Mentoring Network Reaches Over 20,000 Members Milestone

By Gabrielle Saleh

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Over twenty thousand individuals across the nation are now harnessing the National Research Mentoring Network’s (NRMN) online platform MyNRMN for mentoring and professional development.

NRMN is a National Institutes of Health grant-funded initiative founded to provide researchers across all career stages in Science, Technology, Math, and Medicine (STEMM) fields with evidence-based mentorship and professional development programming that emphasizes the benefits and challenges of diversity, inclusivity and culture. As part of its mission to diversify this workforce, NRMN launched MyNRMN in 2016 to encourage formal and informal mentoring.

The NRMN Resource Center is a joint collaboration between the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth —within the Institute for Health Disparities—under Principal Investigator Dr. Jamboor K. Vishwanatha, and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center under Co-Investigator Dr. Toufeeq Ahmed.

Over the past five years, the teams have steadily increased MyNRMN’s growth and recruitment efforts. Both groups also provide platform engagement, new content development and outreach efforts that support mentees and mentors and strengthen the mentorship process.

“We have developed MyNRMN to be a national resource for increasing diversity and enhancing the biomedical workforce. MyNRMN is designed as an intervention-ready platform for researching mentoring best practices,” said Toufeeq Ahmed, Ph.D., M.S., Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Since 2016, we have made significant progress in development, promoting and updating this online platform to serve the STEMM community and this tremendous member growth milestone shows that our platform is filling a vital gap in the needs of underrepresented mentees across the nation.”

In MyNRMN, members can search, reach out and connect with other mentors and mentees. Through the Ask a Mentor feature, mentees can pose questions on research, graduate school, or other topics to everyone on the platform.

For new mentees searching for a formal way to be mentored, the platform offers a guided virtual mentoring program, MyMentor, where they receive guided prompts and goals to facilitate their connections.

The platform also offers the NRMN Unconscious Bias Course—a five-module course that helps people address their personal unconscious bias, teach them about microaggressions and discuss biases and disparities in medicine and health care.

The team also recently released a jobs and internship board—a central location for members to share and apply for opportunities that helped them along their STEMM career pathway.

“Having over twenty thousand members on our platform represents the impact that NRMN is making in the STEMM field,” said Jamboor Vishwanatha, Ph.D., Regents Professor. “We are proud to be a leading network in the nation that specifically focuses on mentoring STEMM professionals in every stage of their career path and we’re looking forward to continuing our work of diversifying the STEMM fields by supporting more mentors and mentees in the future.”

To learn more about NRMN and sign up for MyNRMN, visit https://nrmnet.net/

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