Research Mentor Training at ITMAT Education

The next training dates for 2024 will be available soon!

Classroom photo with Dr. Meagher writing on whiteboard

What is mentoring today? Today’s definition of mentoring extends far beyond the traditional role of academic supervisor. Presenting a wide spectrum of ever-changing expectations and responsibilities, it has come to define a dynamic and collaborative learning relationship of which—if carried out effectively—both mentor and mentee can personally and professionally prosper. But what does it require to be an effective mentor? 

The Research Mentor Training program at ITMAT Education teaches mentors the key determinants for creating a culture of strong mentorship, using case scenarios to enhance mentee self-efficacy, work-life integration, and overall career satisfaction to ensure successful scholar outcomes from all individuals pursuing research. 

We speak to all levels of mentoring. Are you a senior-level faculty member looking for a refresher course, or a junior faculty member in the midst of building your lab? Our training modules are available for research mentors of undergraduate and graduate students, clinical fellows, postdoctoral researchers, or junior faculty working with trainees across the medical and health sciences. Our programs recognize diversity among mentors at all career stages and address individual needs in the format of an annually scheduled cohort training or as requested custom training modules. 

Our program is evidence-based. The Research Mentor Training program at ITMAT Education is based on a nationally recognized model and proven-effective curriculum developed at the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. CIMER is home to the Coordination Center of the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN), which is part of a broader NIH consortium dedicated to enhancing diversity in the biomedical research workforce through strong mentoring and other initiatives.

The benefits are clear. Learn how to establish a mentoring identity, become a more intentional mentor, and master programmatic elements of effective mentoring practices so that you and your mentees both benefit from the relationship and find personal satisfaction as well as academic success.  

ITMAT Education is partnering with BGS, BPP, and the MSTP to provide large scale training opportunities. Attendance at a workshop meets NIH T32 grant, MSTP, and BGS requirements of 2 hours of mentorship training.

Eligible Participants

  • Perelman School of Medicine Assistant, Associate and Full Professors actively mentoring or planning to mentor research trainees (predoctoral students and postdoctoral trainees).
  • Non PSOM Faculty who mentor individuals appointed to T32 training grants
  • Prior training is not a pre-requisite.

Upcoming Sessions for 2024 for will be announced soon!

The Research Mentor Training program is an annually scheduled series consisting of 3 to 4 two-hour interactive sessions designed to enhance mentoring effectiveness. This cohort-based training covers key mentoring competencies inclusive of communication style, aligning expectations, fostering independence, and promoting self-efficacy among mentees. We welcome faculty from PSOM and ITMAT-partner institutions at the Assistant Professor appointment or higher who are currently serving as research mentors and are committed to attending all sessions. Sessions take place in late winter/early spring each year. Registration opens in the fall. 

As of March 2020, 142 faculty from PSOM have participated in the Research Mentor Training program.  Based on cumulative feedback received from 94 faculty surveyed post training (83.9% cumulative response rate for 2012-2019 participants), 93% were very likely or likely to recommend the training to a colleague and 95% thought the training was a valuable use of their time.

Our custom training modules offer an in-depth focus on the key elements of effective mentoring in diverse settings and at all career levels. Similar to the Annual Research Mentoring Training, mentors can learn the skills to establish an effective and mutual communication style, align mentor and mentee expectations, initiate and sustain conversations on professional goals and career development strategies, and understand the importance of ‘mentoring up’ for mentees. 

Custom training may be designed as a half-day module, full-day module, or one-hour interactive presentation. Modules may be designed to target a specific audience (e.g., junior faculty) or to address a particular focus (e.g., enhancing career development of individuals from diverse backgrounds, communities, and cultures).  

Custom training can be scheduled at any time. 

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Contact us to learn more about our Research Mentor Training programs. 

Mentoring Resources

Facilitators & Advocates of Mentor Training within PSOM

Emma Meagher, MD, Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, is a Master Facilitator via the NIH National Research Mentor Network and conducts training and seminars at Penn, CHOP, and at institutions across the Clinical and Translational Science (CTS) community, adapting the key modules and concepts to fit the needs of groups at varying stages. Within PSOM she serves as educational lead of ITMAT, as Senior Associate Vice Provost for Human Research, and Vice Dean for Clinical Research and Chief Clinical Research Officer.  An accomplished educator, Dr. Meagher received the Lindback Award, Penn’s highest honor for predoctoral teaching excellence, in 2005; the Dunning Dripps Award, Penn’s highest honor for postgraduate teaching excellence, in 2010; the AAMC Alpha Omega Alpha Distinguished Teacher Award in 2014; and the Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) Distinguished Educator Award in 2020. 

Elizabeth Olson Hexner, MD, MSTR. Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology Oncology. 

As an Associate Director of the Masters in Translational Research program, and course director for Cell and Gene Therapy, I have a particular interest in facilitating trainees and junior faculty to become clinical and translational scientists. An essential piece of career development is a healthy mentoring relationship; this can be developed and fostered with purposeful mentee and mentor training.

Jennifer M. Kalish, MD, PhD, MSTR. Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Human Genetics. 

Participation in Research Mentor Training has helped me reflect on my mentorship style and develop new approaches to the mentor-trainee relationship. I recommend this program because it helps mentors develop a framework for mentorship.

Despina Kontos, PhD. Associate Professor of Radiology.   

As junior faculty at the time, the research mentor training helped me reflect upon the kind of mentor I wanted to become so that I could motivate and guide my own mentees in an inspirational way. It also helped me develop the skills needed to achieve this goal by connecting me with a diverse group of senior mentors and other mentees in the early stages of my career. It was a superb experience altogether, and I highly recommend the program to all levels of faculty—from junior to senior—as being a good mentor is a process that continuously evolves!   

Pamela Weiss, MD, MSCE. Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology.

Successful mentorship requires both an effective mentee and a skilled mentor; when this relationship is primed and fine-tuned, it can be one of the most rewarding aspects of participating in patient-oriented research. Formal mentor training will take your skillset to the next level, improve your communication skills, and help you maximize both your own and your mentees’ potential and ultimate success.