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NRMN Presentations at Feb 2016's Understanding Interventions Conference in Philly

By February 15, 2016No Comments

NRMN researchers from the Morehouse School of Medicine, University of Wisconsin — Madison, Northwestern University and University of North Texas Health Science Center will be offering several sessions through this February’s Understanding Interventions that Broaden Participation in Science Careers, a three-day conference taking place February 26th – 28th this year in the city of Philadelphia.
Read more about Understanding Interventions on the UI website, or click here to view the draft agenda.
Understanding Interventions is made possible in part by support from the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS).
See below for a list of the sessions being led by NRMN-affiliated faculty and staff.
Stephanie House, Dr. Christine Pfund, Dr. Christine Sorkness, and Kimberly Spencer of the University of Wisconsin — Madison share their research on the impact of training on faculty mentors’ awareness of diversity and on their subsequent behaviors in a session entitled The Impact of Mentor Training on Faculty Perceptions of Diversity within Mentoring Relationships.
From the official abstract:

Cultivating a more diverse scientific community is of benefit to science as well as society. Mentoring is a key factor in this process, as it substantively impacts mentee academic success across career stages. Mentor training, which has been shown to improve mentoring relationships, could act as an important link to better prepare mentors to work with diverse mentees. In our study we examine the impact of training on faculty mentors’ awareness of diversity and on their subsequent behaviors. We report the results of qualitative analysis from interviews with 134 mentors from 16 academic health centers who participated in 8 hours of mentor training, with one hour specifically focused on issues of diversity. Sixty one percent (N=84) of mentors reported some level of change in their diversity awareness from the training, with 25% of those (N=21) describing behavioral change. These data provide insights into the ways that mentors make sense of diversity within mentoring relationships, the role of bias, and the ways mentors can move from awareness to action. Implications for mentoring relationships, mentor training initiatives, and institutional efforts to address diversity will be discussed. We will give a brief overview of these data followed by a discussion to further explore the data and discuss implications.

Dr. Japera Johnson and Dr. Winston Thompson of the Morehouse School of Medicine will be offering a deep dive into Using Team Science and Mentoring Constellations to Enhance Translational Research Activity: An Overview of the Mentoring Academy at Morehouse School of Medicine
From the official abstract:

…Over the past forty years, MSM has established a nationally recognized track record of success in developing minority investigators through its pipeline programs. In 2011, MSM launched the Mentoring Academy, an initiative designed to centralize research training and professional development programs for academic faculty. As a smaller institution, MSM aggregately has an impressive funding record but, disaggregated there are few senior-level investigators that can serve as mentors for early-career faculty. Moreover, as MSM positions itself as a leader in translational science and health equity, it recognized the need to provide opportunities to transform its traditional structure of development programs in discrete disease-based or scientific discipline areas to a broader, translational research approach. Thus, it developed the Mentoring Academy based on the need for an aggregate core of cross-disciplinary senior investigators to guide mentoring and provide professional development translational research activities. In this Deeper Dive Symposium, the authors will overview the structure of the Mentoring Academy and explain its theoretical foundation in both team science and mentoring constellations.

Team science… leverages the wide-ranging skillsets of varied scientific disciplines and perspectives (Stokols et. al, 2008). As it has become progressively more challenging to attract, train, mentor and conserve a quorum of early-career clinical and translational scientists (Zerhouni, 2005), MSM contends that the combination of mentoring and team science creates a synergistic platform from which early career scientists are optimally equipped to benefit from access to cross-disciplinary senior-level mentors that are engaged in translational research and have sufficient social, technical and scientific capital to develop junior faculty. Studies demonstrate that this type of mentoring positively impacts research productivity, career satisfaction, and promotion and tenure among academic faculty (Longo et al., 2011). Increasingly, it is acknowledged that the use of multiple mentors, especially a network of mentors is essential to achieving career success (van Emmerik, 2004).

…Mentoring constellations allow greater access to resources, information, and career sponsorship which have been positively associated with increased salary, promotions and career satisfaction (Sorcinelli and Jung, 2007). To that end, MSM established an internal infrastructure to provide access to an organized constellation of mentors. Pragmatically, this positioned MSM to more effectively and efficiently leverage its scarce resource of senior-level investigators to provide intensive mentoring to accelerate the professional development of translational scientists.

Dr. Johnson will also be offering a symposium entitled Exploring Value Congruent Mentoring and Goal Setting Among Underrepresented Scientists
From the official abstract:

Effective mentoring is often highlighted as a key intervention to address the underrepresentation of minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM). It is theorized that as mentors collaborate with mentees to identify career goals and strategize professional outcomes, they serve as transformational leaders that promote positive changes in the mentee for the purpose of professional development (Scandura and Williams, 2004). Research on this type of mentoring relationship suggests that mentees experience higher intrinsic motivation and elevated career expectations as a result of transformational leadership mentoring (Sosik, Godshalk, and Yammarino, 2004). Additionally, research indicates that transformational leaders positively impact the development of self-concordant goals (Bono and Judge, 2003). However, it has been demonstrated that underrepresented minorities (URMs) face particular social challenges in STEMM related to stereotype threat, resulting in negative expectations, performance and interest in STEMM (for e.g. see Shapiro and Williams, 2011). These threats may impact the way in which URM mentees perceive and set goals for personal and professional outcomes. To that end, this paper explores goal setting among Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F31) pre-doctoral mentees to assess the potential role of transformational leadership to enhance goal setting among URMs. We provide a theoretical framework for value congruent mentoring, described as a transformational mentoring relationship in which the dyad is sufficiently aligned on intended professional outcomes. Further, we explore the relationship between value congruent mentoring and the development of self-concordant goals for URMs. Overall, we found that 73% of the mentoring relationships in our sample were value congruent. However, the proportions of alignment for URMs and non-URMS were statistically significantly different (X^2 = 383.88, p < 0.0001). 78% of non-URMs were aligned with their mentor on their intended professional outcomes, while only 53% of URMs were aligned. However, we found that URMs were less likely to set self-concordant goals compared to their non-URM counterparts even when in a value congruent mentoring relationship (X^2 = 11.6224, p = 0.0088). We conclude with a discussion of future research directions to clarify goal setting for URMs in STEM.

Dr. Amada Butz, Dr. Christine Pfund, Dr. Angela Byars-Winston, and Dr. Janet Branchaw of the University of Wisconsin — Madison will be exploring Increasing Mentors’ Ability to Promote Research Self-Efficacy in Their Students: An SCCT Intervention in STEM Fields.
From the official abstract:

Efforts to retain underrepresented minorities (URM) in the sciences have received considerable attention. Valantine and Collins (2015) recently highlighted several challenges to diversifying the biomedical workforce, including the need to identify psychological and social factors that can address barriers to workforce diversity. Self-efficacy, the belief that an individual has in his or her ability to complete a given task (Bandura, 1986, 1997) is one psychological factor that can begin to address these barriers. Although several interventions aimed at URM retention have been developed and implemented, few have employed a theoretical frame to inform their practice. This study seeks to build on the existing literature by examining the effectiveness of a mentor training intervention designed to educate mentors about self-efficacy and its sources using social cognitive career theory (SCCT; Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994) as a framework. Mentors of undergraduate mentees (N = 28) participated in a 1-hour mentor training workshop designed to educate mentors about the concept of self-efficacy and its sources in the context of a research lab experience. The training session took place in Summer 2014 and Summer 2015 at a large research university located in the Midwest. Mentors who participated in the self-efficacy training seminar reported significant gains in their skills in assessing mentees’ confidence for research and recognizing deficits in mentees’ confidence for research. Results in combination with feedback from intervention facilitators and mentor-participants will be discussed.

Dr. Harlan Jones of the University of North Texas Health Science Center will present a poster session about NRMN’s Grant Writing Coaching Group model, “NRMN-STAR.”
From the official abstract:

Recognizing the difficulty for junior faculty to accept a summer-long fellowship which would require an extended absence from home and family, the NRMN STAR provides a year-long schedule. The program provides a unique approach that combines on-site professional development and education with distance learning techniques that include on-line digital meetings, and “store and forward” technology. Programs include: a) workshops on principals of basic, clinical and translational research b) intensive grant writing workshops; c) biostatistics refresher; d) navigating NIH and other funding agencies; and e) professional and career development workshops.

Anticipated program success is expected to increase the number and proportion of: a) applications submitted by and awarded to URMs under various NIH grant mechanisms; b) publications authored in peer-reviewed journals; c) diverse populations promoted and tenured in research tracks; d) underrepresented populations participating in the NIH grant review process; e) underrepresented populations participating in the peer review process for scientific journals, and f) underrepresented populations serving in research leadership positions at their institutions or professional organizations. At the conclusion of this initiative, a diverse cadre of early-stage faculty will have achieved greater success in securing external sponsorship of their research, in transitioning to independent research careers, and in turn mentoring their younger counterparts.

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