Mentoring is a skill that becomes part of us as we grow in our careers. For some, it comes easily, but for everyone, it is a skill that can be taught, nurtured and blossomed with time and space. To help with this, the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) and the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) launched the Mentor training workshops. CIMER not only trains mentors, but also trains and certifies facilitators who can then facilitate the mentor training workshops and help shepherd a chain reaction to promote good mentoring practices far and wide.
“The CIMER certification is another way to build capacity across the research enterprise. This training opportunity builds relationships and understanding of RD with our research leaders. Our faculty face unique challenges and mentoring offers solutions for a variety of situations. I also found the evidence base and evaluation model of CIMER to be both educational and innovative. We integrated some of the design concepts into our GRO Academy, a research leadership development program,” says Jeff Agnoli, from the Ohio State University.
The CIMER-trained facilitators have to conduct a certain number of hours of training with a specific number of attendees to be identified by CIMER as a Certified Facilitator. Today, we shine a spotlight on some of these certified facilitators among our NORDP colleagues. Jeff is one of them!
Paula Carney, of Loyola University Chicago, who is one of the driving forces behind the Mentor training sessions offered by NORDP, has also connected NORDP to the development of faculty and trainees as researchers. She states that “NORDP is increasingly involved in national and international mentoring conversations. My involvement in these initiatives also lets me bring new ideas and opportunities back to NORDP, helping enrich our mentoring program activities.”
Etta Ward, of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, found her calling in mentoring. She credits becoming a Certified Facilitator with “what I have always called my purpose and calling to becoming an integral part of my professional identity and has opened a world of opportunities across sectors.”
CIMER has recently invited Paula, Etta, Jan Abramson, Kathryn Partlow and Tabitha Finch to support their mentor training sessions nationally. These training sessions are attended by researchers, trainees, faculty, research development professionals and administrators across universities. Tabitha feels the Certification gives her an “added level of confidence when I lead mentoring training, because I know my skills and experience have been vetted by the CIMER team.”
“When you become a Certified Facilitator with CIMER, you join a community that includes the best mentor trainers in the nation. It’s an honor to learn from them and have them be part of my network. I’m excited to continue my work as a Certified Facilitator and support infusing a culture of mentoring throughout the research enterprise,” says Kathy.
Please join us in recognizing and congratulating our fellow NORDP colleagues and the hard work they have put in to make mentoring a priority in their careers and across NORDP.
Written by Samarpita Sengupta