The Elizabeth Garrett Mentoring Programme

The Elizabeth Garrett Mentoring Programme has been created for women in senior levels in academia at the University of St Andrews. It aims to support women in, or aspiring to, academic leadership roles, and to develop leadership capability.

Honouring Elizabeth Garrett

This programme is named in recognition of Elizabeth Garrett, who in 1862 became the first woman to matriculate at the University of St Andrews. Her name was later struck from the list of students and she was prevented from attending medical classes.

Nevertheless, her determination paved the way for other women, and she herself went on to accomplish great things, including becoming the first woman to qualify as a physician in Britain, co-founding the first hospital staffed by women, and becoming Dean of the London School of Medicine for Women.

It is fitting that this programme is named in Elizabeth Garrett’s honour. 

Professor Sally Mapstone, Principal and Vice-ChancellorThe establishment of this scheme acknowledged the need to increase representation of women at senior levels of academia, including at St Andrews, and seeks to address this inequality. It aims to help women achieve their true potential in whatever capacity. It recognises that there should be no obstacles for women of ability.

The programme is sponsored by the Principal, Professor Sally Mapstone.

This programme is now closed for applications. 

If you have any queries please email:

Mentor and mentee roles

Mentors may be members of the Principal's Office, Deans and Heads of School (current and previous), Directors of Research and Directors of Teaching from larger schools as well as professors.  Mentors may be male or female.

Mentees will be female academics wishing to benefit from a mentoring partnership in order to prepare for leadership roles, manage current leadership responsibilities, or develop leadership capabilities that can be applied in other roles.

Eligibility and scheme size

Scheme size

Eligible staff from all Academic Schools are invited to apply.  During the 2023-24 cycle the scheme will be able to accommodate 35 partnerships. This will include any existing partnership which will rollover into the new cycle. It may not, therefore, be possible to match all mentee applicants at the point of their initial application to the programme. 

Duration and time commitments


Partnerships will be supported for an initial period of one year, but may be extended one year at a time.

Time commitment

Participants joining the scheme are making a commitment to dedicate time to their mentoring partnership. The exact nature of this will be subject to agreement between the partners in each mentoring relationship.  As a guide, we suggest that partnerships have four 90 minute meetings during the year (or equivalent). However, partners may agree to other arrangements and may choose to change this agreement during the life of the partnership.

Selection and matching

After the closing date mentee applications will be reviewed by a selection panel which will include the Principal, the AVP Dean of Arts and Divinity, and the AVP Dean of Science. This panel will agree the selection of mentee applicants to go forward for matching into mentoring partnerships. The intention is that there will be at least one mentee per school, but this will be subject to applicant numbers, suitability and distribution across Schools.

All mentee applicants will be notified of the outcome by email.

The matching of selected applicants with mentors will take into consideration the compatibility of partners based on individual objectives and background, as well as any stated partner preferences.

Briefing and support

Once mentoring partnerships have been confirmed, all matched participants will attend a short briefing session before their first meeting. Participants who have already attended a similar briefing as part of existing schemes will not be expected to attend.

A scheme handbook will also be available, and further support for both mentors and mentees will be provided by OSDS and AVP Diversity.

All participants will also be invited to an optional networking event each semester, which will be hosted by the Principal.

Apply to join the programme

The scheme is now closed for new applications.