The National Research Mentoring Network – CIC Academic Network (NRMN-CAN) hosted a Facilitating Mentor Training Workshop at the Big Ten Conference Center in Rosemont, IL, March 7-8, 2016. Forty-four faculty and staff participants from across the CIC attended this workshop where they learned how to implement mentor training on their home campuses for graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, or faculty mentors.
The workshop was led by four Master Facilitators from the NRMN Mentor Training Core including Melissa McDaniels, PhD, Michigan State University, Andrew Greenberg, PhD, University of WisconsinMadison, Stephen Thomas, PhD, University of Maryland, College Park, and Lori Adams, PhD, University of Iowa, along with NRMN Representative Kim Spencer, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
On the first morning of the workshop, participants were introduced to the Entering Mentoring curriculum and the array of mentor training curricula options that have since evolved from that program, including Mentor Training for Clinical and Translational Researchers, Mentor Training for Biomedical Researchers, and Mentor Training for Clinical and Behavioral Researchers. These mentor training programs all were developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which houses the NRMN Mentor Training Core led by Christine Pfund, PhD. The NRMN-CAN participants learned how to use processed-based activities and case studies from these curricula to facilitate discussions on difficult topics that often arise in mentoring contexts, and how to encourage mentors to learn from each other in these settings.
In the afternoon, participants divided into 5 smaller groups, each led by a NRMN Master Facilitator, to practice facilitating activities from the curricula and receive feedback from workshop participants. Following the practice facilitation, the group re-convened and the Master Facilitators addressed questions from the participants that arose from their mock mentor training experiences. At the end of the day, the group enjoyed a networking reception in the Big Ten Center, hosted by NRMN-CAN.
On day two, participants were offered tips for designing implementation plans to fit their target group of mentors, resources for evaluation, and advice for creating partnerships on their campuses to align with professional development sessions already in place. The NRMN-CAN program, in partnership with the NRMN Mentor Core, plans to support the newly trained facilitators by providing them with additional resources to help ensure that they can offer successful mentoring workshops on their home campuses, as all have been tasked with facilitating at least 8 hours of mentor training in the next academic year.
Participants traveled to this workshop from 13 different institutions across the CIC/NRMN-CAN network including Michigan State University, Pennsylvania State University, Northwestern University, The Ohio State University, Purdue University, University of Minnesota, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Iowa, Rutgers University and University of Maryland, College Park.
To expand training initiatives provided by NRMN that strengthen productive research mentoring relationships, the NRMN-CAN Program is now planning a mentor training workshop for Postdocs for June, 2016. For more information, contact Laurie Risner.