The National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) is a nationwide consortium of biomedical professionals and institutions collaborating to provide all trainees across the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences with evidence-based mentorship and professional development programming.
NRMN’s program models emphasize the benefits and challenges of diversity, inclusivity and culture within mentoring relationships, and more broadly the research workforce. The Goal of the National Research Mentoring Network is to enhance the diversity of the NIH-funded research workforce.
Recent studies indicate that scientists from racial minority groups are less likely than white applicants to receive research funding from the NIH. D.K. Ginther et al. Science 333, 1015-1019; 2011 Figure from Nature. 2014. 512:243
Substantial evidence exists indicating that individuals from under-represented racial and ethnic groups, people with disabilities, and people from disadvantaged backgrounds are disproportionately under-represented in all levels of the biomedical workforce, from the undergraduate level to the professorial. Despite several decades of efforts to increase the proportion of individuals from these under-represented groups in the biomedical workforce in the U.S., the issue of their under-representation remains. By the time scholars from disadvantaged backgrounds (whether by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or disability) have both demonstrated that they are curious about science and attained some proficiency at the systematic inquiry essential for a career in academic health sciences, they have overcome many barriers yet still carry the burdens of disadvantage and discrimination.
At NRMN we believe that evidence suggests that a comprehensive, nationwide mentoring initiative can affect change by:
- Assembling professionals across race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, able-ism and geography, with demonstrated expertise and acknowledged leadership in culturally responsive mentoring, networking, mentor training and professional development activities.
- Building the capacity for nationwide access to tested models for mentor training, mentoring and professional development through networking, workshops, online resources and video training.
NRMN Aims to utilize structured mentorship and networking experiences to enhance the training and career development of individuals from diverse backgrounds, communities, and cultures who are pursuing biomedical and behavioral research careers.
NRMN links highly knowledgeable and skilled mentors from various disciplines with talented, motivated and diverse mentees from the undergraduate to early career faculty level. NRMN will employ and disseminate innovative best practices for mentorship training, unique opportunities for networking and professional development intended to facilitate the attainment of hallmarks of successful research career progression for mentees at each career stage. Who can get involved?
- Undergraduate Students
- Graduate Students
- Non-Faculty Researchers
- Program Directors
- Disciplinary, Professional & Institutional Leaders
By facilitating long-term, culturally responsive interactions among mentees and mentors, NRMN is working to help address the “Grant Gap” by establishing a sustainable process whereby diverse mentees successfully progress in their research careers, becoming the effective mentors, scientific leaders and research team members of tomorrow.
Register on NRMNet.net to access the following:
NRMN’s Guided Virtual Mentorship
- Work closely with another person who has successfully navigated, or is currently navigating a similar career path
- Engage in critical conversations designed to enhance the success of diverse scholars and scientists
- Share struggles and challenges
- Actively build your network among scientists across the U.S.
MyNRMN is a powerful social networking platform for students and researchers across the biomedical, behavioral, social, and clinical sciences to connect with one another for anything from general questions about research and professional development as a scientist to scheduling more formal mentorship appointments one-on-one or as a group.
NRMN Grant Writing Coaching Groups
NRMN Grant Writing Coaching Group is an intensive grant writing program for postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty to write NIH-style proposals. There are four models. While each model is different, they all involve very direct, specific feedback on multiple iterations of a proposal over the 3-4 months it takes to write. Feedback is provided as each part of the proposal is being written, starting from an extended period of time crafting the Specific Aims page and progressing through each section of the proposal. Participants can work on most types of NIH proposals (e.g. F32, K99/R00, diversity supplements, other K- and R- mechanisms). Feedback during the Coaching Group is provided by carefully selected and trained senior faculty members Coaches as well as peers in the writing group. Participants are expected to be writing their proposals so that sections can be reviewed on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Coaching Groups may provide some guidance on the scientific basis of the proposals, but they are ideally designed to complement input and feedback from colleagues and mentors working in the respective field.
NRMN’s Research Mentor Training workshops are designed to help research mentors maximize the effectiveness of their mentoring relationships.
These workshops are intended for the mentors of biomedical researchers across career stages, including undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and junior faculty.
Our workshops range from a few hours to a full 8-hour training.
For mentors of undergraduates, we offer mentor training based on Entering Mentoring. For mentors of graduate students, postdocs, and junior faculty, we offer the following options: Mentor Training for Biomedical Researchers, Mentor Training for Clinical & Behavioral Researchers, Mentor Training for Clinical & Translational Researchers, and Mentor Training for Community Engaged Researchers.
Our evidence-based training includes the following themes:
- Aligning Expectations
- Addressing Equity and Inclusion
- Articulating Your Mentoring Philosophy and Plan
- Assessing Understanding
- Cultivating Ethical Behavior
- Culturally Aware Mentoring
- Enhancing Work-Life Integration
- Fostering Independence
- Maintaining Effective Communication
- Promoting Mentee Research Self-Efficacy
- Promoting Professional Development
- Teaching Disciplinary Knowledge
NRMN offers Research Mentor Training workshops in the following formats: in-person, self-paced online, and synchronous online. Upcoming trainings include:
- Ongoing – Optimizing the Practice of Mentoring (online, self-paced)
Visit nrmnet.net to inquire about upcoming Research Mentor Training workshops, or to host a workshop at your campus, contact the Mentor Training Core
The National Research Mentoring Network wants to acknowledge your involvement as a mentor in this nationwide program by recognizing you as an NRMN Mentor, NRMN Certified Mentor, or NRMN Master Mentor. Visit nrmnet.net for applicant criteria.
Mentors whose applications are approved will receive a certificate endorsed by NRMN, recognizing their level of experience and skill as a mentor. The three designations are as follows:
- NRMN 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.
- NRMN Certified Mentor – An NRMN Mentor who has served as mentor for at least three different NRMN mentees, and who has participated in additional NRMN mentor training at 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.
The Southeast Training Hub (SETH) is an NRMN cross core collaboration that provides NRMN grant writing/coaching, mentor training, and institutional mentorship capacity building through regional collaborations with RCMI, CTSAs, IDeA and other NIH funded infrastructure and training programs. The three day in person trainings are followed by ongoing online coaching and/or consultations toward successful submission of a research proposal.
Mentoring Academy Institutional Capacity Building Institutional leaders who want to centralize their institution’s mentoring and training resources, participate in in person SETH training and ongoing consultations. NRMN trained mentors are the foundation of the Mentoring Academy
Health Disparities Collaboratory provides a virtual space for scholars who have completed NRMN grant writing to join peer groups and coaches in ongoing collaborations that support proposal and manuscript development. Scholars and coaches join the collaboratory through MyNRMN, group function.
The Shark Tank provides guidance to scholars for re submission of NIH peer reviewed and unfunded R, K or F applications. “Sharks” are identified from NRMN database of investigators who agree to serve as coaches and provide virtual or direct assistance toward re submission of the proposal.
For more information about joining an upcoming SETH event, please contact Kimberly Lawson at firstname.lastname@example.org