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Your Path in Research: Link and Learn role description for guides

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Published: 18 October 2022

Version: 1.0

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About the service

Link and Learn is a new and temporary match-making service and it is part of Your Path in Research, an annual campaign run by the NIHR.

By volunteering as a guide for Link and Learn, you can help others find out about research and help them to explore career opportunities for new researchers in the fields of public health and social care.

What’s your role as a guide?

As a guide, you’ll be invited to share your expertise and knowledge with social care or public health practitioners. You will guide and encourage them to take their first steps in research.

Who will you be guiding?

This scheme is open to those new to research. They are professionals and practitioners that have never done research before or that have a very general interest in research but no direct involvement.

These researcher beginners will be primarily:

  • social workers
  • care home managers
  • local authority employees delivering public health
  • local authority employees delivering social care

How do guides sign up?

Create a profile as a mentor on our Mentorloop sign up page.

Our matching platform - MentorLoop, allows you to share details of your professional experience and area of research expertise when creating your profile. This information will ensure you are matched with new researchers that share your research interests in public health and social care.

What happens after guides are matched?

Once you’re matched with a research beginner, we ask guides to book a 45-minute, 1-2-1 session. As a guide you should take a lead and organise the session at a time that suits you and the beginners. The sessions can take place online (for example using Zoom, Teams or Google Meet) or face-to-face. You can contact the NIHR campaigns team with any issues or questions and further guidance will be provided on how to book sessions using MentorLoop. Please email giuseppe.rella@nihr.ac.uk with any questions or any issues at any stage.

We will provide guidance and support on how to create your profile on MentorLoop, a fact-sheet to help you during the sessions and an email address and a phone number that you can use if there is any problem.

Guides’ commitment

We ask that as a guide you commit to a minimum of two 1-2-1 sessions which will take place between 31 October and mid-December 2022. Nearer the time, we will provide a resource to help you structure the conversation. We recommend that guides contact research beginners the week after the match has been created.

What’s in it for you as a guide?

This is a great opportunity for you to further develop your leadership skills and inspire research beginners and benefit the public they serve.

Acting as a guide will be rewarding as you help contribute to the development of future research leaders, gain new perspectives, fresh ideas, and expand your professional networks.

We will also provide a certificate that you can use for your CPD.

There will be a script to help the conversation flow and direct research beginners to the best place at NIHR where they can take the next step in developing a career in research.