The GTMH project will conduct studies in two phases: (1) before the start of mentoring and (2) during the mentoring on the GTMH online platform.
1. Pre-Mentoring Research (2018 to 2020)
Optimal Talent Development in STEM Fields: Studies on experts’ views on different support mechanisms (mentoring, enrichment programs, etc.) for talent development in STEM fields will be conducted. Experts from different countries, fields (STEM, talent development, networking, etc.), and in different roles (researchers, practitioners, etc.) will be invited to participate.
Needs Assessment for Best Practice for Mentoring Programs: Potential mentees and mentors, as well as experts from different areas (STEM education, giftedness, etc.) will be surveyed about their needs, requirements, and ideas concerning what they think an ideal mentoring program would entail. This is essential during the pre-mentoring phase so that the research team can design and build an optimal mentoring program.
Optimal Online Mentoring (Part A): Existing online mentoring programs will be analyzed to determine what aspects (matching criteria, communication behavior, etc.) are essential for effective online mentoring processes.
Optimal Online Mentoring (Part B): The ways in which mentoring best works on an online platform will be studied. Usability studies, research on online platforms, and more will be explored.
2. Research during Mentoring (2020 and beyond)
As soon as mentoring starts, ongoing formative evaluations will be carried out to determine the effectiveness of the program. Formative evaluation results will be used to make continuous improvements to the online platform.
Longitudinal studies will be conducted comparing the growth of students in the mentoring group with students in a wait-list control group (i.e., those who are waiting to be assigned a mentor) at several time points.
In addition, factors contributing to mentoring success will be examined, such as communication about STEM topics, quality of mentee–mentor relationships, and STEM project involvement.