The National Research Mentoring Network, Phase I

Map of United States divided into regions by colorThe Diversity Program Consortium’s National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) Phase I began in FY 2014. An overarching purpose of the NRMN was to enhance the retention and success of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups, in all career stages of biomedical-related research. The NRMN worked toward this goal by emphasizing the importance and significance of mentoring, and established a nationwide resource composed of five regional hubs. Programming included structured training activities, providing resources and educational tools, data collection, and professional development activities.

NRMN Phase I consisted of one cooperative award issued to five institutions, each of hosted an NRMN Core activity:

  • Administrative Core (Boston College): Managed the organizational and committee structures of NRMN to ensure growth, sustainability and the success of the objectives set forth by the Diversity Program Consortium. The Administrative Core also performed primary grants management for NRMN.
  • Mentorship and Networking Core (Jamboor Vishwanatha, University of North Texas Health Science Center): Developed an in-person and online network of mentors and mentees to increase the number of scientists from diverse backgrounds in biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social science research careers. This core oversaw the development and management of the website as an online resource for mentorship, networking and professional development. To work toward these goals, NRMN developed MyNRMN, a guided virtual mentorships program, and career development webinars.
  • Mentor Training Core (Christine Pfund, University of Wisconsin-Madison): Served as a national hub to prepare mentors and mentees in biomedical research through training, both in-person and online. This core established and maintained standards and metrics to achieve effective, culturally responsive mentoring relationships.
    In addition, this core held face-to-face and synchronous and asynchronous online training courses for mentors and mentees across the country as well as train-the-trainer workshops.
  • Professional Development Core (Kolawole Okuyemi, University of Utah, School of Medicine): Designed to address the unmet need for more diversity in the biomedical research workforce by creating and nationally disseminating transformative, this core developed high impact professional development programs to support mentees from diverse backgrounds.
  • Research Resources and Outreach Core (Elizabeth Ofili, Morehouse School of Medicine): By leveraging the existing research infrastructure of the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) program and engaging the leadership of RCMI and partnering Clinical and Translational Science Awards, this core worked to sustain interest from scholars and cultivate master trainers.

To accomplish the national scope of this initiative, NRMN actively collaborates with over 100 scientific and professional society partners, health-serving organizations and organizations that support students underrepresented in biomedical science.

For more information about NRMN Phase 1, see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, December 19, 2013 (RFA-RM-13-017), or contact Dr. Mercedes Rubio or Dr. Michael Sesma.