in your busy
schedule. In addition to the time the program provided for research, participants valued the
structure of the program and the preparation undertaken by the project team. The following
comment summarises participants‘ feedback in relation to the structure of the program:

          This is a highly structured, well planned program and every contingency
          has been planned for! Also, that there is enormous commitment from the
          project team, ACT Health and UCAN. (Appendix 4)

All participants left the workshop feeling they had established a rapport with their mentoring
partner sufficient to continue to work together and that the conversation with their partner had
been relevant and stimulating (Appendix 4).

Following participation in the initial workshop mentees felt they were well prepared to begin
the program (Appendix 16). The opportunity to meet other mentees, and their mentor, was
valued by mentees.

      Quite a good day…nothing stands out as lacking there. (mentee 1)

      Felt ready to move into the project. (mentee 2)

      I felt it was very well prepared and very well organised and very respectful of
      every participant, well thought through. I certainly felt supported…and
      respected even though I didn’t see myself as being very clever in the area of
      research at that point in time. (mentee 3)

      I met other mentees which was really important…getting to know people,
      that was effective for that, it was invaluable…it broke down barriers. (mentee
      4)

      Meeting my mentor was the best part of the day for me, we shared ideas, I
      said what I was thinking and he started translating that into a research
      question for me…good to get the ball rolling. (mentee 5)

      I really enjoyed it. Some of it was really basic for me but for some of the
      science-based people it was probably needed…just lovely to have a day…to
      meet interesting people and above all to meet my mentor. That was a very
      positive day…meeting with the mentor was great. (mentee 6)

When reflecting on the program during the post-program interviews mentors noted that the
initial workshop was the element of the program structure that most helped them and their
mentee construct a successful working relationship (Appendix 15).

      A really good starting place. Gave the framework for what was expected for
      the program. It was good to meet other people as well…encouraging…a
      good cross-section of people, a richness in that environment that actually
      extended the scope of the program …it was important too from a mentee’s
      perspective that they meet other people…a good environment to start with.
      (Mentor 2)

      The initial workshop clarified expectations and networking opportunities with
      other program participants. Mentee was clear after the initial workshop what
      she wanted to do. Having that first meeting as part of the initial workshop
      helped achieve this. (Mentor 1)

      All the literature you gave me was fine, I don’t think there was anything you
      could have done differently, or added, in fact it was pretty thorough. (Mentor
      3)




                                                                                                21
      ..good, it clearly defined the roles of the mentor and mentee and clearly
      defined the expectations…mentees clearly had a passion to get involved in
      something…in their work environment that they really cared
      about…workshop gave them hope for getting something done in their work
      environment…we had an opportunity to connect with our mentees so we
      weren’t isolated so we had a chance to see where they were coming
      from…great opportunity for academics to show research wasn’t going to be
      a daunting task. (Mentor 5)

      Took the advice given at the initial workshop about timetabling
      meetings…that was good that we were given some sort of framework. I think
      we naturally wouldn’t have done that as we were both busy. (Mentor 4)

On completion of the initial workshop the project management team felt the workshop had
been successful (Appendix 6).

      Well done! (project management team member 3)
      [a clear statement of roles, responsibilities and limits to expectations for all
      involved] Very well covered I thought – better to be too thorough in this area
      in order to forestall any later problems in the relationships – some
      participants thought it was stating the obvious but it had to be made clear to
      all at the start…by the end of the workshop…all understood the procedure
      for fault-free closure of the relationship – very well put with a clear process.
      (project management team member 2)


2.2     Supporting participants during the program
A list of the professional development workshops to support mentees‘ acquisition of research
knowledge and skills during the program is included in Appendix 7. All workshops, with the
exception of the final workshop, were well attended. Mentors rarely attended the professional
development workshops. Mentees were more frequent attendees.

For those mentees able to attend, the professional development sessions were a highlight of
the program (Appendix 16). For two of the mentees, the workshop on developing an ethics
application was influential in changing their attitude to preparing an ethics application.

      Probably the biggest thing I liked about the program…only missed
      one…topics met my needs… frequency and timing was good…Canberra is
      such a small place, travel doesn’t matter. (mentee 2)

      They were terrific, I enjoyed those…there was one on grants that I used to
      put in a grant…I went to all of them…the ethics one was a bit of a shock to
      the system …everyone up to that time had told me that I didn’t need
      ethics…it was a quality improvement type thing…after the ethics session I
      realised the rules had changed. (mentee 4)

      Met monthly then there was a period where there was little progress…then I
      went to the Ethics session hoping for inspiration…before the workshop I saw
      ethics as a massive barrier whereas that workshop was putting it in the eyes
      of the Ethics Committee saying they do want you to do your research, it’s
      just that they want you to do it properly…that made me think ‘well fair
      enough’, so I went back to my submission in that frame of mind…it does
      actually make you plan every stage in the proposal…handed it in…there was
      only a couple of points I had to change. (mentee 5)

Two mentees were unable to attend any of the professional development sessions: PD
sessions were too far away and I pick up kids at that time (mentee 6) and Didn’t go to PD
sessions as this time was not in my workplace approval (mentee 3.)




                                                                                            22
2.3       Closing the program
Following presentation of certificates and a celebratory lunch, mentees and mentors shared
their experience of ‗doing research‘ as part of the pilot mentoring program. A full list of
participants‘ outcomes reported at the end-of-program celebration is included in Appendices
10 and 11.

During the closing session participants reported that they had learnt research-related skills
including: how to turn ‗good practice‘ into a research project, how to prepare an ethics
application, statistical skills for analysis of data, and skills related to leadership of a research
team. Skills related to writing and disseminating research were also acquired including writing
an abstract for a conference presentation, preparing a conference poster and sharing
research outcomes with colleagues.

Mentees reported at the post-program interviews that the end-of-program celebration lunch
was valued for the opportunity it provided to hear what others had accomplished.

      I thought it was great to hear just how much people had done. It certainly felt
      like a big achievement for me to get that far and it was really nice to hear a
      lot of the other people, they had some really tangible outcomes…it seemed
      that the mentors that were there had learned a lot from the experience…you
      could relate to a lot of what people described, both positive and negative. It
      was good to hear that the journey had been travelled by many. (mentee 5)

      Very interesting. There was a variety of projects. It was relaxed and informal.
      Discussing how far we got was helpful. (mentee 2)


          Key findings: program processes


          The initial workshop was the element of the program structure that most helped mentors and
           their mentee construct a successful working relationship

          For those mentees able to attend, the professional development workshops were a highlight of
           the program

          The end-of-program lunch was valued for the opportunity it provided to hear what others had
           accomplished.

3.        Program relationships
Program relationships, the interactions of mentors and mentees during the program and the
contribution of these interactions to the achievement of the program outcomes, will be
discussed under this heading. Mentors‘ and mentees‘ experiences of the process for
matching mentors and mentees and the outcomes of telephone check-ins with participants
during the program are examined.

Overall, relationships with their mentors and the outcomes of those relationships were
positive for all mentees (with only one exception). All mentees (except one who neither
agreed nor disagreed with the statement) felt being mentored had been enjoyable and a
valuable learning experience and that their mentor had provided the guidance and support
they needed (Appendix12).

Most mentors agreed that their research expertise was valued by their mentee, that they had
contributed to the research career of their mentee, and that they developed a constructive
working relationship with their mentee (Appendix 12).


3.1       Recruitment of mentors and mentees




                                                                                                    23
Of the five mentors who participated in a post-program interview (Appendix 15), four mentors
were invited to participate by a member of the management group. One mentor was
approached by a mentee in their work area. All five mentors welcomed the opportunity to
participate: I was chuffed to be asked (Mentor 1).

Mentees participating in a post-program interview (Appendix 16) heard about the program via
an email, from their workplace supervisor or at an information session which covered all I
needed, (mentee 2). The level of commitment to the program shown by ACT Health during an
information session attracted participants.

      ... it was sanctioned by ACT Health so it was acceptable to participate. (mentee
      1)

      I was inspired by the way the mentoring program was advertised…that a lot of
      clinicians have a lot of data sitting on their desks and they want to translate that
      data into knowledge that could be shared with the field. (mentee 4)

      When I first heard about it I thought it was going to be some micky mouse
      thing…but when I went to the information session straight away I thought ‘this is
      good quality, this is something good happening here’…I knew straight away that
      if it was a research project it would be seen through from start to finish, there was
      a commitment, it was made clear at the meeting that ACT Health was committed
      to it so I knew it was worth putting my energy into because I knew it would be
      seen through from beginning to end…and because it was coming from a
      university my assumption was that it was going to be done really well and that’s
      exactly what I found…I’d been to other things where there was just a lot of
      goodwill. I came back straight away and filled in my form. I told my manager who
      was very supportive. (mentee 6)

Another mentee commented: The way it was advertised was good. I think it got the people
who were right for it and wanted to do that kind of thing. (mentee 5)

The project team‘s reflections gathered following the initial workshop (Appendix 6) suggested
that the recruitment of mentees, through information sessions for interested ACT Health
clinicians and managers, ‗all of ACT Health‘ emails and word of mouth, worked well.

          The recruitment strategies for mentees were in place and well
          structured. (project management team member 4)
          Best strategy used – all of ACT Health email by far. (project
          management team member 2)
          I think for a pilot program this has been done very well. (project
          management team member 3)

However, the project team noted that, while mentees quickly applied for the program, mentors
were slower to volunteer.

          Limited to a certain extent by the availability of mentors, then by the lack
          of mentor commitment. The matching process itself worked well and
          produced some great pairs as evidenced on the [initial workshop] day.
          (project management team member 1)
          Mentors-much harder to pin down and get them to commit. (project
          management team member 2)

It was suggested that the recruitment of mentors ran up against a number of difficulties
including those suggested by project team member 4 below.

          It was unclear to me who was responsible for contacting possible
          mentors.



                                                                                              24
            Over-reliance on one source (UC) for mentors led to a number of
            difficulties and potential problems in the future. This reliance made it
            difficult to contact mentors as most took leave in January, some of those
            who committed before Christmas somehow had ‘forgotten’ that
            commitment by January and this over-reliance could have workload
            implications for particular areas. It also means UC could be less likely to
            be a source of mentors, at least in the first year of an ongoing program.

Improvements to the recruitment process suggested by the project team focused on
recruitment of mentors suggesting more face-to-face contact with the mentors during the
recruitment phase.
         I suggest face-to-face meetings with potential mentors (include PAs if necessary) get
          them to sign up, fill the form and book out their diaries in front of us. Need to make
          the required commitment much clearer from the start. I think we need the mentors on
          board before we start recruiting the mentees, and then match the mentees to the
          mentors, not visa versa. Can we improve the incentives for the mentors in any way?
         I think we need more face to face contact with potential mentors; letters and emails
          were not read (busy people). I think mentors need to be committed before mentees
          so we can know how many mentees can be accepted. We need to start recruitment of
          mentors slightly ahead of mentees so the matching process can be concluded before
          Christmas and partners identified to each other. Having a real person makes the
          commitment stronger. Resources to contact each individual potential mentor may not
          be available, even in larger program, so we need to think of places where groups of
          mentors are likely to ‗congregate‘ and ensure a member or members of the project
          team visit these locations to ‗sell‘ participation eg at UC and ANU that could be at a
          School or discipline team or Centre meetings, or other sorts of regular meetings for
          hospital based mentors. What about researchers in private practices?
         Could be value in improving the mentor training in order to try and improve
          recruitment and incentive for mentors.


3.2       Matching mentors and mentees
The matching of mentors and mentees involved three steps.
      1. Each mentor and mentee expressed their interest in participating in the program by
         forwarding a completed Expression of Interest (EOI) Form to the program co-
         ordinator. This form gathered information to facilitate matching of mentors and
         mentees including: their reasons for seeking to be involved in the program; hoped for
         outcomes; desirable characteristics of a mentor (or mentee); and a brief biographical
         sketch including formal qualifications and research experience.
      2. During the two weeks before the initial workshop two members of the project team,
         one with knowledge of the allied health professions and the other with experience of
         mentoring program development, acted as ‗brokers‘ to facilitate the matching process.
         The two brokers read all of the EOIs and, using their experience, ‗tentatively‘ matched
         a mentee with a mentor. Each mentee was then contacted by phone and the
         characteristics they seek in a mentor discussed. As part of this discussion the broker
         introduced the characteristics of the ‗tentatvie‘ mentor to see if the mentee felt these
         characteristics matched with their expectations. If the mentee agreed that the
         characteristics of the mentor matched their expectations the mentee was given the
         contact details of the mentor. The mentor was then notified of the mentee‘s details. If
         the mentee did not feel comfortable with the proposed match the broker returned to
         the pool of mentors and a second round of matching took place for that mentee.
      3. Mentors and mentees met for the first time at the initial workshop. The initial
         workshop included a series of structured and informal activities for participants to
         meet and get to know each other and for mentors and mentees to work together. The
         final activity in the initial workshop was a first meeting for mentoring partners.




                                                                                              25
In their responses to questions on the ‗Expression of Interest Form‘, mentors saw the most
desirable quality of a mentee was motivation; enthusiasm and passion for research or
motivation to be part of the program (Appendix 3).

Participants reported during the two scheduled check-ins that they overwhelmingly supported
the matching process (Appendix 9). High levels of satisfaction generally were stated about the
support and usefulness of their contact with mentor /mentee. Mentors and mentees generally
considered being of different disciplines an advantage. Some mentors stated that they had
benefited by enhancing their knowledge of another area of health. The mentees stated that
being of different disciplines/areas of expertise provided a critical eye to their research, an
opportunity for interdisciplinary learning and objectivity and honesty in relation to setting
realistic goals. However, a few participants stated that being of a different discipline may
cause problems when the mentee needs help with very specific content knowledge relating to
the data. In these exceptions, the mentees made it clear that they still considered that there
had been some learning and skills development through the relationship and that mentors
had been helpful and supportive.

All mentors participating in a post-program interview (Appendix 15) agreed the matching
process had been successful. All mentors discussed the influence of discipline on the
success of a mentoring relationship. There was however, no clear agreement about how
mentors and mentees should be matched. Three mentors felt that matching with someone in
their discipline enhanced some aspects of their relationship. For example one mentor felt that:
if the mentee had been in my discipline I could have done more networking as I would have
used my contacts (Mentor 2) while another felt that closer discipline matching could have
maximised joint publication opportunities. However, each of these mentors also noted
benefits with cross-disciplinary matching as illustrated in Mentor 1‘s comment: I would have
felt more part of the program if my mentee’s project was a bit closer to my own research area
(what I’m used to doing) but I did enjoy finding out about a new area of research.

On the other hand, two mentors felt that the mentoring relationship could work just as well if
the mentor was not in the same discipline as the mentee. They both believed the mentor‘s
knowledge of the research process and research skills was a greater contributor to successful
outcomes than matching the discipline as suggested by their comments below:

      Mentoring can work just as well when you’re not in the same area…as long
      as you’ve got those research skills. (Mentor 3)

      Mentee was outside my discipline, but my skills are in the process…so it
      didn’t matter that the mentee wasn’t in my area…the bottom line is that
      research is generic, it doesn’t matter what area…the process is the
      same…it’s an advantage to some extent not to be in the professional
      because I can ask questions that may be assumed knowledge in the
      mentee…there were a couple of instances where she asked a question and I
      said ‘well that’s meaningless to me’…and she then turned around and
      looked at how she was asking the question and said ‘Yes, you’re right!’. She
      had the sort of project I could relate to, we were matched very well; in
      personality too…we’re good friends now…the mentoring is not over. (Mentor
      5)

In their responses to questions on the ‗Expression of Interest Form‘, mentees said they
expected their mentors to have, and be able to share, research-related knowledge. Few
mentees expected their mentors would have professional content knowledge in their field.
Personal attributes mentees hoped mentors would bring to their relationship included:
flexibility, patience, focus, enthusiasm and good communication skills (Table 8, Appendix 3).

During the post-program interviews mentees agreed the process for matching them with their
mentors had been successful for them (Appendix 16). Factors contributing to this success
were common understandings of the work environment and the professional field of study,
common networks and occasionally, common work locations.




                                                                                             26
      We both had the same health background, we knew the same people and
      she understood the environment I was working in…we had a connection
      because we worked physically in the same place…we were well
      matched…that was a really positive aspect for me. (mentee 1)

      Pairing with mentor was good. My mentor had some idea of what I did so I
      didn’t have to spend the first few weeks explaining what I did…could apply
      some of her knowledge to what I was doing though wasn’t the same area,
      does need to be from allied health though. (mentee 2)

      Worked very well…was a good fit professionally…it was a fine match…it
      would have been more challenging to have someone who wasn’t in my
      professional area…we spoke the same language…mentor could
      immediately connect with what I wanted to do…personality wise I felt very
      happy…I can be daunted by some people…my mentor was very
      encouraging…he embodied all the qualities I wanted in a mentor…never felt
      less than competent…the partnership worked well for me and what I wanted
      to do. (mentee 3)

      The selection process was helpful in trying to match people’s needs…I didn’t
      have any problems at all with the match…it turned out well….the information
      we provided in the expression of interest came up with the right match…my
      mentor was in the same field but a different part of the field. (mentee 5)

Only one mentee was matched with a mentor whose area of professional expertise was
different from that of the mentor. This too was a successful relationship.

      It felt like I was really being respected. It wasn’t that someone’s name was
      just pulled out of a hat. I really appreciated that…I wanted someone to
      challenge and stimulate me and that’s exactly what my mentor did…I was
      pleased that she was outside my area…to be challenged to think differently
      outside the medical model. (mentee 6)

Mentors were valued for the challenge, inspiration and stimulation they offered the
relationship and for the confidence they instilled in the mentee.

      We hit if off…she switches you on to possibilities, if I’d been twenty years
      younger I would have had a whole new career if I had these opportunities as
      a young person…it has given me the confidence to set up something that
      someone else can pick up the ball and run with… we just clicked…that was
      exciting…a perfect partnership. (mentee 4)

      My mentor was energising…I got lifted out of my clinical space which was
      wonderful…my mentor was great, talked me through…gave me the
      confidence to ask questions and say ‘no’…gave me the courage to talk to a
      lot more people that I wouldn’t have contacted before, people I respect and
      admire in the area and asking for advice…I got inspired to engage and have
      conversations with people that I would not have done before. (mentee 6)

Mentors were also valued for the reflective spaces they created for their mentees.

      While there have been tangible outcomes from my involvement in the
      research mentoring program, it is the intangibles that I am most excited
      about. While I am pleased to report that I have, as a result of this
      relationship, gained confidence to work with a colleague to write and submit
      two abstracts to a conference, this is not the most important ‘outcome’. My
      meetings with my mentor provided pockets of peace and luxury, where I was
      able to leave the clinical grind behind and explore some of the complex
      issues relating to my field and to research. The mentoring relationship
      provided me with an opportunity to test out thoughts and ideas without



                                                                                      27
          pressure. I was fortunate to have a mentor who was extremely creative and
          reflective. My mentor shared experiences, knowledge and personal contacts,
          to encourage me to explore ideas further. (Appendix 11)

Project team members also felt that the matching process had been successful (Appendix 6).

          Once again, a lot of very careful consideration went into this element of the
          program, and rightfully so, as it will have a significant bearing on the
          programs success. Good job! (project management team member 3)
          The brokering process worked well. The model was achievable in the time
          period and was not overly time consuming. This was helped by the
          knowledge the brokers had of the mentors. (project management team
          member 4)


3.3         Telephone ‘check-ins’ during the program

The main purpose of the check-ins was to support and monitor the effectiveness of the
mentoring relationships related to processes such as: the nature of contacts; difficulties
encountered; practical concerns; and issues that may impact on the continuation of the
relationship. The ‗neutral‘ program officer aimed to provide support, advice and assistance
with follow up of concerns to individual participants and also to refer them to appropriate
research group members as required (Appendix 9). Participants were provided with
information and the timing of the check-ins at the initial workshop.
                                                                                                      st
Participants were overwhelmingly positive about their experiences of the program both at 1
      nd
and 2 check-in. These experiences included: forming a positive relationship with mentor;
being inspired by the mentor; good content of mentor/mentee discussions; learning of
research skills; increased interest and confidence in research; helpful professional
development input; appreciative of communiqués.

Participants considered that the program provided an excellent opportunity for networking,
involvement of students, partnerships between universities and departments and a potential
for ensuring that all allied health disciplines were offered the opportunities that came with
these linkages. Some participants were of the opinion that the latter issue was a key
consideration for the future of the mentoring program.

Common issues arising from the discussions included: workplace management support and
finding time to meet (Appendix 9). A shortage of mentors was mentioned as a concern for a
future mentoring program. Recommendations arising were:

           The motivation of the mentee is paramount.
           The contractual arrangement with the mentee‘s workplace needs to be much more
            specific - that can support the clinician/ researcher both in terms of time etc. and in
            acceptance of the clinicians‘ contribution to the workplace through the research.
      
                                                                                            .
            Increased role of the research team for support and monitoring is desirable.
           Sustainability of the program is a major issue given the limited amount of mentor
            resources and realistically the time that it takes to build and maintain an effective
            mentoring partnership.

Two mentees participating in the post-program interviews mentioned that the phone check-ins
during the year helped them keep in touch with the program (Appendix 16).

          That was good…it was good to be back in touch with the program…both
          positive discussions. (mentee 1)

          Touch base…was terrific. (mentee 4)




                                                                                                      28
         Key findings: program relationships


         Relationships with their mentors and the outcomes of those relationships were positive for all
          except one mentee

         Most mentors agreed that they had developed a constructive working relationship with their
          mentee

         Program recruitment is most likely to be successful if undertaken using a variety of approaches

         Mentors and mentees agreed the brokering process employed to form the mentoring
          partnerships was successful

         Over-reliance on one source of mentor had workload implications for staff in that area and could
          reduce the availability of mentors from this location in the immediate future
                                                                                                   st
         Mentees were overwhelmingly positive about their experiences of the program both at 1 and
           nd
          2 check-in

         Common issues arising during the check-in discussions included: workplace management
          support and finding time to meet.




4.       Sustainability and transportability

This section presents mentors‘ and mentees‘ responses to two questions asked during the
post-program interviews: Was the program worthwhile? and Would you recommend
participation in the program to a colleague? The responses to these two questions set the
scene for the discussion of the experience of the program from the perspective of the
mentors, mentees and the project management team members across two dimensions:
sustainability and transportability.

All mentors interviewed felt the program was worthwhile; said they would recommend being a
mentor in the program to a colleague and that they would be willing to be a mentor again
(Appendix 15).

      I’m more likely to enter the program again, having been through the program
      once and having a positive experience I’m more likely to line up again…the
      values that the program said it would deliver did occur. (Mentor 2)

      I think this sort of project is overdue really…a great way for people to gain
      experience…it was based in evidence, theory and it’s structured… When I
      had thought about helping early career researchers previously there was no
      framework available for this support; the mentoring program provided this
      framework. (Mentor 3)

      Absolutely, both the mentor and mentee learn…learn what others are doing
      in a related area. (Mentor 5)

      I would be a mentor again and use what I have learnt in this pilot program.
      Next time I would do it a bit differently. I would help my mentor to make
      clearer what she wanted to get out of participation in the program; clarify and
      discuss with my mentee opportunities for me as mentor to achieve my goals
      as well as opportunity for mentee to achieve their goals. I would visit the
      mentee’s workplace; make more opportunities in our partnership to celebrate
      achievement of goals. I will be more aware of making an effort to get to know
      the mentee’s background and work. (Mentor 1)




                                                                                                        29
Mentees also felt the program was worthwhile and would recommend it to a colleague
(Appendix 16).

      It would be good to see other people have this opportunity. I would
      recommend it to a colleague. (mentee 1)

      I would recommend it to a colleague. It develops your research skills, you
      get a result, you can answer those long-standing clinical questions that we
      all go ‘I don’t know, I don’t know’… the answer is in the literature, it’s just
      getting the time to find it. I really enjoyed it…I would do it again. (mentee 2)

      It was a worthwhile experience from where I sit…I would recommend it to
      anyone who wants to develop research skills because it’s a good way to do
      it…The project I evaluated is now part of our core business. (mentee 3)

      I’ve recommended that anyone who has the opportunity to do this program
      do it…if I’d had this as a young person there would have been no stopping
      me…(mentee 4)

      Absolutely worthwhile…I really feel I was lucky to be part of it… I would
      recommend it to colleagues…I would, absolutely,…I would hope this
      program is just the beginning, it’s absolutely essential if we are going to be
      able to do research. (mentee 6)

Investigating the aspects of the program that worked well and program improvements
suggested by mentees, mentors and the program management group members has
suggested the program elements most likely to contribute to the sustainability of the program
beyond the pilot phase.

Mentees felt the potential for sustainability was enhanced by the successful outcomes of the
matching process, the structured nature of the program, and the credibility of the program
provided by the clear support for participation and valuing of research by ACT Health and the
University of Canberra.

      The most important thing for me was how beautifully structured it was and it
      had enormous credibility and a clear indication from ACT Health that this
      matters so much that we are going to evaluate it…the old way was just to tell
      us we should do research…I felt now I had permission…it was clear there
      was a lot of support. (mentee 6)


Mentees suggested increased interaction during the program would increase its sustainability:

      Session three quarters of the way through the program to catch-up with what
      others are doing.

      Something in the middle of the program to bring people together.

      Showcase what mentees achieved to all allied health staff.

Mentors mentioned key sustaining elements of a mentoring program were enjoyment, feeling
energised, and feeling part of a community of practice where all participants were working
towards similar goals. Sustainability suggestions included strategies to introduce during the
program as well as strategies to maintain the program across time. Suggestions to increase
interactions during the program focused on maintaining motivation and networking
opportunities:
      Have a mid-program meeting to maintain enthusiasm.
      Would have liked information about how other people were going during the
      program.



                                                                                           30
      More informal opportunities to maintain energy levels of mentors and
      mentees, maybe social functions such as informal drinks.
      Mentor attend mentee presentations in the mentee’s workplace.

Mentors recognised that some improvements would happen naturally over time as the
program grew. For example, one commented that an increase in workplace support will occur
as more projects are completed. Another commented that the process of introducing more
health disciplines could build up over subsequent offerings of the program. It was suggested
that the on-going rollout of the program could be facilitated by mentors from each year‘s
program approaching colleagues in their discipline area to be mentors.

Both mentors and mentees noted that the sustainability of a future program would be effected
by the degree of support for mentees‘ participation from their workplace which in turn effects
the time available for mentees to undertake their research within work hours.

Finding time to complete their research projects was a potential limitation for all mentees
(Appendix 16). Hence, the support of their workplace was greatly appreciated by mentee 2,
mentee 3, mentee 4 and mentee 6.

      Support from work…how are you going, do you need a hand, controlling my
      workload…did it all in work time. (mentee 2)

      The mentoring program gave me time to gather really important information
      that would not otherwise have been gathered because I wouldn’t have had
      the time, support, encouragement, or confidence. That’s really very
      significant for me…would have been nice to have another year to develop
      the analysis. (mentee 3)

Finding time became particularly difficult when lack of workplace support for program
participation meant all or most of that time had to be found in life spaces outside the work
day. When the research moved outside the workplace balancing the research and other life
demands became difficult.

      Along the way…it became apparent to me that I wasn’t going to have the
      time to do what I wanted to do and I was doing my project in my own
      time…small children…still studying…working full time…my plate was pretty
      full and the time wasn’t available in my working hours and that’s where I
      needed it to be to do my project…so I downsized my project…mentor helped
      me shape my new idea. (mentee 1)

      A lot of it did require time outside work. I did feel supported in that there was
      that initial agreement of that 50 hours and I had no qualms blocking off and
      hour and going out to the Uni to see my mentor…in my mind I only felt
      comfortable doing it in work time when it was really directly work-related…
      (mentee 5)

Mentees felt a more sustainable program would involve:

      Guaranteed time for full program participation for each person agreed with
      workplace managers prior to participation and then that time needs to be set
      aside.
       Written agreement between ACT Health and manager to guarantee regular
       time for participation.
Mentors also reported (Appendix 15) that in some cases mentee‘s program participation was
limited by a lack of support, or limited support, from their workplace. Some mentors reported
that their mentee‘s workplace was concerned that the project taking too much time which
required, as noted by Mentor 2, some careful stepping for a while…negotiating…setting tight
boundaries…including mentor/mentee meetings as part of required work travel.




                                                                                               31
The project management team‘s reflections gathered following the initial workshop (Appendix
6) included a number of suggestions to increase sustainability.

          Include participant anecdotes in the communication strategy for marketing purposes
           and to create a stronger understanding of the program deliverables ie. expectation of
           management.
          For sustaining an ongoing program there is a need for regular ‗publicity‘ of the
           program and its benefits so when calls for EOIs go out the name of the program has
           immediate recognition for its target audience.
          A program co-ordinator is needed for a sustainable on-going program…this person
           needs to be responsible for the administrative and program co-ordination.
          Needs more sponsorship in general – a bit resource poor, certainly needed if this is
           going to be sustained.
          A program sponsor will be needed for any future program (eg for employment of a co-
           ordinator).

The post-program reflections of the project management team also focused on improvements
for program sustainability (Appendix 17). Individuals‘ reflections can be grouped under the
following headings:

          Need for a full-time program co-ordinator. All members agreed with the suggestions
           that there be funding for a conjoint position of Mentoring Coordinator, 0.5 funding by
           ACT Health and 0.5 funding by UC. This position could also provide support for PHD
           and MSc researchers in terms of networking and resources.
          Allied Health workplace managers need to commit to whole of program participation
           for their clinicians participating as mentees or as mentors.
          Development of a database of mentors and incentives for mentors is essential for
           sustainability.
          Establishment of a motivated, committed and connected management group to drive
           the process and the program.



           Key findings: program sustainability and transportability


           Sustainability will be enhanced by retention of the following program elements:

                current brokering model for matching mentors and mentees

                structured nature of the program including the initial workshop, the ‗during program‘ check-
                 ins, the professional development workshops and the celebration of program outcomes

                credibility of the program provided by the clear support for participation and valuing of
                 research by ACT Health and the University of Canberra.

           Additional investments required to sustain the program:

                Active support from workplace supervisors for mentee and mentor program participation

                A permanent full-time position of Allied Health Research Adviser (a conjoint position 0.5
                 funding by ACT Health and 0.5 funding by University of Canberra)

                Establishment and maintenance of a pool of mentors keen to participate in the program


                Introduction of more health disciplines (as mentors and mentees) over subsequent




                                                                                                             32
                offerings of the program

               Increased participant interaction during the program

               Development of a dissemination plan for research outcomes (mentors and mentees) to
                ensure research outcomes benefit the wider allied health community (within ACT and
                beyond)

               The program elements that encourage sustainability also contribute to successful
                transportability to other health contexts.




Recommendations

On the basis of evaluation evidence it is recommended that the mentoring program for early
career researchers in allied health professions in the ACT continue beyond the pilot phase. Key
findings across five dimensions — outcomes, processes, relationships, sustainability and
transportability — suggest recommendations in relation to: program administration and funding,
program recruitment, matching mentors and mentees, program maintenance and dissemination
of program achievements and outcomes.

Program administration and funding
                 Establish a small motivated, committed and connected management group to
                  drive the process and the program.
                 Form an inter professional reference group to support the management group.
                 Elicit program funding from a ‗package‘ of health stakeholders to reflect a
                  ‗whole of person‘ perspective on health.

Program recruitment
                 Open the program to all health professionals.
                 Introduce the program to new staff as part of their orientation to employment
                  with ACT Health.
                 Ensure continuation of the strong values base of the program.
                 Ensure ACT Health and the University of Canberra‘s commitment to the
                  program is visible in all recruitment activities (eg commit high profile staff and
                  researchers to information sessions, the program reference group and
                  management team).
                 Continue to use a variety of approaches to recruit mentors and mentees,
                  however, consider more face-to-face contact to recruit mentors.
                 To enhance understanding of the program expectations and outcomes:
                          Include quotations from pilot program participants‘ feedback in text-
                           based marketing material, and
                          Invite pilot program participants to contribute to face-to-face
                           marketing and recruitment activities.
                 Include professional development incentives for mentors (eg financial support
                  for conference attendance, alignment of program outcomes for mentors and
                  institutional promotion and appraisal processes related to leadership,
                  research and/or community service).

Matching mentors and mentees
                 Establish an expertise database of potential mentors and mentees to facilitate
                  matching.


                                                                                                   33
            Retain the current brokering model for matching mentors and mentees.
            Continue to balance mentees‘ needs for both topic knowledge and research-
             related skills and knowledge in the matching process.

Program maintenance
            Fund a conjoint position of Allied Health Research Adviser, 0.5 funding by
             ACT Health and 0.5 funding by University of Canberra.
            Retain the three key structural elements of the program: the initial workshop,
             the participant telephone check-ins and the final celebration.
            Increase participants‘ interactions during the program:
                     Retain the professional development workshops, increase their
                      frequency and expand the range of topics covered to include
                      coverage of all stages in the research process.
                     Add a mid-program colloquium to share achievements and address
                      concerns and include in this event time for relaxed informal
                      interactions across partnerships and with the management group and
                      the reference group.
                     Include mentors (current and past) as presenters in the professional
                      development program where appropriate.
            To continue to grow the research network provide opportunities for past
             program participants to join in the activities of the current program.
            Improve mentees‘ desktop access to research-related resources (eg a wider
             range of databases and electronic access to journals and provision of
             research-related software such as Endnote).
            Ensure mentees are aware of, and feel welcome to participate in, relevant
             University of Canberra research education program events.
            Written agreement between ACT Health and workplace managers to
             guarantee regular and reasonable work-time for the mentee to undertake
             research.
            Mentees‘ workplace performance agreement should include guaranteed
             research time. This time needs to be agreed with workplace managers before
             the program begins and adjusted following agreement between the mentee
             and their mentor on the scope of the mentee‘s project.

Dissemination of program achievements and outcomes
            Develop a dissemination plan for participants‘ research outcomes and
             achievements to ensure research outcomes benefit the wider health
             community (within ACT and beyond).
            Increase program visibility during the program through regular publicity about
             the program across health communities in the ACT and region (eg an ACT
             Health Research Newsletter, continue the program communiqués) and
             through increased opportunities for formal presentation of mentees‘ and
             mentors‘ research progress during the program (eg better utilise the Allied
             Health Research Symposium to showcase participants as researchers).
            Provide incentives for mentees and mentors to publish together and to
             present their research on a regional and national stage (eg University of
             Canberra-ACT Health research conference support program).




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Description: Research Project on Recruitment Process in Reliance document sample