Mentoring in the Research Training Environment


Listed below are the details of the projects funded under NOT-GM-21-023:


Listed below are the details of the projects funded under NOT-GM-22-014:


Title: T32 Predoctoral training grant in genetics
Principal Investigator:
Kelly A Dyer, University of Georgia
The objective of the Supplement is to improve the quality of advisor-graduate student relationships, specifically in the NIGMS training programs, but also in other programs at the University of Georgia. The mentoring relationship is critical to the experiences of students, and both positive and negative experiences can have profound consequences on the success of a student’s graduate training experience. Our recent work developed a mentorship assessment tool that identifies the general strengths and weaknesses of a mentoring relationship. Here we build on this work to design, implement, and evaluate novel, evidence-based mentoring interventions that support the continuous improvement of mentorship relationships over time. These “wise interventions” aim to help advisors and students develop new ways of thinking about their mentorship experiences, thus leading to more positive interactions and experiences and improved outcomes. Separate intervention series will be designed for advisors and for graduate students that focus on their unique roles in the mentoring relationship. These interventions will be deployed in a small-scale study of 70 advisors and 70 graduate students, and we will test the effectiveness of the interventions using both our mentorship assessment tool and one-on-one interviews. Completion of the proposal Aims will equip advisors and students with capacity to improve the quality and function of their mentoring relationships. The overarching goal is to generate effective interventions that lead to long-term, sustained improvement of the mentoring relationships experienced by students in the NIGMS training programs and beyond. Such improvement will lead to better outcomes for students of all backgrounds.

Title: MARC Supplement at Georgia State University: Workforce Diversity Through Enhanced Mentoring
Principal Investigators:
Kyle J Frantz (Contact), Ritu Aneja, Georgia State University
The project proposed in this supplement application aims to develop and test a new tool to foster effective mentor-mentee relationships. We will establish a user-friendly, easily-accessible, online platform through which mentors can create customized mentoring workbooks for use with individual mentees or teams. The platform will support mentors as they guide MARC@GSU scholars toward diverse research career paths. For Aim 1, we will assess current mentor-mentee relationships and identify gaps in mentor preparation, using focus group discussions and literature-based searches. For Aim 2, we will assemble materials and build a platform through which mentors can create customized workbooks with exercises that will help to establish and actively maintain communications and effective mentoring relationships. We will also optimize the platform in collaboration with program directors and mentor-mentee dyads from collaborating institutions, enhancing generalizability of the platform. For Aim 3, we will integrate the new platform into research programs at Georgia State University (GSU) and make them available for other institutions nationwide, using promotional videos, instructional guides, targeted communiques, and peer-reviewed publications. Strategically designed assessments along with institutionalization and dissemination of the product will maximize the impact of this project. Ultimately, the platform will enhance development of mentors and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in biomedical research environments.

Title: Pathways in Biological Sciences Training Program
Principal Investigators:
Randolph Y Hampton (Contact), Amy E Pasquinelli, Deborah Yelon, University of California, San Diego
The directors of the Pathways in Biological Sciences (PiBS) T32 predoctoral training program are requesting the offered 1 year supplement directed toward enhanced Mentor Training as first described in the original proposal (5T32GM133351). We will use the supplemental funds to facilitate the implementation and execution of this new facet of the PiBS program within the 1 year funding period. The implementation plan includes three processes detailed below. They are: 1) Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) based training of a core group of Trainers from PiBS and several other UCSD T32s to become Mentorship Facilitators, 2) Conduction of Mentorship workshops for all remaining PiBS Trainers by the resulting CIMER-trained Facilitators, and 3) Creation of a yearly Mentorship event with a keynote speaker, local presentations, and discussion panels to evaluate progress, devise new goals, and celebrate progress. As part of successful implementation, we propose to employ a portion of the supplemental funds as salary support for a designated administrator to ensure facile and complete implementation of the various planned events and training sessions.

Principal Investigators:
Jason M Haugh (Contact), Robert M Kelly, North Carolina State University Raleigh
Faculty from the Genetic Engineering and Society (GES) Center (, an interdisciplinary initiative at NC State that focuses on education, research, and outreach, have been addressing the intersection of biotechnology and society for over a decade. MBTP will partner with GES faculty to build on the initial activities and facilitate a workshop series for the 40 active faculty mentors in our MBTP. GES faculty represent a balance between natural and social scientists, thereby providing a holistic perspective on the biotechnology:society nexus and responsible innovation. GES faculty pairs (1 natural scientist; 1 social scientist) will lead eight workshops for MBTP trainers. Workshop themes will address intersections of biotechnology and society, considering how mentors can understand and incorporate social, ethical, and policy issues into their formal and informal interactions with MBTP trainees. The funding requested will be used to develop a framework that can be sustained through the collaboration of the GES and MBTP. Furthermore, we hope to create enthusiasm among the mentors for their trainees to consider completing a minor in Genetic Engineering and Society. NC State now houses several NIH-sponsored training programs and we envision this initiative to be adopted by those programs in future years.

Title: Mentor Training to enhance mentorship in an interdisciplinary training program
Principal Investigators:
Arthur D Lander (Contact), Qing Nie, University of California-Irvine
Effective mentoring relationships influence student professional development by shaping both the training experience and students’ perspectives on their field. Yet few of those involved in the training of graduate students receive formal training in how to mentor. We herein propose a series of mentor training activities tailored to the faculty in our T32 training program in Mathematical, Computational and Systems Biology. Workshop sessions will be adapted from the Entering Mentoring curriculum developed by the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research ( In addition, we will use interactive, small group sessions and invited speakers to reinforce key concepts and foster mentor-mentor support and peer mentoring among our program faculty. We will also use the Strength Deployment Inventory assessment, a tool to identify mentor personality and leadership strengths and motivations, to help provide mentors with strategies for engaging with diverse mentees.

Title: UTHealth/MDACC MSTP Alumni Mentoring Program
Principal Investigator:
Dianna M Milewicz, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Alumni of academic programs are among the best mentors for trainees as they provide trainees a direct lineage of success, and mentors are motivated by a sense of allegiance to the program and its trainees. We propose the creation of a network of alumni mentors to support and advise our MSTP students during the final years in the MSTP and into the most vulnerable periods of their post graduate careers, from residency to independent investigator. Beginning with facilitated interactions and alumni mentor training, a framework for recurring virtual and in-person meetings and parameters for accountability will be established as we initiate this program. The goal of this project is to increase the number of graduates pursuing research as a major component of their future careers.

Title: NIH MARC USTAR program and The Transdisciplinary Biomolecular and Biomedical Sciences (TBBS) Program at FIU supplement: Mentor-mentee alliances
Principal Investigator:
Deetta K Mills, Florida International University
The MARC U*STAR (T34) and TBBS (T32) supplement on mentoring is an enhanced, holistic approach to strengthen mentor-mentee alliances with an emphasis on cultivating cultural understanding and open communication skills. It will guide our mentor-mentees as to what their responsibilities are in the alliance and emphasize the need to work together to develop a mutual reliance on each other. In that way, mentoring alliances become intentional, provide positive growth of the mentor-mentee relationship and will be sustained as best practices in future STEM alliances reaching beyond these two current training grants. This proposal will address these elements through (a) team-building retreats, (b) monthly communications/workshops as a program group to cover mentoring topics of DEI, and (c) longitudinal tracking of IDPs and surveys to enable constant improvements.

Title: University of Rochester Mentoring Environment: Nurturing Training Opportunities in Research (UR-MENTOR)
Principal Investigator:
M Kerry O'Banion, University of Rochester
The University of Rochester (UR) Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) provides support for predoctoral physician-scientist trainees in the UR School of Medicine and Dentistry (URSMD), as well as several programs in the School of Arts, Sciences and Engineering. With its breadth in training faculty, the MSTP will serve as the parent grant for this University of Rochester Mentoring Environment: Nurturing Training Opportunities in Research (UR-MENTOR) supplement. The objective of UR-MENTOR is to implement effective mentoring practices that nurture our mentors’ and trainees’ professional competency. UR-MENTOR includes a three phase implementation strategy: Development (Phase 1), UR Dissemination (Phase 2), and Institutionalization (Phase 3). The implementation strategy will be guided by a carefully selected Oversight Committee, with collective expertise in programmatic leadership and evaluation, diversity initiatives, higher education, and mentorship development. We will offer structured mentoring mechanisms, including a combination of required and supplemental activities, which will be rooted in the innovative use of Self Determination Theory (SDT). As such, the proposed mechanisms will promote good mentoring practices that result in a culture of respect, leadership, equity, inclusion, and creativity. We will also utilize the resources offered through the UR Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN), including online toolkits and access to Facilitator Training through the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER). UR-MENTOR will include assessment of core performance domains: Accessibility, Communication style, Critical thinking, Cultural awareness, Project management and leadership, and Teaching/Coaching. Using feedback from the assessment of these core performance domains, the UR-MENTOR Oversight Committee will build a Logic Model to identify the mentoring activities and outputs needed to achieve program outcomes. We will share the findings of our programmatic evaluation with both the UR community and a larger network, including the NIH, NRMN, and through scholarly publication. Importantly, the URSMD leadership is committed to our program and will create an Associate Dean of Mentor Development to sustain UR-MENTOR.

Title: Training in Biotechnology: Emphasis in Protein Chemistry
Principal Investigator:
John W Peters, Washington State University
The Washington State University Protein Biotechnology Program is an NIGMS-supported training program that prepares graduate students to translate fundamental scientific discoveries into biotechnological innovations. Our program includes 45 students and 45 faculty who represent five diverse graduate programs in four different colleges. This long-running collaboration offers interdisciplinary training to individual students and has resulted in strengthened curricular and physical connections between affiliated departments. As a supplement to home degree requirements, the Biotech program sponsors inter-departmental rotations, supported industrial internships, courses on research practice and biotechnological entrepreneurship, monthly student Forums, student-organized annual research symposia, and enhanced research mentoring. These activities provide Biotechnology Trainees and other Washington State University students unique opportunities for skill development and research career awareness. To further increase the ability of our faculty Trainers to contribute to this training program, we propose to add a monthly “Faculty Forum” that, without duplicating existing efforts, will synergize Trainee-advisor mentoring, build additional cohort unity, and enhance the effect of other training program activities— benefiting students and faculty. Faculty Forum curriculum will be comprised of three components: Entering Mentoring activities, cohort specific training, and engagements that connect faculty with each other, Trainees, and Washington State University resources. Evaluation will include use of the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) assessment platform, drawn on a proven program for evaluating Entering Mentoring implementations and mentoring climate. Biotech program facilitators will attend training to develop transferable, enduring facilitation capacity. Mentoring curriculum and facilitation expertise will be shared with other Washington State University entities; e.g., both the Provost’s office and the Integrated Program in Biomedical Sciences (iPBS) graduate umbrella want to add mentor training that will be informed by our trailblazing efforts. Program and outcomes will also be shared publicly via our website, NIGMS presentations, and (as warranted) publication. Grant funds will catalyze year one access to resources and activity and created capacities will be sustained by existing institutional supports and collaborations.

Title: Medical Scientist Training Program
Principal Investigator:
Sharon E Plon, Baylor College of Medicine
The Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), supported by NIGMS T32 GM136611-01, has, over 49 years of continuous funding from the NIH, and established a successful track record of training physician scientist leaders. Research mentor training is an evidence based and critical component of the training program that enhances trainee retention and productivity, promotes diversity and inclusion, and supports the career development of research faculty. This proposal expands the pool of facilitators available to conduct mentor research training at BCM by supporting facilitator training of one MSTP Co-Director and two MSTP Faculty Operating Committee faculty members. These three new certified workshop facilitators will teach the National Research Mentor Network “Entering Mentoring” curriculum to primary research mentors of MSTP students, enabling compliance with the program’s new requirement for universal research mentor training. The impact of research mentor training will be assessed by evaluating program-specific outcomes such as publication rate, time to degree, and student retention, including comparison of these metrics for students from underrepresented groups and women. Faculty responses to training and student perspectives on mentor-mentee interactions will also be longitudinally assessed. This enhanced research mentor training program is envisioned to be sustainable, as trained facilitators will continue to provide regular training sessions on a semiannual to quarterly basis including at the annual MSTP retreat. The program is designed to reach across all 7 programs at the BCM Graduate School for Biomedical Sciences, and to translate into improvements in all other T32 training programs at BCM.

Title: Predoctoral Training Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology (Supplement: Mentoring in the Research Environment)
Principal Investigators:
Rytis Prekeris (Contact), Jay R Hesselberth, University of Colorado Denver
The goal of the T32-Funded Molecular Biology (MOLB) Program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is to train outstanding research scientists and academicians who will become future leaders in their chosen fields and disciplines. As part of this this goal, we teamed up with three other NIGMS T32- funded programs at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical campus to enhance mentorship training for training faculty in all four programs (comprising a total of ~214 training faculty and 121 student trainees). Specifically, programs participating in this project are: Molecular Biology Graduate Program (MOLB, T32- GM136444), Pharmacology Graduate Program (Pharm, T32-GM007635), Cell Biology Stem Cells and Development Program (CSD, T32-GM141742; formally recommended for funding starting July 1, 2021), and the MSTP Training Program (T32-GM008497). Our proposal has three major goals: (a) to develop a junior faculty mentorship training curriculum, (b) to develop an established faculty mentorship training curriculum, and (c) to establish a mentorship evaluation assessment plan. While the current project will target training faculty in MOLB, Pharm, CSD, and MSTP programs, ultimately the goal would be to use this curriculum as a basis for creating a campus-wide mentorship training platform.

Title: Mentoring Supplement for UTHealth LINK PREP
Principal Investigators:
Ramaswamy Sharma (Contact), Babatunde Olukayode Oyajobi, David S Weiss, The University of Texas Health Science Center
To foster a strong mentoring environment, the specific goals of this proposal are as follows: 1) Develop a cohort within the framework of the Mentoring Academy, which includes faculty who have received the prestigious, student nominated Mentor-of-the-Year award. Members of the Mentoring Academy will serve as strategists and facilitators for this mentoring initiative. The cohort will improve their understanding of mentoring tenets through a series of workshops and courses to fill any knowledge gaps as well as provide consistency in purpose. 2) Develop and/or refine Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) policies to facilitate the success of this initiative. Examples will include the refinement of our current student-mentor compact that needs both updating as well as stronger oversight, and modifications of GSBS bylaws and programmatic handbooks to foster strong mentorship. 3) Through the Mentoring Academy, and in collaboration with other stakeholders at UT Health engaged in graduate education, develop, implement, and monitor a continuous learning environment to foster a strong mentoring culture within the GSBS community. Some examples of activities that will be considered are a monthly seminar series for the faculty that touch on crucial issues in mentoring such as diversity and bias, career exploration, and mental health issues; an orientation process for new assistant professors and transfers to UT Health; a safe outlet for students or faculty that need advice or guidance; and work at multiple levels within the institution to ensure that strong mentoring is recognized and rewarded.

Title: CCNY G-RISE Mentor Training Supplement
Principal Investigator:
Ruth E Stark, City College Of New York
The G-RISE project at The City College of New York (CCNY) offers coordinated, innovative, and rigorous Ph.D. training in biochemistry, biophysics, bioorganic chemistry, (biomedical and chemical) engineering, and neuroscience to an average cohort of 14 underrepresented (UR) Ph.D. trainees each year for five years, appointing each trainee for 2-3 years. To provide a supportive and inclusive training environment that includes mentors who will be well equipped to recruit and retain talented minority Ph.D. trainees, a mentor training curriculum facilitated by the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) will be augmented with supplemental funding. The proposed funding will support activities to address several specific needs: (1) to provide mentor training programs that serve a broader group of CCNY mentors (both faculty and Ph.D. students) who supervise multi-level URM-focused research training; (2) to improve the logical flow and participant interactions in the CIMER program’s discussion periods; (3) to address mentor-mentee differences in demographics, lifestyles, and career goals; (4) to formalize follow-up development of Mentor-Mentee Compacts, Individual Development Plans (IDPs), and mentee-designed Path-to-Professions activities; (5) to establish appreciation events for mentors to highlight the achievements and challenges associated with these activities. Overall, the requested Supplement will allow us to leverage G-RISE funding by developing a robust mentoring infrastructure and culture that is tailored to the faculty and students at our urban minority-serving institution and supported by CCNY going forward.

Title: Diverse Predoctoral Training in Genetics
Principal Investigator:
David W Threadgill, Texas A&M University Health Science Center
This supplement revision, in response to NOT-GM-21-023: Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Administrative Supplements for Curriculum or Training Activities to Enhance Mentoring in the Research Training Environment, is requesting funds to develop a formal mentor training program emphasizing the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the modern scientific workforce and skills to improve faculty appreciation and commitment to diversity. We will achieve these goals through two specific aims detailed in the Research Plan: Aim 1. To enhance mentoring through workshops that provide faculty with evidence-based best practices in science leadership and instill a greater understanding of DEI issues. Aim 2. To develop greater awareness of DEI-related issues through the development of toolkits for PI-led discussions with their research teams, and program-wide “Genetics Night Out” events (faculty/student) that increase understanding of DEI challenges. We have also enlisted an assessment expert as a collaborator to provide evaluative input on the impact of the program from both the student and faculty perspective.

Title: Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Dynamics PhD Program
Principal Investigator:
David L Van Vactor, Harvard Medical School
? Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Dynamics (MCD2) is a NIGMS-supported training program at Harvard Medical School (HMS) devoted to the deep mechanistic investigation of fundamental biological phenomena. Our primary objective is to prepare a talented and diverse group students for robust and independent careers in rigorous scientific discovery. However, the future success of our trainees and their long-term professional impact will rely on the various mentoring relationships, role models, and peer networks that support them during and after their training here. The quality of mentorship not only propels our students’ careers, but also strengthens the national culture of STEM training. HMS and the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) are actively collaborating to train our faculty preceptors to better meet the mentoring needs of our graduate trainees. By September 2021, over 50% of the preceptors on this grant will have participated in our mentorship program, based on the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) “Entering Mentoring” curriculum and other resources (e.g. National Research Mentoring Network); and the remaining faculty should have participated by the end of the current funding cycle in 2022. Thus, we anticipate a time when our thesis advisors have been introduced to new evidence-based benchmarks in mentorship and supporting diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging within our research community. We propose to expand upon these efforts in two ways. First, we propose to refine and disseminate curricula and pedagogical tools that faculty can employ to mentor trainees through the acquisition of peer mentoring skills, given the capacity of trainees to amplify faculty efforts to cultivate a positive culture of mentorship in their labs and communities. The past year and pandemic highlight the need of our trainees for more extensive networks of mentoring support. Second, we propose to develop, expand and promote a soon-to-be-launched open access online platform Career CogCity, which will connect faculty to the myriad resources continuously being developed to support graduate student professional development – building on our momentum to better prepare them for mentorship roles by providing resources for them to deepen conversations around individual development planning, skills acquisition, career exploration and professional development. Integral to these new training resources, we will also collect data on the impact of faculty and peer mentoring. All these efforts simultaneously serve as training resources for the administrators who manage our graduate programs, and importantly deliver a transgenerational benefit of better equipping our graduate trainees to serve as mentors and teachers during graduate school and to translate this benefit as the next generation of mentors and leaders in their professional lives.


Title: Chemistry and Biology Interface (CBI) NIH T32 Training Grant
Principal Investigators:
Catherine Leimkuhler Grimes (Contact), Brian J Bahnson, University of Delaware
Two of the main objectives of the CBI T32 program at the University of Delaware (UD) are to create an inclusive environment and to support the whole predoctoral trainee. Here we propose an administrative supplement to increase our efforts in mentor training. Mentoring across disciplines in the biomedical sciences to a diverse community takes unique skills that must be properly introduced and continuously honed. In this CBI T32 administrative supplement, we aim to develop culturally aware mentoring training for our T32 trainers including a mentor training program and tailored individual development plans (IDP) for those trainees who have had a life event (e.g., having a child) in graduate school. Our goal is to bring awareness and practices to our trainees and faculty mentors so that mentoring encompasses the whole individual. The Aims of this administrative supplement are:

Aim 1: Development of Culturally Aware Mentor Training: During the current funding period, 23 CBI trainers participated virtually in Culturally Aware Mentor (CAM) training. We followed this event up with Round Table Faculty discussion, and based on the feedback we now aim to develop a train the trainer program. Here we will expand this program to establish a culturally aware mentoring program within the CBI program and UD.

Aim 2: Creation of a Culturally Aware CBI Symposia: Our program strives to create an environment where all feel included. In order to complement our mentoring efforts, we will create a yearly Culturally Aware CBI Symposia. Here leaders in the field will be invited to give paid lectures/workshop that centers on best practices in mentoring diverse cohorts in biomedical research. The entire University research community will be invited to attend and individual sessions will be held for CBI faculty trainers.

Aim 3: Assessment of CBI Mentoring: Although the CBI program regularly and consistently surveys our trainees, a university-wide survey suggests that there are differences between student groups. Here we aim to assess mentoring across gender, URM and disability backgrounds. Outcomes of the CAM training will be directly measured using the same assessment at three different time points and trainee interviews.

Aim 4: Supporting Life Events for trainees: During the granting period, we have had eight trainees become parents. There is no clear University wide policy on how to best mentor and support these trainees. CBI has had the unique opportunity to learn how different Colleges and Departments assist these students. Here we will work with Mindful Return to create resource lists and mentoring plans.

Title: Administrative Supplement for the MARC U'STAR Training Program at the University of Rhode Island: Graduate Student Inclusive Mentoring Training
Principal Investigator:
Niall George Howlett, University of Rhode Island
In this administrative supplement application, we describe the design and implementation of a new inclusive graduate student mentoring training program at the University of Rhode Island (URI). This program will promote more effective mentoring in the biological and biomedical sciences through the development of evidence informed educational and training modules and activities. Specifically, we are requesting funds to send four additional URI faculty and staff from the College of the Environment and Life Sciences (CELS) to the Entering Mentoring Facilitator Training, hosted by the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Facilitating Entering Mentoring is a two-day “train-the-trainer” workshop designed to increase the capacity for research mentor trainings offered at colleges and universities, research institutes, and governmental organizations. Following completion of NRMN Mentoring Facilitator Training, MARC team members will design and develop a 3-4 module graduate student inclusive mentoring training program that allow participants to delve more deeply into the various components of inclusive mentoring practices and roles as graduate mentors in research environments. The objectives of these modules will be to: (1) Cultivate awareness among graduate mentors on the need for inclusive approaches; (2) Provide strategies for cultivating sustained dialogue between graduate mentors and undergraduate mentees; and (3) Support graduate research mentors in the development of their own inclusive mentoring.

Title: Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Predoctoral Training in Molecular, Cellular, and Biochemical Sciences
Principal Investigators:
Kimberly L Mowry (Contact), Mark Aikens Johnson, Erica Nicole Larschan, Brown University
This supplement will fund a mentor training developer/coordinator who will greatly expand mentor training across the Brown University Division of Biology and Medicine and have broader impacts because new mentor-mentee case studies will be disseminated nationally through the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) network. The main responsibilities of the mentor training curriculum developer/coordinator will be to: 1) Run mentor training sessions using available case studies from CIMER. 2) Customize 20-30 relevant case studies based on interviews with faculty and students that will be de-identified and shared with the larger scientific community online. A unique aspect of this will be interviewing mentees and building case studies from the mentee perspective. 3) Track and disseminate the de-identified outcomes of the new case studies which is not normally done in other mentor training programs but would be very valuable to faculty and students. 4) Build in cases to address culturally aware mentoring and other activities to naturally build in equity and inclusion and students from previously excluded groups. 5) Coordinate continuous training every semester so that mentor training is not a program that is completed once and never considered again. 6) Incorporate literature and training on equitable review of graduate school applications. 7) Advise graduate students on how to communicate with mentors through mentee training programs.

Title: Predoctoral Training in Quantitative Cell & Molecular Biology
Principal Investigators:
Carol J Wilusz (Contact), Juan Lucas Argueso, Colorado State University
The aim of this proposal is to ensure that faculty within Colorado State University (CSU) are providing the best quality mentoring to our graduate student participants of the NIH funded qCMB program, and other programs all through the university, and to also prepare our graduate students for mentoring roles as they progress through, and after they graduate, from this program. To do so we propose to develop a community of practice through intentional mentoring. Intentionality in mentoring incorporates purposeful efforts to improve relationships by utilizing best-practice mentoring behaviors, such as those supported through the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) training. Community of practice suggests that membership in the community is developed through not only knowledge transfer, but skills, cultural norms, and social membership. The combination of intentional mentoring within the community of practice framework incorporates both standard research support of mentees and psychosocial support. We propose a three phase set of training activities in order to enhance the capacity for intentional mentoring and development of a community of practice within qCMB, that will also spillover to other training programs, and programs in general, at CSU. These phases focus on 1) qCMB faculty mentor training, 2) mentor training for graduate student qCMB trainees, and 3) development of a community of practice to allow for supported application of mentoring skills. These training activities will be capped with assessment and feedback of the learned and applied mentoring skills.​