Mentoring in the MT-DIRC Program
For any new field to prosper, both human and intellectual capital must be developed to generate new knowledge and narrow the research to practice gap. We foster a collaborative learning environment to develop a group of D&I researchers who can reduce the gap between cancer research and practice. Our training program is based on a pedagogical philosophy that interpersonal activities (group training, one-to-one mentoring) are key components of the science-building process. As noted in the NCI Strategic Plan, the training of graduate and post-graduate scientists is a high priority.
In MT-DIRC, we place a strong emphasis on mentoring, which is a relationship between a senior and junior organizational member to help the mentee (Fellow) advance within her/his career and in an organization. Mentoring has been shown to have clear and numerous benefits (in particular research productivity and career success). Assistance provided to the mentor can enhance these relationships and improve their ability to overcome the barriers to an optimal mentoring relationship. The literature on mentoring in the health sciences forms the basis for our approach to evidence-informed mentoring.
We are privileged to have Christine Pfund, Phd University Wisconsin-Madison, on our team to serve as our mentoring consultant and trainer. All of our MT-DIRC mentors (faculty) have undergone mentor training prior to their entry into the program. Ongoing support is provided to mentors and mentees throughout the time in the program to foster and enhance the relationship. For more information about the mentor training curriculum we use and the methodology, please visit the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s ICTR website for information and additional resources.