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Article Title

An Examination of Mentoring and Training in the Health Care Systems Research Network

Publication Date

8-15-2016

Keywords

mentor, scientific education

Abstract

Background/Aims: The Health Care Systems Research Network (HCSRN) commissioned a survey to characterize mentoring and training within member organizations and to identify gaps in mentoring and training at the member organization and network levels. In an era of increasing focus on team science and multidisciplinary teams, it is important for organizations such as HCSRN to understand the capacity of its member organizations to train and develop a new generation of researchers. The goals of this study were to: describe mentoring within organizations, identify gaps as well as strong programs of mentoring, and identify other meetings that our researchers attend to understand the education and training of interest.

Methods: A 14-item electronic survey was distributed to HCSRN board members for distribution to all researchers in each organization. This represents a descriptive analysis of responses.

Results: A total of 157 researcher/scientists and executives from 19 organizations responded to the survey. Responses by career level included 12 institutional leaders, 35 junior faculty, 33 midlevel faculty and 60 senior faculty. About half of all respondents indicated that there is a formal mentoring program in their organization. The most frequently reported characteristics of mentoring programs included: 1) development of joint applications by junior and senior researchers (49%), 2) advocacy by mentor (40%), 3) methods training (39%), and 4) formal mentoring meetings (39%). Further analysis of characteristics of mentoring will be presented.

Conclusion: There are a number of opportunities to shape a network approach to mentorship by capitalizing on existing approaches taken by individual organizations within the network. There were several suggestions for the development of mentoring networks and mentorship training and to provide senior researchers with tools and resources to mentor their protégés. Additionally, the network may offer didactic training in grantsmanship, project management and portfolio development for investigators at the junior, midcareer and senior levels of research within the purview of training that HCSRN can provide to its membership. Finally, many respondents requested training in specific methodologies that may warrant the development of a webinar series for all career levels.

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