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NRMN Hosts Southeast Training Hub Kick-Off Event at Morehouse School of Medicine

By June 14, 2016No Comments
NRMN SETH-KO Group Photo

Written by Ann Smith

On May 18-20, 2016 the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) Southeast/Deep South Training Hub held a kick-off event in Atlanta. The event was hosted by Morehouse School of Medicine, through the NRMN Research Resources and Outreach Core (RROC) PI, Elizabeth Ofili, MD, MPH, FACC, and her team.

The 3-day event included grant writing coaching sessions, a mentoring institutional planning forum, and a speaker series focused on helping new health equity investigators pursue research independence.

Participants included senior faculty, junior faculty, and postdoctoral fellows, as well as administrative staff and program directors from institutions across the southeast, and as far away as Puerto Rico, California, and Hawaii. Approximately 13 senior faculty coaches led the grant writing training for more than 40 junior faculty and post-docs, while 12 senior faculty and administrators participated in the mentoring institutional planning forum.

Day one began with a welcome by Ofili and Japera Johnson, PhD, RROC Co-Investigator, and introductions of attendees, followed by an interactive webinar session with NRMN Program Officer Mercedes Rubio, PhD, and Project Scientist Darren Sledjeski, PhD, of the NIH. Next, while the coaches broke away for training on a Novel Coaching-Group Approach to Developing Grant Writing Skills, led by Richard McGee, PhD, NRMN Program Director for the Northwestern University model Grant Writers Coaching Group, the junior faculty attended a talk on the topic of “Plotting Your Path to Independence,” presented by Anthony DePass, PhD, PI for “Understanding Interventions.” The day concluded with a working dinner.

Day two included a presentation by McGee to both groups (coaches and trainees) as an overview to the grant writing coaching sessions, followed by breakout sessions where attendees assembled into smaller “coaching groups,” each with a coach and several junior faculty working on writing their own grant. In the coaching groups, each grant writer presented the specific aims of their proposed research to the group for review and feedback. This kick-off session launches a six-to-eight-week period when the groups will reconvene via webinars to continue review and refinement of the grant proposals, with the goal of submitting the finalized grant applications in six months. Day two concluded with a networking and hors d’oeuvres reception.

Group Photo - Coaching Group

Left to Right: Erick Ellis, Michael Bauer, Minerva Garcia-Barrio, Esther Suswam, Jeff Engler – Coach Engler’s Grant Writing Group

Day three featured concurrent meetings where the junior faculty continued the speaker series with a talk led by Maritza Salazar, PhD, PI, Director and Lead Consultant with Team Science Lab, who spoke about “Designing Science Teams and Principles of Interdisciplinary Communication,” followed by a panel on “Community Engagement and Translational Science” featuring the following panelists:

Rakale Collins Quarells, PhD
Associate Professor of Community Health and Preventive Medicine
Morehouse School of Medicine

Winifred W. Thompson, PhD, MSW
Emory University
Rollins School of Public Health – BSHE

Elleen Yancey, PhD
Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine
Morehouse School of Medicine

Natasha Berryman, BS
National Research Mentoring Network
Morehouse School of Medicine

Group Photo

Left to Right: Erika Thompson, Demi Adedinsewo, Adriana Baez, Japera Johnson, Elizabeth Ofili, Ann Smith, Natalie Hernandez

Photo by: Jeff Engler

The final day also featured a “Mentoring Academy and Institutional Planning Forum,” an engaging workshop led by Ofili, Johnson, RROC Co-Investigator Winston Thompson, PhD, and RROC Associate Director Jonathan Stiles, PhD. Next Christine Pfund, PhD, NRMN Mentor Training Core PI, led sessions on “Elements of Institutional Initiatives to Improve Mentoring,” and “Strategic Planning at the Institutional Level.” Her talks were followed by a working session led by Salazar on “Implementation Planning: Leveraging Team Science Principles for Institutional Change to Support Research Mentoring.” The workgroups were charged with continuing the planning back at their own home institutions to implement the changes discussed. Overall the NRMN Southeast/Deep South Training Hub kick-off was a big success, and the work continues!

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