Phase II: National Research Mentoring Network – The Science of Mentoring, Networking and Navigating Career Transition Points

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There are 11 unique research projects that make up the Science of Mentoring, Networking, and Navigating Career Transition Points (RFA-RM-18-004) segment of NRMN Phase II. Using robust experimental designs, the projects are intended to expand the scientific scope of the NRMN initiative by exploring a variety of evidence-based mentoring and networking approaches to advance careers of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from underrepresented groups in the biomedical research workforce.

The 11 projects are based at institutions across the United States, and each will collect data as part of the Consortium-wide Evaluation Plan:

1) the effects of pre-existing social and contextual factors on participation of undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds in biomedical workforce

2) test whether mentoring/networking intervention, mainly in freshmen and sophomore years, influence the persistence, engagement, and development of science identity of students from diverse backgrounds.

Based on historical data and background, the researchers hypothesize that the preexisting social and contextual capital factors among diverse students mediates the persistence, engagement and overall success rate of students as an individual and as a group.This hypothesis will be tested in three aims and the expected outcome of the interventions is increased persistence, engagement and science identity of the test group resulting in the successful transition to the next career stage

Aim 1: Determine the effectiveness of a new, enhanced coaching intervention on proposal submission and funding rates when varying coaching dose (regular vs. extended), and mode of engaging local mentors (unstructured vs. structured). The investigators will enroll 288 trainee/mentor dyads randomized to 1 of 4 arms:

Arm 1 = Regular + Unstructured;
Arm 2 = Regular + Structured;
Arm 3 = Extended + Unstructured;
Arm 4 = Extended + Structured.

While one might expect extended coaching to lead to more successful funding, this has not been empirically tested, and the investigators propose that they may find that a ceiling effect is achieved during the first round of intensive intervention. Another untested but potentially important variable is whether and how to leverage the expertise of local mentors to augment the coaching intervention’s impact.

Aim 2: Identify individual (person), coaching group, and institution factors that predict submission, resubmission, and funding of proposals. The investigators will use these data to interpret and contextualize Aim 1 results, leading to a mechanistic understanding of the intervention’s effects and creation of guidelines for its replication.


The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.
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