The purpose of this document is for NRMN to articulate their shared, working definitions among the NRMN community. The definitions below are the functional, working definitions we have used during phase 1 of NRMN. We acknowledge that much has been learned and many of these definitions can be expanded based on advancing scholarship which has emerged over the past four and a half years.
Basic Terms and Virtual Mentoring
Career Development Webinar(s):
A wide range of webinars that NRMN offers online to support and advice to students and scientists as they advance through their careers in the biomedical, behavioral science research.
The host vendor for NRMN’s MyMentor platform.
This feature, exclusive to the MyMentor platform, allows a user to be both a mentor and a mentee.
TheHealth Equity Learning Collaboratory is a virtual platform designed to facilitate online learning, social networking, and mentoring of Early Stage Investigators throughout the grantsmanship coaching training.
Great Minds in STEM:
The legacy STEM education organization initially used by NRMN to which MentorNet belongs.
Guided Virtual Mentoring (GVM):
One of NRMN’s offered programs, an online platform that connects mentors with mentees through guided conversations between the mentor and mentee that occur weekly.
The attainment of the highest level of health for all people. Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused and ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of health and health care disparities.
A less experienced individual who engages in a dynamic reciprocal relationship with an advanced career person (mentor), with the aim of promoting the professional development of both.
An advanced career individual who engages in a dynamic reciprocal relationship with a less experienced person (mentee), with the aim of promoting the professional development of both.
Mentor and Mentee Matching:
NRMN and MentorNet’s algorithm for suggesting mentors to mentees within the Guided Virtual Mentoring program, based on preferences such as education and career level, field of research, and cultural background.
A mutually beneficial, collaborative learning relationship that has the primary goal of helping mentees acquire the essential competencies needed for success in their chosen career. It includes using one’s own experience to guide another person through an experience that requires personal and intellectual growth and development.
NRMN legacy technology provider that offered Guided Virtual Mentoring until November 2017. The transition to Chronus for the Guided Virtual Mentoring platform occurred in January 2018.
NRMN’s Guided Virtual Mentoring platform. Mentors and mentees can find a match using our matching algorithm and then enter into an extended mentoring connection featuring guided discussion prompts, chat features, personalized goals, and more.
NRMN’s networking platform that allows NRMN participants to develop virtual communities. Within the MyNRMN platform, mentors and mentees can connect, join groups, chat virtually, create CVs, and more.
An online registration tool to serve as the online application for NRMN training.
Communication between individuals at similar career and/or educational stages that promotes the professional development of both.
NRMN mentors and mentees, NRMN staff and NRMN partners who have agreed to assist with the recruitment of mentors and mentees to the network.
NRMN Certified Mentor:
An NRMN Mentor who has served as a mentor for at least three different NRMN mentees, and who has participated in additional NRMN mentor training at a special session(s) held with partner organizations or at NRMN sponsored workshops.
NRMN Master Mentor:
An NRMN Certified mentor who has significant experience and success as a mentor.
A mentor who has signed up as a mentor within NRMN’s Guided Virtual Mentorship platform, has completed viewing the appropriate orientation materials and has completed at least one 4-month mentorship cycle with a mentee.
NRMNet (a.k.a. “NRMNet.net”):
The NRMN official website housing and providing access to all of NRMN’s resources. It serves as the registration portal for many NRMN supported activities.
Exclusive online community environments for schools, organizations, societies, and/or programs to have a tailored experience within NRMN’s Guided Virtual Mentoring platform, MyMentor.
Grant Writing Programs and Related Terms
A specific form of mentoring by individuals with purposefully developed and demonstrated expertise that provides individual or groups of mentees with contextual information (e.g. tools, tactical advice, and strategies for managing organizational politics) to provide guidance on a mentee’s career aspirations.
A guiding instructor responsible for implementing one of the Coaching Groups for Grant Proposal Writing & Professional Development.
Coach(es) in Training Participant(s):
One, or a group of people, who receive curricular guidance from NRMN for the purpose of implementing Coaching Groups for Grant Proposal Writing & Professional Development at their home institution.
A guiding instructor responsible for providing scientific expertise relevant to an investigators research area.
A validated tool to enhance the grant writing skill development of early-stage investigators and postdoctoral fellows. Items are categorized into three domains: skills in conceptualizing a research study, skills in designing a research study, skills in funding a research study. The items on this tool were identified by the National Research Mentoring Network as the critical skills that grant-seeking researchers need on their journey to becoming an independent research investigator.
Grantwriting Coaching Program Groups (GCP):
NRMN’s suite of four core grant writing and professional development programs
Individuals actively preparing a grant proposal (junior faculty with little to moderate experience) intensive grant proposal writing. Each cohort has a distinct population focus.
NIH Grant Mechanisms:
See more information about the different types of NIH grant mechanism here.
Northwestern University Grant Writers Coaching Group (“Northwestern University Model” “NU Model” “NU”):
Individuals actively preparing a grant proposal (postdocs and junior faculty with moderate experience) intensive grant proposal writing
NRMN Steps Towards Academic Research (NRMN STAR):
Individual researchers with less experience in grant writing; includes professional development topics.
*Avoid using “STAR” alone since there is also a “UNTHSC STAR”
Proposal Preparation Program (NRMN-P3):
Individuals actively preparing a grant proposal (junior faculty with grant proposal experience) intensive grant proposal writing.
*Avoid using “P3” alone since there is also a “UMN-P3”
An individual’s belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments.
Mentorship and Facilitator Trainings and Related Terms
An individual who has met the NRMN criteria for successful implementation of research mentor training and/or research mentee training. The second level of the Facilitator Certification Program.
Culturally Aware Mentoring (CAM):
An innovative effort to enhance mentors’ and trainees’ ability to effectively address cultural diversity matters in their research mentoring relationships. The CAM initiative and approach are supported by evidence which indicates that broader participation of culturally diverse groups enhances the quality of research and practice in the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical sciences.
Culturally Responsive Mentoring:
Mentoring which takes into account diverse cultural lived experiences of both the mentor and mentee as well as the cultural context of the research training environment (e.g., values and norms) so as to establish more effective mentoring relationships.
Mentoring that promotes a relationship based on trust which is mutually beneficial for the mentor and mentee and helps mentees move towards their goals. Attributes and metrics for effective mentoring are being developed and tested by NRMN and will be available on NRMNet.net.
An evidence-based curriculum series designed to help science faculty become effective mentors to diverse students through a process-based approach. There are 14 different versions, spanning those mentoring mentees from undergraduates through junior faculty across Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine (STEMM).
An evidence-based curriculum designed to help undergraduate and graduate trainees get the most from their mentored research experiences. The curriculum, Entering Research, offers nearly 100 activities that can be used to create new mentee training programs or integrated into existing programs. Through activities, case studies, and discussion, mentees are introduced to important topics and concepts organized around seven key areas of trainee development: research communication and comprehension skills, practical research skills, research ethics, researcher identity, researcher confidence and independence, equity and inclusion awareness and skills, and professional and career development skills.
Facilitator Training (or NRMN’s “Train-the-Trainer” Workshop):
A workshop that trains participants how to effectively implement research mentor or research mentee training workshops at their home institution or organization.
Institutional Planning Forum:
An in-person workshop designed to demonstrate the process of establishing a centralized research mentorship infrastructure that complements existing strategies at various institutions and provide tools to help institutions enhance its research mentorship capacity.
An individual who has met the NRMN criteria for successful implementation of research mentor training, research mentee training, and/or train-the-trainer workshops and has been certified to implement these trainings as an NRMN representative. The third and final level of the Facilitator Certification Program.
The knowledge and skills essential to producing effective mentoring relationships. Attributes and metrics for effective mentoring are being developed and tested by NRMN and will be available on NRMNet.net.
Mentoring Competency Assessment (MCA):
A validated instrument that assesses research mentoring skill gains. It was designed to align with research mentor training and based on the Entering Mentoring model that targets the following six competencies: maintaining effective communication, aligning expectations, assessing understanding, addressing equity and inclusion, fostering independence, and promoting professional development.
A concept that empowers mentees to be active participants in their mentoring relationships by shifting the emphasis from the mentors’ responsibilities in the mentor-mentee relationship to equal emphasis on the mentees’ contributions.
Optimizing the Practice of Mentoring (OPM):
A free, online, professional development course designed to prepare faculty from a range of disciplines to be effective research mentors for junior faculty, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students. Research mentors who complete this online course will gain the skills and tools necessary to form effective mentoring relationships.
Research Mentee Training:
An evidence-based, interactive approach that introduces trainees to the culture of research and teaches them skills for successfully navigating the research environment and their mentoring relationships. The mentee training curriculum addresses more than just the mentor-mentee relationship, it also provides support and guidance for “survival” in the research environment and career professional development.
Research Mentor Training:
Interactive training sessions designed to increase mentoring effectiveness and improve mentoring relationships by addressing mentoring competencies, such as: maintaining effective communication, aligning expectations, assessing understanding, addressing equity and inclusion, fostering independence, promoting professional development, promoting research self-efficacy, and enhancing work-life integration.
An individual who has been trained in how to effectively implement research mentor and/or research mentee training using approaches and curricula promoted by the National Research Mentoring Network. The first level of the Facilitator Certification Program.