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Mentoring Program

Notice:  The ABRF Mentoring Program is on hiatus until May 1, 2018 while new NRMN tools are being developed.

Mentoring Program Launched!

The ABRF has initiated a new, exciting partnership with the National Research Mentorship Network (NRMN), a nationwide consortium of biomedical professionals and institutions collaborating to provide researchers across the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences with evidence-based mentorship and professional development programming. NRMN is an NIH-funded organization that emphasizes the benefits and challenges of diversity, inclusivity and culture within mentoring relationships, and more broadly within the professional research community.

The ABRF-NRMN Mentoring Program is operated under the guidance of the ABRF Career Development Committee (CDC) and ABRF Executive Board, and it is intended for ABRF members only. It provides the opportunity for members to serve as either mentor or mentee for other members who are matched by experience and need, and to grow one's mentoring skills under the tutelage of mentoring professionals.

The NRMN supports two online applications for creating, facilitating and enhancing mentorship relationships: MyNRMN and the Guided Virtual Mentorships (GVM). These applications work in tandem, and participants use both to facilitate interactions. At present, enrollment is handled by the CDC and NRMN staff who have created a special ABRF Mentorship Group for the ABRF Program.

Matching of mentor-mentee pairs is expedited using data provided by participants through a ABRF questionnaire that evaluates each participant’s experiences and needs. Mentorship pairs are enrolled in the GVM application by NRMN staff*. Mentors and mentees use the GVM application to conduct structured, 1-on-1 interactions that last for 4 months (one cycle) and can be renewed by participants. The cycle begins once participants are notified that they have been matched.  

[*Note: in the future, enrollment in the GVM application will be performed online by participants who will be matched using a proprietary algorithm that scrolls profiles of all available mentors and mentees for best fits.]

Among MyNRMN’s many features, there is instant messaging between mentor and mentee, a private “ABRF Mentoring Group” where discussion can take place among all mentors and mentees in the Program, and a chat board for communicating with other participants in the Program as well as the larger NRMN community. MyNRMN allows mentor-mentee pairs to share files and calendars and to record private notes. There is a journal feature that lets each user post a journal entry that all their Connections will see. Interactions among participants are also tracked by a feature called “diamond points” that awards points for each interaction.

The NRMN website provides a library of resources for mentors and mentees including training materials, information on the selection process, expectations and goals, tailoring and customizing opportunities, career toolkit, creation of Individual Development Plans, research articles, grant opportunities, conferences and workshops on mentoring - https://nrmnet.net/faculty/building-your-own-research-program/ There are also resources for cultivating relationships between mentors and mentees - https://ictr.wisc.edu/mentoring/mentors-cultivation-phase-resources/ as well as videos that provide overviews on the NRMN and its programs - https://nrmnet.net/  and https://nrmnet.net/nrmnibiology-science-video-archive/

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