Exploring Mentoring Relationships

Exploring Mentoring Relationships: Building, Communicating, and Impacting Doctoral Students

Mentoring has always been an important part of my graduate career. I’ve been fortunate enough to find a few mentors along the way that have taught me valuable lessons and have allowed me to grow both personal and professionally.

This year I started a job that allows me to mentor other graduate students across many different disciplines. This new role got me thinking about (and questioning) what I knew about mentoring.

It turns out that many graduate students have mentors, but much is still unknown about how these relationships are formed, what types of communication occur between graduate students and their mentors, and how these relationships impact graduate students. I also started thinking about doctoral students that are in blended (similar to my program at work) or online programs (increasing in popularity). Would mentoring relationships look the same or different from a distance? This is still largely unknown too.

Purpose of Study

The purpose of this research is to explore mentoring relationships between doctoral students and their mentors. This research will examine how mentoring relationships are established, the communication that occurs between a doctoral student and their mentor, and the impacts on their personal and professional development. The research will also explore the implications of developing and maintaining mentoring relationships from a distance.


We seek to explore mentoring relationships through the shared narratives of doctoral students. We hope to gain initial insights to understand the lived experiences of mentoring relationships through semi-structured interviews, such as:

  • How did your mentoring relationship start?
  • How do you communicate with your mentor?
  • How has this mentoring relationship impacted you?

These are just a few of the questions we want to ask. The interview is expected to take about 30 minutes and no sensitive questions will be asked during it. Your participation in the study is completely voluntary and optional.

If you are a doctoral student working towards a terminal degree (e.g., Ph.D., Ed.D., MFA, etc.) at a college or university and are willing to talk with a researcher, please click on this link to complete the informed consent form and brief (5 minute demographics survey): https://unt.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_d06SO2d0GL8al6d

This research is sponsored and approved by the University of North Texas Institutional Research Board (UNT-IRB #18-74). For further questions or inquiries about this study, please contact Meranda Roy (merandaroy@my.unt.edu) or Dr. Laura Pasquini (Laura.Pasquini@unt.edu). We would be more than happy to follow up with any questions you may have.


Thank you for your support,



Meranda Roy, M.S.

Doctoral Scholar

Department of Learning Technologies

University of North Texas

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