A diverse biomedical and behavioral workforce is essential to the health of the nation, yet retention of diverse trainees in research careers has proven challenging. Mentor training is one intervention that has shown promise in helping ensure that diverse trainees persist in their career path; fostering identity as a scientist is another. The objective of the Scientific Communication Advances Research Excellence (SCOARE) program is to provide research mentors with knowledge and skills to mentor their diverse trainees effectively in the principles and practices of scientific communication, foundational skills for success in research careers. The SCOARE curriculum design integrates elements based on research showing that trainees raised speaking racial or ethnic varieties of English may experience the research environment differently than others, and that effective mentoring in the practice of speaking, writing, and presenting influences trainees? intentions to persist in research careers. The long-term goal of SCOARE is to strengthen career intention and build capacity of diverse research trainees by providing their mentors with SciComm training.
In Aim 1, a mentor workshop will be designed to equip participants with knowledge of why and how trainee SciComm skills interact with productivity, outcome expectations, racial/ethnic identity, and career intention; explain the principles of SciComm acquisition; provide mentors with feasible and effective practices for improved mentoring; and provide continued reinforcement and support online.
For Aim 2, evaluations of the workshops and online resources will measure both mentor implementation of new practices and mentee gains in productivity, outcome expectations, career intention, and increased sense of comfort in the research environment.
In Aim 3, evaluation results will inform the design and development of a facilitator training program, and former workshop participants will have the opportunity to learn to deliver the workshops to others, thereby extending the program?s reach. The curriculum and materials for both workshops will be made publicly available, and evaluation results will be disseminated. Outcomes for this program include 1) fully developed and evaluated SciComm mentoring workshops; 2) a fully developed and evaluated SciComm facilitator training; and 3) a total of at least 500 mentors trained and 45 SCOARE Facilitators trained. The program will be significant because it will empower mentors to employ SciComm skill development to train a research workforce that is both skilled in communication and diverse; it will be innovative because it is grounded in linguistic, pedagogical, and social-cognitive evidence that addresses powerful links among language, motivation, and identity. Its impact will be to help retain trainees in research careers and thus build a diverse biomedical and behavioral workforce possessing superior training and high professional commitment, thus aligning with NIGMS goals and providing a return on their original research investment.
, IPERT R25 (PAR 17-170), Scientific Communication Advances Research Excellence The SCOARE program (?Scientific Communication Advances Research Excellence?) is relevant to public health because it will contribute to building and retaining a diverse and highly skilled biomedical and behavioral research workforce. The program will provide innovative, evidence-based mentor training in the principles and practices of scientific communication (SciComm) skill development and broaden the impact of the mentor training through a companion train-the-trainer program. The SCOARE program is relevant to the NIGMS goal of supporting educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a research workforce meeting the nation?s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs.