NRMN Committee on Institutional Cooperation Academic Network (NRMN-CAN)
Learn more by visiting the University of Chicago’s NRMN-CAN project website.
Nancy Schwartz, PhD
University of Chicago
Despite more than 20 years of initiatives aimed to increase diversity, individuals from underrepresented populations face persistent challenges as they navigate academic and workforce environments. Leveraging the foundation laid over the past two decades a comprehensive approach to retaining aspiring underrepresented scientists in the biomedical workforce is essential. The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), one of the largest higher education consortiums in the nation, representing 15 academic institutions, aims to answer that call by forming a midwest hub for the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN). This mission of the NRMN CIC Academic Network (NRMN-CAN) is to leverage consortium resources to provide professional development experiences to aspiring scientists from underrepresented populations and to assist current and future mentors in developing core competencies for mentoring. The activities proposed feature a professional development and grant writing education conference for underrepresented graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and pre-tenure faculty, follow up grant writing groups led by trained grant writing specialists, and support for mentor training across all CIC institutions. This proposal also aims to address research questions pertaining to whether the proposed interventions positively impact the scientific identity and sense of self-efficacy experienced by underrepresented scientists and what motivates mentors to seek training. Over the course of two years, we aim to provide professional development support to at least 150 aspiring underrepresented scientists, and mentor training to at least 100 mentors.