The impetus for the NRMN emerged from the startling findings of a study by Donna Ginther and colleagues, which appeared in a Science magazine article in 2011, and revealed that black applicants are 10 percentage points less likely than whites to be awarded NIH research funding.

The positive effects of mentoring on biomedical research training and career outcomes are well documented. Unfortunately, lack of adequate mentoring programs leaves many mentors ill-equipped to effectively guide underrepresented minority (URM) scholars. The NRMN’s approach is to proactively train mentors who can foster culturally competent mentoring relationships with URM scholars, enhancing their recruitment, advancement and persistence among the ranks of tenured faculty and across the biomedical workforce.

 “Too few traditional mentors have received formal training in how to effectively mentor, and in particular, in mentoring minority scholars. This is an urgent issue.” Stephen Thomas, UMD NRMN associate director “The true mission and the transformative power of the Mentor Training Core is to formally train mentors and mentees to cultivate highly effective mentoring relationships based upon trust and transparency.” Sandra Quinn, UMD NRMN co-investigator.