NRMN Master Facilitators Conference: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

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Contact Info: glucks@bc.edu

By Stephanie House, Melissa McDaniels, and Bruce Birren

The National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) Master Facilitators are a cadre of individuals who lead mentor, mentee and facilitator trainings across the country. First launched in 2015, the group currently consists of 41 active facilitators representing 23 institutions from 13 U.S. states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. The group held their annual conference from Oct. 3 to 5, 2018, in Madison, Wisconsin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above: Pamela Asquith, Ph.D., and Kelly Diggs-Andrews, Ph.D., lead a discussion on how lessons learned can inform the facilitation guide and process.

The first event on Oct. 3 was dedicated to gaining greater familiarity with the new “Entering Research” mentee training curriculum and to discussing dissemination plans in the coming year. The Entering Research curriculum, originally published in 2010, has been revised and expanded to include 96 activities for undergraduate and graduate mentees that address seven areas of trainee development:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above: Philip Cheng, Ph.D., guides the group through the newly developed board game, The Academe Dream. 

This new and expanded version will be published in 2019 by Macmillan and is now available to download via the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) website. The group discussed strategies to help institutions implement the curriculum locally.

Above: Kermin Martínez-Hernández, Ph.D. and Christine Sorkness, RPh., Pharm.D. facilitate one of the new LGBTQ+ cases with the group.

The remaining two days provided space for Master Facilitators to pilot new activities, share strategies and insights as facilitators, discuss process and dissemination, and celebrate accomplishments from the last four years. Some of the additions included an online module on promoting mentee motivation, a board game that helps provide insights into the struggles and inequities within academia, and new case studies that strengthen mentoring and support of members of the LGBTQ+ community.

The groups’ accomplishments have greatly exceeded expectations. Since 2015, Master Facilitators have led 326 events reaching 8152 participants. This includes 28 facilitator training workshops, resulting in over 700 trained facilitators who themselves have trained thousands more. The Master Facilitators also captured their experiences and lessons learned about mentoring, facilitation, and professional development and discussed how these lessons can inform the next phase of this work.

Read more at the NRMN website.

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.