This project has been prepared for Malaysia’s Ministry of Education (MoE), following a series of communications with key staff. It will be delivered collaboratively by three international universities, all of which have branch campuses in Malaysia. The three institutions are all global top 100 universities, according to the QS World University Rankings 2013 (Nottingham: 75; Southampton: 86; Monash: 69). Nottingham and Southampton are both members of the UK’s Russell Group (http://www.russellgroup.ac.uk/) and Monash is a member of Australia’s Group of Eight (http://www.go8.edu.au/).
In long-established/mature research universities, research careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) typically start with PhD training followed by a period of post-doctoral research in which the individual builds and develops expertise under the guidance of a senior academic. They develop skills to become independent researchers, to build their own groups and lead new projects. This is a well-established process. In some universities, this is sometimes difficult because there is often limited capacity at senior levels. Therefore, external mentoring provides an alternative mechanism – one which develops capacity from external resource – and has the added value of developing collaborative opportunities.