The annual Coaching and Mentoring Research Conference is a one day event dedicated to Master’s and doctoral level research in the field of coaching and mentoring. More specifically, all Oxford Brookes MA and doctoral graduates who have conducted research in coaching and/or mentoring are invited to present the methodology and findings of their research projects. Moreover, the Conference welcomes presentations from postgraduate and doctoral graduates from other Universities, provided that their research is in the fields of Coaching and Mentoring.
The 17th Annual Coaching and Mentoring Research Conference took place on 14th January 2021 virtually, via Zoom. This type of virtual delivery was an exception, resulting from the government restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While we thought this could potentially pose challenges, it ended up being a blessing in disguise, as we managed to welcome two keynote speakers delivering theirs talks from the East Coast of the USA and Israel, while we also welcomed participants from beyond the UK borders.
Aside from the two keynote speeches, delivered by Dr Gil Bozer (Sapir College, Israel) and Dr Angela Passarelli (College of Charleston, USA), a total of twenty one papers were presented in seven parallel panels, discussing a great variety of topics, some of which include: coaching during the Covid-19 pandemic, reciprocal mentoring, coaching for talent management, the use of metaphor by coaches, coaching for expatriates, coaching for criticality in higher education, coaching for well-being, as well as the experience of sports coaches, amongst others.
During the Conference, three distinct awards are offered. Firstly, the award for the best MA dissertation in executive coaching or supervision, sponsored by the Association for Professional Coaching and Supervision (APECS). This year’s winner was Judy Irving, for her dissertation entitled ‘How have Workplace Coaches Experienced Coaching during the Covid-19 Pandemic?’ Secondly, the award for the MA dissertation with the greatest potential for social good, sponsored by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC). This year’s winner was Sophia Andeh for her dissertation entitled ‘Exploring the Experience of Coaching in Childless Women’. Finally, the Janice Cook Prize, offered in memory of the late doctoral graduate Janice Cook, to the doctoral student who overcame great adversity during their doctoral study at Oxford Brookes. This year’s winner was Dr Ana Nacif, whose doctoral thesis is entitled ‘Group Coaching for Wellbeing in a Community Context’.
The dissemination of the Conference participants’ research findings continues beyond the Conference, as they are invited to publish their papers in a special issue of the open access journal International Journal of Evidenced Based Coaching and Mentoring, published annually in June.
Overall, the 17th Coaching and Mentoring Research Conference was extremely well received by all participants and attendees and it was deemed a great success. Despite the online delivery, the very simple format in which it was offered meant that participants could easily click on the Zoom link of their preferred talk and directly access it. Moreover, the use of a virtual meeting space for the Conference break meant that participants could interact more freely in-between talks. Despite all these positive aspects, we very much hope that next year the Conference will be delivered in Oxford, offering prospective participants the opportunity to interact face-to-face.
Conference Chair: Dr Ioanna Iordanou