Precision mentoring (PM): a proposed framework for increasing research capacity in health-related disciplines

Lynda B. Ransdell, Heidi A. Wayment, Anna L. Schwartz, Taylor S. Lane, Julie A. Baldwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Problem: Research productivity is expected of academic faculty, and mentoring can facilitate it. This paper presents a framework for using mentoring to develop researchers in health disciplines. Approach: We utilized recent literature reviews, and experience developing researchers at an emerging research institution within the Research Centers for Minority Institutions (RCMI) program, to propose a precision mentoring (PM) framework for research development. Outcomes: Although we cannot precisely determine how much improvement was due to the PM framework, over the 4 years of our program, the quality and quantity of pilot project proposals (PPP) has increased, the number of external proposals submitted and funded by PPP investigators has increased, and the number of faculty participating in our program has increased. Surveys distributed to our 2021–22 PPP applicants who did not receive funding (n = 5/6 or 86.7%) revealed that new investigators most frequently sought mentoring related to career guidance (e.g., institutional culture, pre-tenure survival strategies), grant proposal basics (e.g., working with funding agencies, reviewing aims, balancing priorities, and enhancing scientific rigor), and identifying funding opportunities. Next Steps: We recommend shifting the mentoring paradigm such that: (a) mentees are pre-screened and re-screened for their current skill set and desired areas of growth; (b) mentoring occurs in teams vs. by individuals; (c) mentors are trained and rewarded, and (d) attention is paid to enhancing institutional culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1964933
JournalMedical Education Online
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • diversity
  • Faculty development
  • faculty of color
  • new faculty
  • research success

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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