Diverse Research Conferences Provide Opportunity, with Support From the National Research Mentoring Network

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Contact Info: glucks@bc.edu

Written by Sarah Gluck

 

Since their founding in 2014, the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) has worked to develop a diverse network of biomedical scientists, both online and through various program offerings. Through their outreach, they have partnered with two major organizations supporting scientists from groups underrepresented in biomedical science - the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), and the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS). This year, NRMN contributed to both of their annual meetings by holding panels, workshops, and meet & greet events, as part of their overall goal of increasing diversity in the biomedical science workforce.

 

This year, NRMN held numerous events. Not only were there traditional Exhibit Booths hosted by NRMN key personnel, but also several events directly involving SACNAS and ABRCMS attendees. At SACNAS, there was an NRMN Meet & Greet, which allowed SACNAS attendees to network and learn more about NRMN programs. There were T-shirts offered for those who attended, provided by partner institutions. Over 100 attendees came to this event, which was supported by the University of Utah, University of North Texas (UNT) Health Science Center, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and Wayne State University.

 

NRMN also provided representation and support at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), in November. Multiple events were initiated, ranging from collaborative panels, to talks, to an NRMN/Coordination and Evaluation Center (CEC) meet & greet. For one of their panels, they were able to collaborate with a strategic partner, The Keystone Symposia, to discuss the “I Wish My Mentor Knew” project, in which attendees shared their own thoughts about their mentor-mentee relationships. They were also able to recruit over 204 attendees to the meet & greet, which was co-hosted by the University of Utah, UNT Health Science Center, University of Chicago, University of Madison-Wisconsin, and UT Southwestern Medical Center.

 

One of the challenges of creating a diverse biomedical workforce is uniting multiple efforts on a national scale. By becoming involved with these conferences and using them as an outreach opportunity, NRMN is helping bring together scientists from all career levels, to advise, learn, and serve as role models for each other.

NRMN Faculty and Staff attended an NRMN Exhibit Booth at the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science Meeting in October.

Left to Right: Kermin Martínez-Hernández, Kristen Steiner, Kristin Eide, MariaElena Zavala

The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.