Research is the foun­da­tion of Glob­al Tal­ent Men­tor­ing and essen­tial for ensur­ing that our use of edu­ca­tion­al tech­nol­o­gy is account­able, effec­tive, and self-improv­ing. Research find­ings pre­dat­ing the start of men­tor­ing activities—both lit­er­a­ture reviews and our own orig­i­nal empir­i­cal findings—played a piv­otal role in the con­cep­tu­al devel­op­ment of Glob­al Tal­ent Men­tor­ing. Like­wise, research will con­tin­ue over the life­time of the pro­gram to assess pro­gram effec­tive­ness, learn more about tal­ent devel­op­ment with online men­tor­ing, and con­tin­u­al­ly improve the con­cept and imple­men­ta­tion of Glob­al Tal­ent Mentoring.

Preparation of Global Talent Mentoring

The prepa­ra­tion of Glob­al Tal­ent Mentoring—conceptual-ization, plan­ning, and devel­op­ment of the online platform—applied research in these areas:

Extensive review of existing research
Dig­i­tal­iza­tion offers many poten­tial fea­tures for men­tor­ing. How­ev­er, lim­it­ed empir­i­cal evi­dence exists on the ele-ments of effec­tive men­tor­ing, par­tic­u­lar­ly for the online men­tor­ing for­mat. The Glob­al Tal­ent Men­tor­ing research team stud­ied and aggre­gat­ed exist­ing research on online men­tor­ing, tal­ent devel­op­ment, and STEMM education. 
Analyzing existing mentoring programs

Our research team ana­lyzed exist­ing online men­tor­ing pro­grams (e.g., Cyber­Men­tor) to iden­ti­fy fac­tors that con­tribute to suc­cess­ful online men­tor­ing expe­ri­ences (e.g., match­ing cri­te­ria, com­mu­ni­ca­tion behav­ior and pat­terns, online plat­form fea­tures). These insights were uti­lized for devel­op­ing the con­cept of Glob­al Tal­ent Men­tor­ing. They are con­sis­tent­ly applied to max­i­mize the ben­e­fits of Glob­al Tal­ent Men­tor­ing for its participants.

Needs assessments for Global Talent Mentoring

In order to deter­mine the essen­tial ele­ments to be includ­ed in Glob­al Tal­ent Men­tor­ing, ques­tion­naires were devel­oped for and com­plet­ed by poten­tial mentees and men­tors at sev­er­al points dur­ing the con­cep­tu­al plan­ning process. With the help of the needs assess­ments, our research team iden­ti­fied key ele­ments for facil­i­tat­ing mentees’ and men­tors’ suc­cess in Glob­al Tal­ent Men­tor­ing. These ele­ments include spe­cif­ic train­ing and men­tor­ing mod­ules as well as ongo­ing sup­port dur­ing the men­tor­ing experience.

The research team is also ded­i­cat­ed to bet­ter under­stand­ing how to best sup­port tal­ent­ed youths in STEMM more gen­er­al­ly. To this end, sur­veys on experts’ views on key aspects and sup­port mech­a­nisms (e.g., men­tor­ing, enrich­ment pro­grams) for tal­ent devel­op­ment in STEMM fields have been con­duct­ed. Numer­ous experts from dif­fer­ent coun­tries par­tic­i­pat­ed in these sur­veys. The experts rep­re­sent the state of the art in research on and knowl­edge about tal­ent devel­op­ment, STEMM edu­ca­tion, and the man­i­fold STEMM sub­jects themselves. 

Based on these com­pre­hen­sive and mul­ti-lev­el research efforts, the research team has devel­oped the Glob­al Tal­ent Men­tor­ing pro­gram con­cept and applied it to pro­gram­ming Glob­al Tal­ent Men­tor­ing’s own online plat­form. The online plat­form has been designed to max­i­mize pro­gram effec­tive­ness while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly pro­vid­ing an enjoy­able and engag­ing user experience.

Effectiveness of Global Talent Mentoring

Glob­al Tal­ent Men­tor­ing mon­i­tors and research­es short-term, mid-term, and long-term pro­gram effec­tive­ness. Research insights help to con­tin­u­al­ly improve the pro­gram and to bet­ter under­stand how to use online men­tor­ing to fos­ter tal­ent devel­op­ment in var­i­ous STEMM domains. 
Short-term effectiveness
We will assess the program’s short-term effec­tive­ness by com­par­ing the devel­op­men­tal tra­jec­to­ries of our mentees with a ran­dom­ized wait­list con­trol group on out­comes such as par­tic­i­pants’ STEMM growth, STEMM inter­ests, and elec­tive inten­tions in STEMM. The wait­list con­trol group will con­sist of com­pa­ra­ble stu­dents who are also select­ed for pro­gram par­tic­i­pa­tion, but then are ran­dom­ly cho­sen to wait before par­tic­i­pat­ing. We will also lon­gi­tu­di­nal­ly assess var­i­ous aspects of online user activ­i­ties on the plat­form such as net­work­ing with oth­er par­tic­i­pants or ini­ti­at­ed and com­plet­ed STEMM projects. 
Mid-term effectiveness
We will mon­i­tor mentees’ indi­vid­ual devel­op­men­tal tra­jec­to­ries dur­ing and after pro­gram par­tic­i­pa­tion. Key data points will include mentees’ uti­liza­tion of the men­tor­ing offer­ings, their advance­ment along their indi­vid­ual learn­ing path­ways, their short-term, mid-term, and long-term goal-set­ting behav­iors, and goal attain­ment. Ongo­ing assess­ments will also con­sid­er mentees’ self-report­ed inter­nal and exter­nal tal­ent devel­op­ment resources as well as the devel­op­ment and qual­i­ty of rela­tion­ships between men­tors and mentees and their influ­ence on men­tor­ing outcomes. 
Long-term effectiveness
As mentees will par­tic­i­pate in Glob­al Tal­ent Men­tor­ing over a peri­od of about ten years, we will also con­duct lon­gi­tu­di­nal stud­ies of the program’s long-term effec­tive­ness. Fol­low-up research will assess for­mer mentees’ lat­er achieve­ments in ter­tiary edu­ca­tion and their pro­fes­sion­al achieve­ments (e.g., pub­li­ca­tions, patents). 

Research Publications

Luo, L. , & Stoeger, H. (2023). Unlock­ing the trans­for­ma­tive pow­er of men­tor­ing for youth devel­op­ment in com­mu­ni­ties, schools, and tal­ent domains. Jour­nal of Com­mu­ni­ty Psy­chol­o­gy, 1–16.
Luo, L. , & Stoeger, H. (2023). Devel­op­ing emi­nence in STEMM: An inter­view study with tal­ent devel­op­ment and STEMM experts. Annals of the New York Acad­e­my of Sci­ences, 1521, 112−131 .
Stoeger, H., Balestri­ni, D. P., & Ziegler, A. (2021). Key issues in pro­fes­sion­al­iz­ing men­tor­ing prac­tices. Annals of the New York Acad­e­my of Sci­ences, 1483, 5–18.
Stoeger, H., Ziegler, A. (Ed.). (2021). Spe­cial Issue: Men­tor­ing: The­o­ret­i­cal Back­ground, Empir­i­cal Find­ings, and Prac­ti­cal Appli­ca­tions. Annals of the New York Acad­e­my of Sci­ences, 1483.

Effec­tive and Sus­tain­able Online Men­tor­ing for STEMM Tal­ent Devel­op­ment: Pro­ceed­ings of the 2019 Regens­burg Inter­na­tion­al Expert Meet­ing (web-friend­ly ver­sion) (print­ing-opti­mized version)