Using Diverse Approaches to BUILD Successful Mentoring Relationships

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Edited by Christa Reynolds and Hansook Oh

The 10 primary BUILD sites work to engage and retain students from diverse backgrounds in biomedical research, and to find innovative ways to address challenges faced by faculty and students pursuing degrees in the biomedical sciences. Mentoring at the faculty and trainee levels plays a role in working toward these goals, and the BUILD sites have developed interventions and strategies to maximize the benefits of mentoring. As part of our National Mentoring Month celebration, and to acknowledge the important work that mentors do all year, we asked the BUILD sites to share a bit about mentoring at their sites. In these feature articles, we highlighted a few sites in each topic area to provide a glimpse of the symbiotic nature of the mentoring relationship, and the ways that it affects many aspects of the research process.

Mentoring Focus 1: Culturally Aware / Race Conscious mentor training

Diversifying the research workforce involves recognizing the role of institutional racism and historical oppression in shaping today's world. Three BUILD sites help to dismantle racist structures with difficult discussions, workshops and programs.

Prompt: How do you bring cultural awareness and race consciousness into your mentor training? Read more...

Mentoring Focus 2: Faculty Mentors in Action

Most BUILD sites include a mentoring component in which trainees work with faculty mentors. Here, we highlight three programs to take a closer look at their mentoring initiatives.

How do your faculty help support trainees through mentoring? Read more...

Mentoring Focus 3: Near-Peer mentoring

Near-peer mentoring lets undergraduates work with students who are generally closer to their age than their faculty mentors. These near-peer mentors might include upperclassmen, graduate students and post-docs. The different manifestations of this type of mentoring helps illustrate the diversity of the mentoring interventions that the BUILD sites are developing.

Prompt: How do you incorporate near-peer mentoring into your BUILD programs, and what differentiates this type of mentoring  from a traditional faculty mentorship? Read more...

Mentoring Focus 4: Tiered Mentoring

Preparing trainees for success in the biomedical sciences is a complex process that requires a variety of supportive relationships for students.  As a result, many BUILD programs have developed models with multiple mentors who each serve a unique role in supporting students on their pathways. We’ve already touched on some of these mentoring interventions, but here we’ll look a bit more closely at them and how tiered mentoring can help to support a culture of inclusive mentoring.

Prompt: What role does tiered mentoring play in supporting the mission and goals of your program? Read more...

Mentoring Focus 5: Supporting and Training Faculty Mentors

We can’t have successful mentoring interventions without successful mentors! Here’s a look at some of the interventions BUILD sites developed to ensure their mentors are prepared for their important work.

Prompt: How do your sites support mentors and help them gain the skills necessary to succeed as mentors? Read more...


Note: The BUILD Initiative includes 10 institutions located across the United States. The institutions are: California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), California State University, Northridge (CSUN), Morgan State University (MSU), Portland State University (PSU), San Francisco State University (SF State), University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC), The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), Xavier University of Louisiana

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.