Neurodivergent Student Academic Mentoring

What is the Neurodivergent Student Academic Mentor (SAM) programme? 

The Neurodivergent SAM Scheme is a mentoring scheme specifically for neurodivergent students at LSE. Students who self-identify as neurodivergent can apply to mentor other students who also self-identify as neurodivergent, from their second year of undergraduate at LSE. Any student who self identifies as neurodivergent may have a mentor, however please note that our current mentors are second- and third-year undergraduates. Students do not need to have a formal diagnosis to take part in the scheme, nor do they need to have declared their neurodivergence to the School to take part.   

What does it mean to be Neurodivergent?

This is a definition from Exceptional Individuals. Someone who is Neurodivergent behaves, thinks and learns differently to those who are neurotypical. This includes people with autism, ADHD, Tourette's, dyslexia, and a range of other neurodiverse conditions. 

For mentors

About you

We are looking for current first and second year undergraduate students who self identify as Neurodivergent to become student mentors. We are looking for students who can share their experiences of academic life as a student at LSE with Neurodivergent first-year undergraduate students starting in September 2023.

What does the position involve?

As a Neurodivergent SAM you will offer support to new neurodivergent students and help them to find their feet at LSE. You will be a friendly and approachable presence on campus, whilst offering support on matters relating to academic life. You may help them with things such as establishing a good work life balance, understanding where to find academic support at the School, or where the best spots to study on campus are. You will be trained and supported throughout your time as a SAM by LSE LIFE. 

Why become a SAM for Neurodivergent students?

SAMs help to build a stronger student community. With your advice and guidance, your mentees will develop in confidence and begin to feel part of LSE. Mentees often feel more comfortable asking a fellow student for help. Mentoring will help you to develop new skills: leadership, relationship building, communication, organisation, and time management. Your own skills and knowledge will improve, and you’ll increase in confidence. You’ll enhance your future employability with these newly acquired skills. 

For mentors

Any student at LSE who self-identifies as neurodivergent can apply to have a Neurodivergent SAM. Your fellow students have valuable knowledge and experience they want to share. They have been in your shoes and are here to offer you the opportunity to talk about any aspects of your studies at university. For example, they can help with:   


  • Time management 

  • Finding a good work routine 

  • Getting to know the School 

  • Reading tips 

  • Balancing studies and social life 

  • Building confidence in class 

How do I sign up as a mentor?

Sign up for the programme using this Qualtrics form

How do I sign up as a mentee?

Sign up for the programme using this Qualtrics form

Frequently Asked Questions

Is evidence of Neurodivergence required to take part?

  • Participation in this scheme is based purely on self identification as Neurodivergent. We will not ask students for any supporting evidence of their condition. Students will not be asked to disclose details of their Neurodivergence with us at any point. 
  • Taking part in the scheme is not the same as disclosing your disability to the school, and is not the same as exploring support available from the Disability and Wellbeing service. If you would like to disclose your disability to the school, in order to receive formal support from the DWS, please visit their website for more information.

Can I be a mentor on the neurodivergent SAM programme and the central SAM programme?

If you would like to be a mentor in the Neurodivergent SAM scheme, this will preclude you from being a mentor in the central SAM scheme. Being a mentor is a big commitment and we do not want you to take on too much! However, the two programmes will run very similarly so you will not be missing anything by not being part of the main SAM programme.

If you would like to have a Neurodivergent SAM mentor, this will not preclude you from having a SAM mentor from the central scheme (i.e. a SAM based in your home department). Please just fill in the application form for each branch of the scheme. 

How will students be matched?

When mentors apply, we will ask you, from a preset list, which issues you feel you could help students with. These will include, for example, managing the workload, navigating support services at the school or how to approach reading. We will then ask mentees what they would like help with from the same list of questions. We will do our best to match students according to these answers. This means that mentors and mentees may not necessarily be in the same department. 

What's the time commitment?

We ask that mentors meet with mentees around three times per term. You may receive queries from mentees inbetween meetings; if these ever become too much, we will help your mentee get some additional support.

Why are you running this pilot programme?

We are introducing the Neurodivergent SAM scheme in response to an LSE changemakers report. “Introducing neurodiversity-specific mentorship within the SAM scheme would improve visibility of, and give clout to, the importance of neurodiversity amongst the LSE student body”

The scheme would build on the “unique potential neurodivergents have to understand & support one another. Greater peer-support institutionalisation for neurodivergents would emulate the strengths of the existing SAM scheme, helping neurodivergents to feel less invisible, ignored and overlooked within LSE pedagogy.” (Crutcher 2022:4)

What happens if I sign up and change my mind, or find I am too busy once term has started?

For both mentors and mentees, this is no problem. Just let us know as soon as you can and, if you are a mentor, we will assure that your mentee is reassigned to a new mentor.