A new approach to mentoring for research careers: The National Research Mentoring Network

Nrmn Team

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Background and purpose: Effective mentorship is critical to the success of early stage investigators, and has been linked to enhanced mentee productivity, self-efficacy, and career satisfaction. The mission of the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) is to provide all trainees across the biomedical, behavioral, clinical, and social sciences with evidence-based mentorship and professional development programming that emphasizes the benefits and challenges of diversity, inclusivity, and culture within mentoring relationships, and more broadly the research workforce. The purpose of this paper is to describe the structure and activities of NRMN. Key highlights: NRMN serves as a national training hub for mentors and mentees striving to improve their relationships by better aligning expectations, promoting professional development, maintaining effective communication, addressing equity and inclusion, assessing understanding, fostering independence, and cultivating ethical behavior. Training is offered in-person at institutions, regional training, or national meetings, as well as via synchronous and asynchronous platforms; the growing training demand is being met by a cadre of NRMN Master Facilitators. NRMN offers career stage-focused coaching models for grant writing, and other professional development programs. NRMN partners with diverse stakeholders from the NIH-sponsored Diversity Program Consortium (DPC), as well as organizations outside the DPC to work synergistically towards common diversity goals. NRMN offers a virtual portal to the Network and all NRMN program offerings for mentees and mentors across career development stages. NRMNet provides access to a wide array of mentoring experiences and resources including MyNRMN, Guided Virtual Mentorship Program, news, training calendar, videos, and workshops. National scale and sustainability are being addressed by NRMN "Coaches-in-Training" offerings for more senior researchers to implement coaching models across the nation. "Shark Tanks" provide intensive review and coaching for early career health disparities investigators, focusing on grant writing for graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, and junior faculty. Implications: Partners from diverse perspectives are building the national capacity and sparking the institutional changes necessary to truly diversify and transform the biomedical research workforce. NRMN works to leverage resources towards the goals of sustainability, scalability, and expanded reach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number22
JournalBMC Proceedings
StatePublished - Dec 4 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Work reported in this publication was supported by the National Institutes of Health Common Fund and Office of Scientific Workforce Diversity (USA). Publication of this article was funded by the CEC awards U54GM119024 and U54GM119024–03:S1 administered by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). The NIGMS of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under Award Number U54GM119023 supported programs and research reported in this manuscript. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

Funding Information:
The authors would like to recognize and express their deep gratitude for the contributions of past and current NRMN team members who shared in the creation and implementation of NRMN including its talented and dedicated associate directors, assistant directors, program managers, co-investigators, key personnel, facilitators, coaches, mentors, and mentees. These additional NRMN team members include: MariaElena Zavala, PhD, California State Northridge; Theresa Pesavento, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Mary Fernandez, MentorNet; Anthony Tissera, University of North Texas Health Science Center; Alp Deveci, University of North Texas Health Science Center; Damaris Javier, MA, University of North Texas Health Science Center; Alexis Short, University of North Texas Health Science Center; Paige Cooper, PhD, University of North Texas Health Science Center; Harlan Jones, PhD, University of North Texas Health Science Center; Spero Manson, PhD, University of Colorado Denver; Dedra Buchwald, MD, Washington State University; Kristin Eide, University of Minnesota; Andrea Gouldy, University of North Texas Health Science Center; Erin Kelly, University of Minnesota; Nicole Langford, Northwestern University; Richard McGee, PhD, Northwestern University; Clifford Steer, MD, University of Minnesota; Thad Unold, University of Minnesota; Anne Marie Weber-Main, PhD, University of Minnesota; Adriana Báez, PhD, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus; Jonathan Stiles, PhD, Morehouse School of Medicine; Priscilla Pemu, MD, MSCR, Morehouse School of Medicine; Winston Thompson, PhD, Morehouse School of Medicine; Judith Gwathmey, VMD, PhD, Morehouse School of Medicine; Kimberly Lawson, MPH, Morehouse School of Medicine; Japera Johnson, PhD, Morehouse School of Medicine; Meldra Hall, MPH, Morehouse School of Medicine; Douglas Paulsen, PhD Morehouse School of Medicine; Mona Fouad, MD, MPH, University of Alabama Birmingham; Ann Smith, University of Alabama Birmingham; Rafael E. Luna, PhD, Boston College; Donald Wilson, MD, AAMP; Greg Adelsberger, MBA, CPA, Boston College; Drew Simenson, Boston College; Abby Cook, Boston College; Monica Feliu-Mojer, PhD, Ciencia Puerto Rico, iBiology; Eileen Harwood, PhD, University of Minnesota; Amy Jones, University of Minnesota; Janet Branchaw, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Stephen Thomas, PhD, University of Maryland, College Park; Amanda Butz, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Angela Byars-Winston, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Stephanie House, MA, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Melissa McDaniels, PhD, Michigan State University; Sandra Quinn, PhD, University of Maryland, College Park; Jenna Rogers, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Kim Spencer, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Emily Utzerath, MA, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Veronica Womack, PhD, Northwestern University. We acknowledge the support of the NIH DPC and NIGMS program officers, as well as Boston College, Morehouse School of Medicine, University of Minnesota-Minneapolis, University of Utah-Salt Lake City, University of North Texas Health Sciences Center, and University of Wisconsin-Madison. NRMN also thanks its expanding group of partners and collaborators who have helped implement the NRMN of today, and will shape the NRMN of the future

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s).


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