The goal of the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) is to increase the access of underrepresented minority (URM) scholars to careers in science and improve the effectiveness of mentors who will help them successfully navigate the research career development pathway. Our team's vision for NRMN is based on a fundamental premise: The achievement of NRMN goals is dependent on not only connecting mentors (established researchers) with mentees (undergraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty, particularly from underrepresented minority groups), but also preparing both to be effective partners within the mentoring relationship. In other words, the NRMN must facilitate the establishment of mentoring relationships in biomedical training, while also broadening and deepening the impact of those mentoring relationships on the success and persistence of trainees and early-stage faculty investigators. For this reason, we are especially committed to evidence-based NRMN activities that will facilitate the trusting mentoring relationships needed to help individuals successfully navigate the entire research career development pathway. We have assembled an outstanding planning team for the NRMN, led by investigators drawn from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Maryland, and University of Minnesota, who have complimentary expertise.
Our specific aim for this six-month planning proposal is to design a sustainable infrastructure for the NRMN that cultivates diverse partnerships, capitalizes on multidisciplinary expertise and innovative technologies to build the leadership and operational capacities required to disseminate improved mentored research experiences of underrepresented minority trainees in biomedical research.
Increasing and diversifying the nation's scientific workforce is essential to our economic vitality and to sustaining our international leadership in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine and will ultimately lead to improving the nation's capacity to address and eliminate health disparities.