Mentor Consultation and Matching
At a time when investigators are competing for fewer federal research dollars, the requirements and impediments to developing clinical and translational research can be daunting. Junior faculty are finding they have shorter timelines in which to map their career path and be successful.
The Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) recognizes mentoring as a critical part of career development for young faculty, and is also essential for the growth of any institution to stay competitive, relevant and innovative.
Mentors can teach technical skills or methodologies, assist with career planning, help mentees learn to manage the political aspects of science, facilitate problem solving, promote networking opportunities, and link mentees to valuable resources. Through successful mentoring, collaborations are formed, which ultimately improves the quality of research, and many mentors find personal satisfaction in assisting junior colleagues.
Finding the right mentor at the right time, however, can be challenging. To better understand this challenge, the Miami CTSI convened a focus group of 18 young investigators in 2012 from departments across the Medical Campus and solicited their feedback, which revealed mentorship as the number one key component in career advancement, collaboration and obtaining funding.
That is why the Miami CTSI has launched a free mentor matching consultation service. The service matches seasoned faculty mentors with those at earlier stages in their careers needing advice and is available to faculty from all disciplines.
Advising junior faculty through this service is Marc Lippman, M.D, the Kathleen and Stanley Glaser Professor of Medicine and Deputy Director of the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“One of the most common concerns from young faculty and late-stage trainees is that they don’t get mentored,” Lippman said. “Many of them have had excellent research training, but there are all kinds of areas that no one talks to them about, which have everything to do with the success of their careers.”
Some of those areas, Lippman says, can include learning how to write grants, how to partner with industry or how to become a Principal Investigator. Working with someone who has navigated those waters is indispensable.
Faculty can request consultation, which is completely confidential, by contacting Lippman directly at MLippman@med.miami.edu.
The CTSI services program is supported by Grant Number 1UL1TR000460, Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute, from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.