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The Oxford University Coaching Network (OCN) offers free, one-to-one coaching to staff across the University, with priority being given to people managers, to add to the range of mentoring/personal development support services offered to staff in the University.

Coaching is an established development process which aims to help you find your own answers and next steps through skilled questioning and listening, encouragement and challenge, within a supportive environment.

Find out more on the Coaching page of the University's People and Organisational Development website.

mentoring and professional development

There are various mentoring and professional development schemes available to members of the University:

Divisional peer mentoring scheme - Medical Sciences Division runs a peer mentoring scheme, which involves the formation of mentoring circles, aimed to support the development of all staff across the Division.

People and Organisational Development

People and Organisational Development (POD) coordinates and supports a range of mentoring schemes including:

  • Oxford Senior Women’s Mentoring Network (Oxford SSO required) - a mentoring scheme intended to encourage senior women to explore their leadership potential within academic life, or within an administrative career, for example as leaders of departments and divisions or in university governance, and is aimed at:
    • an academic (Associate Professor or Professor) who has completed her first five-year term of office;
    • a researcher holding a fellowship of at least five years duration;
    • an administrator graded 9 or above having at least five years' experience in leading administrative functions.
  • Academic leadership development programme - The ALDP is intended to be an introduction to academic leadership, offer staff an insight into the possible development of their careers, and underpin succession planning in departments and faculties and in the Divisions. It aims to support academic colleagues in considering the ways in which leadership is enacted in the University and to make a decision about their future direction as a leader.
  • Managing Research Staff: an introduction for post-docs - This course looks at the challenges that come from finding yourself managing your colleagues, and is for postdocs who are managing research staff (university employees). 
  • Research Group Leadership: leading a productive research group - This workshop is for those who are leading and managing research staff, and responsible for 1:1s and PDRs.
  • MentoringMentoring is a voluntary process in which one person gives their time to help a mentee. The aim is to provide confidential, non-judgemental and constructive support to enable the mentee to develop themselves in whatever way is most appropriate. POD provides information on what is meant by mentoring, what are the different types of mentoring available and how to get the most out of it.
  • Leaders and managers - POD has developed a suite of materials offering leadership and management development opportunities to all staff who supervise, manage or lead people, including:
      • Introduction to Management Skills at Oxford - Aimed at new managers and managers who want to refresh their skills.
      • Developing Management Skills at Oxford - Aimed at managers with at least a year’s experience of managing a team or group.
      • Developing Leadership and Management Practice - Aimed at managers who are in their first leadership role or experience managers looking to refresh their skills in a role with significant responsibility but no line management.
  • Career Support Network for administrative and support staff - The network can help anyone who is a member of administrative or support staff in the University (including academic-related staff and colleges) and who is looking for confidential, impartial advice about an internal job application or a job interview. The network offers access to a number of managers who are also experienced recruiters and who have volunteered to meet colleagues from across the University and mentor and guide on how to write effective job applications and prepare for/learn from interviews. Our mentors are experienced recruiters rather than careers consultants and so the help they can offer will be focussed on applications and interviews within the University.
  • Professional Services Mentoring pilot The scheme has been launched by the Focus on People programme (FoP) to provide an opportunity for mentors and mentees to form mentoring partnerships within and across professional services. The scheme aims to support mentees in achieving personal and professional growth and mentors to enhance their own skills in addition to gaining satisfaction from helping others to develop.

  • PIVOT: Mentoring Scheme for BME StaffPivot is a mentoring scheme for any member of staff at the University (including College employees) who identifies as Black and Minority Ethnic (BME).
  • DIY Personal Development - Personal effectiveness: what do you need to learn? Identify your priorities and find courses and resources to help you. This includes a short self-diagnosis tool which signposts self-help resources (coming soon) you can draw on to help you develop your skills in a specific area.

  • POD also offers a roster of learning and development opportunities for both Research Staff and Professional Services Staff.

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (Oxford SSO required), run by the Centre for Teaching and Learning - Each PG DipLATHE course participant chooses or is allocated a ‘Teaching Mentor’, usually a colleague with experience of teaching in a cognate discipline in Oxford. Teaching Mentors are integral to the course and have a significant part to play in supporting participants.

Step Forward – Personal Development Programme for Women

This programme is for women who are at a point in their career or personal lives where they would like to reflect on their achievements, consider opportunities and develop confidence in reaching new goals.

The programme offers one day personal development workshops for women (run as either one full day or two half days). They aim to help participants to be more confident by understanding their values and taking control of their decision making and goal setting in line with these values. It is open to all women students, whether cis or trans, in all subject areas at Oxford University. This includes undergraduates, master’s students and DPhil Candidates.

Work Learn Develop

Work Learn Develop is the University’s programme of fully funded professional training and development opportunities which are open to all staff, regardless of age, grade and whether full-time or part-time.  The courses cover a wide range of skill areas that are core to University administration, as well as covering technical and niche skills areas. All of the courses are accredited and offer professional, job-related qualifications