For the successful completion of your RAP you must have a mentor. You should understand the role of project mentor in completion of RAP. Project mentor has two roles defined by OBU.
- Your project mentor will support you during preparation of RAP by providing advice and feedback at appropriate times during your research.
- He will confirm to OBU that he has been your project mentor and this research report is your own work.
In your RAP registration form you have to give details of your project mentor and your mentor will officially confirm that he was your mentor. It is not important that your project mentor have specialist knowledge in your project topic area or of academic research methods. Your Project Mentor does not play any part in the assessment of your RAP beyond the certification provided to Oxford Brookes University. You should not expect of your mentor to write any part of your RAP, as this is solely your responsibility.
You will have three meetings with your Project Mentor. These meetings provide your Project Mentor with the opportunity to guide your RAP work and provide feedback to you. The meetings also provide you with the opportunity to develop your personal skills including questioning, listening and giving a presentation. You will reflect on this graduate skills development in your Skills and Learning Statement.
Your Project Mentor should encourage you to think about what you propose to do in your RAP work, challenge you to demonstrate that you are meeting your project objectives and that you will be able to meet your timetable for submission of your RAP to Oxford Brookes University. Your Project Mentor may also ask you to demonstrate your understanding of the issues that have arisen during your research, and may wish to question you on your conclusions and recommendations.
OBU has identified the following characteristics of an effective Project Mentor. You may wish to reflect on this list of attributes when making your own choice of Project Mentor.
– Is approachable and has genuine interest in helping students to succeed;
– Listens and actively questions;
– Respects confidentiality and is trustworthy;
– Acts as a sounding board to explore ideas and issues arising from research;
– Provides positive and constructive feedback on research being carried out;
– Challenges and discusses effective communication;
– Offers support and encouragement;
– Helps the student meet their objectives;
– Helps the student ask the right questions, to think systematically, to learn to apply appropriate evaluation techniques and to analyse and interpret the findings;
– Remains neutral and not judgmental;
– Provides subtle guidance but ensures student makes the decisions;
– Is knowledgeable and competent; and
– Grasps the essence of the technicalities without becoming a subject matter expert.