RFP for White Paper on Mentoring Research and Best Practices

The Call. The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations (Center) seeks an academic researcher(s) to 1) conduct a thorough literature review of mentoring and 2) prepare a White Paper for the review that summarizes key findings and highlights best mentoring practices for the profession. The Center will subsequently package the work and distribute it widely within the profession through an online booklet, webinars and other channels. The overall goals are to improve our understanding of effective mentoring, enrich mentoring efforts in the field and drive best practices. The Center will provide a $4,000 stipend for the completed White Paper.

Background. Mentoring is important in the field because it facilitates professional development and understanding. Mentoring is often associated with positive behavioral, motivational, attitudinal, relational and career outcomes. However, much mentoring research has been conducted in disciplinary silos, and actual relationships between mentoring activities and outcomes aren’t always clear. Mentoring (youth, academic and work place) has been studied in sociology, psychology, education, the medical sciences, organizational studies, communication and other disciplines. It’s also an increasingly popular topic in business and other professions, e.g., John Maxwell, Mentoring 101, and Lois Zachary, The Mentor’s Guide and Creating a Mentoring Culture….

The Project. The researcher(s) will conduct a thorough review of mentoring in the literatures (focusing on professionals and the university and work place) and summarize the key findings and best practices in a White Paper of about 25-30 double-spaced pages, not including references. The White Paper should focus on the 1) key findings, 2) best practices, 3) metrics for measuring mentoring and 4) strengths and weaknesses of research in this area. The paper should NOT present the comprehensive literature review. The Paper is due no later than October 1, 2016. The Plank Center will provide a $4,000 stipend for the work: $2,000 at the beginning of the project and $2,000 upon completion of the White Paper.

The project is a work-for-hire agreement. The Center will “own” the White Paper and will post it on the website and package and distribute key findings and best practices through diverse channels. The researcher(s) will be cited as author(s) of the White Paper.

The RFP. The researcher(s) should provide an electronic letter of no more than three pages in length (single-spaced) that addresses:

  • their interest in the project,
  • any previous research and publications on the topic,
  • the approaches they will take to identify best practices and metrics for mentoring, and
  • a timeline for the work.

They also must attach their CV to the letter.

The RFP (letter and CV) must be emailed by May 6, 2016 to Dr. Bruce Berger, research director for the Center (berger@apr.ua.edu and phone: 205-454-6587). Notification of the selected researcher(s) will be completed by May 20, 2016, and the White Paper must be completed by October 1, 2016.

Resources of Interest

The Plank Center is committed to helping you expand your skills and advance the practice of public relations.