Why is mentoring important?
While $60 billion is spent in the US, each year on biomedical research, just 3% requires leadership training for scientists. Trainees report stress, depression, anxiety — and some leave the field. Imagine the future of scientific research with improved communication, equity and inclusion, and professional development.
Better leaders = better science. A University of Wisconsin researcher in the biomedical sciences and current president of the advocacy nonprofit, Future of Research, presented at a TEDx event:
Background and History
The Ohio State Mentoring Initiative started after a group of four faculty and staff members from Ohio State participated in the NRMN-CAN Facilitating Mentor Training Workshop in May 2017. They were joined by others who were trained in 2018 and 2019.
This NIH funded program allowed participants from the Big Ten Academic Alliance institutions to learn evidence-based approaches to mentor training and gain the knowledge, confidence, and facilitation skills needed to implement training and customize an implementation plan for their own campus.
Participants committed to implementing mentor training at their campuses after the training. Ohio State’s participation has resulted in an increasing number of trainers in the College of Medicine, Arts and Sciences, and Engineering.
In December of 2020, CIMER facilitated a train the teacher online session for 19 additional faculty and staff who are now part of the facilitating team.
With increased training capacity, a more systematic approach for training graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and faculty is now possible.
Questions or inquiries can be directed to ENG-OSMI@osu.edu
The National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) and The Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER)
The National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) is a nationwide consortium of biomedical professionals and institutions collaborating to provide all trainees across the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences with evidence-based mentorship and professional development programming. NRMN’s program models emphasize the benefits and challenges of diversity, inclusivity and culture within mentoring relationships, and more broadly the research workforce.
The Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) is an NRMN partner and collaborator that has produced curricula for mentor and mentee trainings. The mentor training offers a number of benefits and advantages for those who participate:
- Strong mentorship has been linked to enhanced mentee productivity, self-efficacy, career satisfaction, and is an important predictor of the academic success of scientists in training.
- The curriculum is based on proven mentor training curricula; even experienced mentors learn strategies for more effective mentoring from the training.
- Federal funding agencies are calling for evidence-based mentor training and the use of Individual Development Plans (IDPs) in particular, which is covered in the research mentor training.
- Participant feedback will help improve the curricula for future mentors who attend this training.
- By participating in research mentor training, mentors will receive resources and materials on how to be a more effective research mentor.
- Mentors will have the opportunity to discuss mentoring challenges among peers, share best mentoring practices, read relevant literature, review structured documents for mentoring success (e.g., compacts and individual development plans), and create a mentoring philosophy.
- Mentors will learn to communicate more effectively, consider issues of human diversity, promote professional development and independence, and develop a reflective approach to mentoring.