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2015 Pilot 3 of 5

Mentoring the Mentors to Enhance Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce: A Collaboration Between the University of California and the NRMN

Principal Investigator: Mitchell D. Feldman, MD
University of California San Francisco

This proposal uniquely advances NRMN’s Mentor Training Core mission; to train mentors how to work more effectively with underrepresented mentees engaged in biomedical research while specifically focusing on culturally responsible mentoring of graduate students, fellows, and junior clinician investigator faculty. In collaboration with the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) and the NRMN Mentor Training Core, we plan to organize a ‘mentoring the mentors’ training conference for targeted faculty affiliated with the 10 University of California (UC) campuses and to create a web-based module specifically aimed at training mentors of clinical investigator faculty. While the parent NRMN grant has done a remarkable job reaching out to a broad range of national partners, this proposal provides an opportunity to more closely engage with the UC system and reach the thousands of diverse trainees and faculty pursuing biomedical research careers on these campuses. Although California was the recipient of 3 BUILD grants, these are affiliated with the California State Universities and therefore are more directed to undergraduate students rather than the targeted mentee groups proposed herein. Further, our mentor training addresses challenges in mentoring clinician-investigators taking advantage of the fact that there are Schools of Medicine on 5 of the 10 UC campuses, an area of unmet need, and one that represents a complementary deliverable for the NRMN mentor training core.

The University of California is a powerful academic system with unparalleled international reputation for innovation in biomedical science. Increasing diversity has long been a goal of the entire UC system, and individual campuses have embraced this challenge. The UCSF Faculty Mentoring Program and the UCSF CTSI, Mentor Development Program are recognized as national models for mentor training. There are similar efforts taking place on other UC campuses, particularly in the context of their CTSI’s, but there has been insufficient collaboration amongst the UCs or with NRMN. UCSF along with the UCOP and other UC campuses has had a productive collaboration with the National Science Foundation to effect enduring faculty equity and diversity in the STEM fields through the UC ADVANCE program. We plan to leverage the relationships and momentum generated by the UC ADVANCE program to form robust regional and statewide partnerships with other UC campuses to:

  1. Form a University of California ‘Mentoring Advisory Group’ with representation from the 10 UC campuses to identify needs, existing resources, and mentoring best practices available on each campus.
  2. In collaboration with NRMN Mentor Training core leaders, organize and implement a 1 day mentor training conference focusing on training the mentors of diverse graduate students, fellows and junior faculty engaged in biomedical research careers, particularly clinical investigators.
  3. Implement a web based mentor training module with a focus on mentoring clinician-investigator fellows and junior faculty.
  4. Evaluate the mentor training workshops with both summative and formative measures.

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