Performance Improvement 2011-2012. How Do Postdoctoral Fellows Rate the Quality of Mentoring Provided by the National Institutes of Health?

01/01/2012

This study determined the level and quality of mentoring across 22 National Institutes of Health (NIH) intramural research programs. A web-based survey was sent to all eligible participants. Eligible participants included clinical fellows, Intramural Research Training Award/Cancer Research Training Award recipients, visiting fellows, and research and special volunteer fellows.

Female fellows reported a greater lack of mentor availability, evaluation and promotion of networking opportunities than their male counterparts. They were also less likely to report that their training and career goals were being met. Visiting fellows, who comprise the largest group of fellows at NIH, responded that many of their training goals were not being met. Evaluators made several recommendations: develop a workshop to train Principal Investigators in mentoring; conduct annual evaluations of trainees that assess trainee progress, strengths, and areas requiring improvement; hold roundtable discussions to determine how NIH can address the unique mentoring needs of fellows with an MD degree (the group that reported feeling least prepared and supported); conduct a follow-up survey to assess the impact of cultural diversity on the mentoring needs of visiting fellows; offer a training workshop that specifically addresses how fellows can make their needs known to their mentor; and establish a Hispanic support group, since 25% of Hispanic fellows reported having no mentor.

Report Title: The NIH Intramural Research Postdoctoral Fellows Mentoring Survey
Agency Sponsor: NIH, National Institutes of Health
Federal Contact: Rosanna Ng, 301-496-5367
Performer: Information Management Services, Inc.
Record ID: 9425 (Report issued June 30, 2011)

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