Technicians launch UK’s first cross-institutional mentoring scheme

Jan 5, 2024

Three enterprising technicians have established a new UK-wide mentoring scheme, especially for technicians working in higher education institutions.

The Cross Institutional Mentoring Scheme (CIMS) is the first technician-led initiative of its kind that aims to create meaningful mentoring relationships to enhance career development, skills and personal growth.

This project was launched by three technicians from Midlands Innovation universities who completed the Research England funded TALENT Collaborative Leadership Programme for Technicians.

Now technicians from all levels and disciplines who work in higher education institutions are invited to join the scheme. Technical staff can join as a mentor or a mentee, or both, 31 January 2024.

Trevor Hardy, Senior Laboratory Technician from the University of Birmingham is one of the technicians who has helped to establish the scheme.

He said: “As technical roles are often highly specialised, it can be challenging to find appropriate options to mentor and be mentored within our organisations.

“The Cross Institutional Mentoring Scheme offers a pathway for technical staff across UK higher education and research institutions to find meaningful mentoring opportunities which are relevant for their professional development.”

“I’m excited to be working alongside Dr Thea Mangels, Technical Services Manager from the University of Warwick and Gemma Black, Head of Technical Services Development & Strategy from University of Leicester to develop this opportunity for technicians across the UK.”

The initiative is supported by the MI TALENT Programme and several workshops and resources have been developed by the MI TALENT Training team to ensure the success of the scheme.

Emily Thorpe, Technical Training Manager for MI TALENT explained: “Mentors do not necessarily have to be more senior than the people they mentor. What matters is that mentors have experience that others can learn from.

“We are supporting technicians who are new to mentoring to build the foundations for successful mentoring relationships, developing bespoke materials and resources for the technical community.

“TALENT is proud to be supporting our technical community with this new venture, I’m confident this will have a positive impact on technicians of all levels and disciplines who want to be part of this new scheme.”

The scheme is also supported by Sandy Sparks and Dr Lindsay Davies, Technical Training Managers from the MI TALENT team.

Technicians from all levels and disciplines are invited to join the scheme as a mentor or a mentee, or both. Applications close on 31 January 2024.

Find out more about the scheme here
Click here to apply before 31 January 2024


Notes to editors:

The UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy is funded by Research England, part of UK Research and Innovation. It was established on 1 August 2023. The Institute is the UK’s advocate for the technical community, accelerating technical skills and careers in higher education, research and innovation through insights, influence, innovation and integration.

The Institute is home of the Technician Commitment. Find out more at

The Research England funded TALENT Programme is a pioneering Midlands-based programme to advance status and opportunities for technical skills, roles and careers in UK higher education and research. TALENT delivers powerful pilot initiatives within the Midlands to inspire culture change and empower technicians. TALENT publishes new strategic insights and its TALENT Commission report designed a blueprint for the future of UK technical skills, roles and careers.

Find out more at