UKAT is seeking to build research capacity through an intensive 14-month peer mentoring programme designed to promote research into personal tutoring and student success in the context of UK Higher Education. Participants are fully supported in taking research projects all the way from the initial idea, through detailed planning, implementation and dissemination. The programme consists of residential retreats, writing workshops, peer mentoring, support for early-career researchers, webinars, face-to-face meetings to progress the work, and support with dissemination and writing for publication.

We recognise that advising practitioners are often best placed to identify the issues that merit further research, but are often not experienced in planning and conducting research. In fact, many non-academic practitioners often perceive research as the preserve of academics and feel unable to engage in it. Similarly, many academics may be experienced in researching in their own discipline but less confident in the methods and approaches needed to conduct educational research. UKAT is keen to encourage all who are interested, academic and non-academic alike, to engage in research in this field and the intensive mentoring programme is open to all. We are particularly keen to support first-time researchers.

The first cohort of the intensive research mentoring programme began in July 2017 and the next cohort will start in July 2018. If you are interested in taking part in the programme, please contact the chair of the UKAT Research Committee.

Current Research Projects

The following research projects are currently being supported through the Research Mentoring programme. Click on a project for more information.

Auditing and Profiling Institutional Provision of Academic Advising

This quantitative study explores the variation in academic advising provision at various levels within a single institution, together with the differences in perceptions and experiences of the stakeholders in the academic advising process.

Professionalising the academic tutor role

Sometimes, staff expectations of their students appear to be rooted in the previous experiences of the individual tutor, where the incoming students are compared to some idealised notion of what a student is, was or should be.  This may be based to some extent on what the individual tutor has experienced as a successful ‘way of being’ that has been internalised and become part of the tutor persona and informs their interactions with students. If we accept that the primary focus of students on the role is to observe some ‘care’ from their tutor, then we can ask what experience of ‘care’ has the tutor received that either enables or hampers their success as a tutor.

What impact can an academic adviser have on the relationship with alumni?

The project aims to explore the relationship between academic advising and alumni.  It aims to provide some insight into one aspect of the broader picture of academic advising 'around the edges' (i.e. pre-enrolment and post-graduation).

Student experiences of the Sheffield Hallam Sports Business Management Academic Professional Advisor model

This study will track 3 cohorts of students over a five year period and will track the students engagement, experiences and perceptions of tutoring and advising interventions across their period of study.

How Are Best Practice Models Balanced with Resource Constraints in the Design of Successful Academic Advising

This research project focuses on subject areas where the academic advising model is successfully implemented in two Higher Education Institutions in the UK. It will explore how academic advising policy is put into practice, how the decision making process operates at local level. The project will create a set of prioritised principles to be used by others when implementing academic advising policy at a local level.

How can I be an effective personal tutor and what is out there to help me do this? Staff perceptions of their personal tutor role and the influence of key resources

How can I be an effective personal tutor and what is out there to help me do this? Staff perceptions of their personal tutor role and the influence of key resources This action research focuses on personal tutors’ views on the effectiveness of their support in this role at the University of Lincoln.  This is planned to be the first phase of a more comprehensive research study into evaluating the effectiveness of personal tutoring beyond tutor perceptions and views with the second phase focussing on students’ views and performance in relation to tutoring practice and the resources. Research question How effective do personal tutors perceive their support of level one students to be when working with students at risk of underachievement and/or withdrawal? In answering this question, we will also seek to answer the following.  Prior to the provision of tailored personal tutor resources for level one students and staff, what resources and support do personal tutors draw on to ad ...