Introducing the Science of Mentorship Podcast

Article from The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Science of Mentorship Podcast artworkWe’re excited to announce the release of The Science of Mentorship, a new podcast from the Board on Higher Education and Workforce of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

This 10-part series explores how students in STEMM can discover more of their potential when they have responsive and effective mentors, told through the personal stories of top researchers in the United States.

Leaders like physicist Dr. Jim Gates and pathologist and former CWSEM member Dr. Vivian Pinn will share their experiences with mentorship throughout their careers. Whether positive or negative, each story focuses on mentorship skills that can and should be learned so all students’ potential can be unleashed to advance in STEMM.

The first episode, featuring the incoming Chair of the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine, Dr. Gilda Barabino, will be out on January 14.

WCER Improving Mentoring Relationships for Next Generation of Academic Science Leaders

Christine Pfund, Angela Byars-Winston help advisers connect with top PhD students from underrepresented groups

December 7, 2020   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

caption id=”” align=”alignright” width=”264″]WCER mentor training is helping a growing group of top science PhD students from diverse backgrounds become academic leaders. WCER mentor training is helping a growing group of top science PhD students from diverse backgrounds become academic leaders[/caption]

In the development of future academic scientists, few individuals are more central to success than good mentors.

Mentors can help students navigate different career paths and grow their professional networks. They can be advocates, teachers, sounding boards, motivators, supporters and role models.

But what if mentors and their advisees don’t share the same racial, ethnic, cultural or socio-economic backgrounds? How can differences impact their relationship?

Mentorship education experts at UW−Madison’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research, part of the School of Education, are striving to answer these questions, while they help build more inclusive lab environments across the country and increase diversity in the next generation of university-based science leaders through mentorship education.

Since 2016, WCER researchers Christine Pfund and Angela Byars-Winston have been improving the mentoring relationships between a large and growing group of the nation’s top PhD students in the sciences and their dissertation advisers. The students, all from diverse backgrounds historically underrepresented in the sciences, and their advisers are dual awardees and participants in the Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study, a research-supporting program of the renowned Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in Chevy Chase, Maryland.


Christine Pfund, Ph.D., & John Beacom, Ph.D. to Facilitate Keynote at the National Postdoc Appreciation Week

Join us for 2020 National Postdoc Appreciation Week

The NPA is pleased to announce the 11th annual celebration of National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW): September 21-25, 2020! Graphic and logo of National Post Doc week

With challenges, comes innovation. We are excited to announce a multi-institutional collaboration resulting in the first virtual NPAW celebration!

Events include a keynote facilitated by the NPA with speakers, John Beacom, Ph.D., and Christine Pfund, Ph.D., discussing best practices for mentorship; virtual networking; and, workshops hosted by the National Research Mentoring Network and The Postdoc Academy. Here is a list of events open to postdocs across the nation.

A Skill That Can Be Learned How training helps enhance faculty mentoring.

By Kathrine Havrilla

In January 2020, faculty from across the Harvard community were invited to attend Research Mentor Training workshops presented by Christine Pfund, director of the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The workshops—held on both the Cambridge and Longwood campuses—gave Harvard faculty a chance to learn about the scholarship around effective mentorship and to engage in skills-based activities with their colleagues and mentoring experts.

“CIMER came to be by our perceived need for a national entity that would be a go-to place for institutions and organizations looking to optimize their mentoring relationships,” says Pfund. “That included a place where folks could come for evidence-based mentor/mentee training across stages and disciplines, and a centralized data pool for the national conversation around the science of mentorship.”

Pfund has visited Harvard three times now to present about how to learn and grow faculty-student mentorship; she was invited for the first time in 2019 by the Department of Government in collaboration with GSAS, and then again that year by Grace Gill, director of Harvard Integrated Life Sciences (HILS) to facilitate daylong workshops for faculty.

“Mentoring workshops have a deep history in the life sciences, and there’s a lot of research and data in these disciplines that shows that mentorship training works—both for advisors and advisees,” says Gill. “The push to have these kinds of workshops here on campus actually came from the HILS students—they wanted more training for faculty and for them to have a better understanding of students’ mental health issues, and CIMER was the perfect fit.”

For Reba Rosenberg, who had recently come on board at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences as the inaugural director of The Advising Project, the HILS/CIMER collaboration was serendipitous.

“I was just starting to research what GSAS was already doing regarding mentorship when I came across Grace’s CIMER brochure on the bookshelf next to my desk, and I was excited to learn more,” says Rosenberg.

“In Learning You Will Teach, and in Teaching You Will Learn”

During the CIMER Research Mentor Training workshops, more than two dozen faculty from across Harvard attended, many of whom were senior faculty with many years of both academic and mentoring experience. 

Grace Gill

Grace Gill is the director of Harvard Integrated Life Sciences (HILS).

“We saw this not as a lecture, but as a time to discuss mentorship challenges that most of these faculty have seen throughout their time as educators, and to give them the opportunity to think about them in-depth—and not in a time of crisis,” said Gill. “Many of our faculty really care about advising and put a lot of energy into it, but they don’t have the time or space to develop their practice in a meaningful way. These CIMER events gave them that chance.” 

Sometimes, improving a mentoring relationship can be as easy as adding in a little empathy.

“Something as simple as starting a session with your mentee with ‘How are you?’ instead of ‘What have you accomplished?’ sets a completely different tone for the meeting,” says Rosenberg. “You don’t have to become a totally different person to be a better mentor, as simply showing genuine care and engagement go a long way toward inspiring trust and confidence in a student.”

The faculty response to the CIMER workshop was highly positive: Post-event surveys reflect that faculty felt that not only was the workshop worth their time, but that they would change their mentoring practices in some way because of it.

Rosalind “Roz” Segal, professor of neurobiology and dean for graduate education at Harvard Medical School, attended the CIMER event both for her own mentoring practice and to prepare to help educate faculty in the future.

“I found that the training was helpful for me as I direct a lab, and also provided great guidelines for new faculty who are learning to manage and mentor a group of trainees,” says Segal.

For Kayla Davis, a PhD student in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Segal’s participation in the CIMER event had an immediate impact on their advising relationship.

“Roz is the chair of my dissertation advisory committee, and I get together with my group once every six months or so to discuss my research and how I’m doing on my path to graduation,” explains Davis. “But at my most recent meeting, Roz—having just taken the CIMER workshop—asked me what I was doing outside of my research to prepare for life beyond Harvard.”

That simple change had a powerful effect on Davis. “It was so validating to talk about other things that aren’t often recognized in that space, or with certain advisors or committees. That conversation had a big impact on me, because my graduate experience is quite a bit bigger than my thesis research.”

For Segal, her attendance at the CIMER event was highly useful, especially in thinking critically about how a mentor can respond to different situations, and the repercussions of what one says versus what a mentee might hear. 

“There’s this myth that faculty can’t be trained to be better mentors; to me, that’s like saying that some people are good at public speaking, and others just aren’t,” says Segal. “Yes, some people are better at mentoring naturally, but it is a skill set that can be grown—no matter what discipline you come from.”

Research that Transcends Disciplines

The CIMER event in January had marked Pfund’s first public workshop since the release of “The Science of Effective Mentorship in Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine, and Mathematics (STEMM)” report in October 2019 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). Pfund served on the committee for the report.

Reba Rosenberg

Reba Rosenberg is the director of The Advising Project

“This is one of the most heavily referenced reports NASEM has ever produced, and it does an excellent job of increasing visibility on mentorship,” says Pfund. “Folks in the industry knew it was an important topic, but Harvard was ahead of the game in beginning to address their own mentorship on campus before the report even came out.”

Throughout her two years on the NASEM committee for the report, Pfund says that the biggest takeaways are:

  • The clear evidence that an effective mentoring relationship leads to greater student successes and productivity in a number of measurable ways, and 
  • Both faculty and students can improve their mentorship skills through mentorship education and a proactive outlook.

“The NASEM report comes right out and says that mentorship is a skill that can be taught,” says Pfund. “Some people have natural abilities, but it’s a talent that can be practiced. Mentoring is a working alliance between mentor and mentee, and all of the standard relationship practices apply. Are we speaking the same language? Are we moving toward a common goal? Healthy mentoring relationships can have broader impacts than you know.”

And, while this particular NASEM report is focused on mentoring in the sciences, technology, and medical fields, the results are highly translatable to other disciplines.

“Many of the core concepts and findings ring true, no matter what academic field you come from,” says Pfund. “Effective communication and aligning expectations are discipline-agnostic—what’s more important is how those models look within the context of different academic areas and relationships.” 

The Future of Mentorship at GSAS

The goal of these CIMER collaborations is not to move GSAS faculty to adopt a single advising model and become more homogenous—quite the opposite.

“The idea is to build the strengths within each member of our faculty community by helping them understand and become accustomed to some best practices in student mentoring,” says Rosenberg. “We’re also encouraging faculty to share their mentorship experience and practices so we can help each other grow in the future and improve Harvard’s community as a whole.”

Some Key Recommendations from “The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM”

  • Use an evidenced-based approach to support mentorship
  • Establish and use structured feedback systems to improve mentorship at all levels
  • Recognize and respond to identities in mentorship
  • Reward effective mentorship
  • Mitigate negative mentorship experiences

View the report’s interactive guide to learn more.

Outcomes of Positive Mentorship

  • Graduate students are more likely to persist in their academic decisions if engaged in positive mentoring experiences
  • Positive mentoring experiences increase recruitment of underrepresented mentees into graduate school and research-related career paths
  • Women and underrepresented students are better integrated into the STEMM academic community if engaged in positive mentoring experiences
  • Mentored graduate students and medical trainees are more likely to publish their research than those who are not mentored

The UI Journal Presents: The Use and Impact of NIH-fueled Resources for Mentoring— Reports from the Field

Recently, CIMER Executive Director Christine Pfund and WISCIENCE Director Janet Branchaw were chosen to be special editors in a special issue of the Understanding Interventions journal. In addition, a number of CIMER staff members and affiliates have articles featured in this special issue.  

See below for more information about this special issue of Understanding Interventions Journal.

The UI Journal Presents

In August 2019, the Special Issue editors elicited our interest in publishing a series of papers from the NIH Diversity Consortium. Specifically, the papers would report results from the implementation of various research mentor and/or mentee training interventions at BUILD (Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity) institutions using resources from the first phase of NRMN (National Research Mentoring Network). 

We are very pleased to present this Special Issue, The Use and Impact of NIH-fueled Resources for Mentoring— Reports from the Field, consisting of seven papers plus an Introduction from NIGMS and an Overview by the Special Issue editors. We believe this collection reflects state-of-the-art lessons for the UI community.  We also welcome suggestions of topics for other special issues.

All papers were subjected to a two-stage review process, the first overseen by the Special Issue editors, the second by UI Journal reviewers. We are indebted to all the reviewers who shouldered several submissions and revisions— Clifton Poodry, Frances Carter Johnson, John Matsui, Richard McGee, Mona Trempe, Angela Ebreo, and Chantel Fuqua. As always, the technical assistance of Shanta A. Outlaw is appreciated.

With many thanks,

Daryl E. Chubin, Editor & Anthony L. DePass, Publisher

The Use and Impact of NIH-fueled Resources for Mentoring— Reports from the Field


The Diversity Program Consortium Mentor Training 
Mercedes Rubio and Alison Gammie, NIGMS, NIH

Interventions to Optimize Mentoring Relationships for Diverse Biomedical Researchers 
Janet Branchaw, Lourdes Guerrero & Christine Pfund, Special Issue Editors

The NRMN Master Facilitators Initiative: Building a Community of Practice to Broaden Program Implementation
Stephanie C House, Melissa McDaniels, Kimberly C. Spencer, Emily Utzerath, & Christine Pfund

Investigating a Multiple Mentor Model in Research Training for Undergraduates Traditionally Underrepresented in Biomedical Sciences 
Thomas E. Keller & Jennifer Lindwall   

Near-peer Mentoring in an Undergraduate Research Training Program at a Large Master’s Comprehensive Institution: The Case of CSULB BUILD
Sewwandi U Abeywardana, Sarah Velasco, Nancy Hall, Jesse Dillon, & Chi-Ah Chun

How much is enough? The Impact of Training Dosage and Previous Mentoring Experience on the Effectiveness of a Research Mentor Training Intervention
Jenna Rogers, Janet Branchaw, Anne Marie Weber-Main, Kimberly Spencer, & Christine Pfund

BUILD Peer Mentor Training Model: Developing a Structured Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Training for Biomedical Undergraduate Researchers
Danielle X. Morales, Amy E. Wagler, & Angelica Monarrez

The BUILD Mentor Community at CSULB: A Mentor Training Program Designed to Enhance Mentoring Skills in Experienced Mentors
Kelly A. Young   &  Kaitlyn N. Stormes

Introduction to Research: A Scalable, Online Badge Implemented in Conjunction with a Classroom-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) that Promotes Students Matriculation into Mentored Undergraduate Research  
Laura E. Ott, Surbhi Godsay, Kathleen Stolle-McAllister, Caitlin Kowalewski, Kenneth I. Maton, & William R. LaCourse

S309 How to make mentorship a dream -Acadames Podcast

Today, Sarah talks with Dr. Christine Pfund, a senior scientist at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Pfund defines mentorship, discusses how to be a better mentor and mentee and explains why effective mentorship matters within the academy. Together, they consider strategies to cultivate strong mentorship relationships and offer resources for academics at all career stages.

Article authored by Entering Research team presents evaluation data for second edition of Entering Research

Article authored by Entering Research team presents evaluation data for second edition of Entering Research

A recent article in CBE-Life Sciences Education presents two design and development research studies examining the effectiveness of the second edition of Entering Research, an undergraduate and graduate research trainee training curriculum.  In this paper, Entering Research authors Janet Branchaw, Amanda Butz, and Amber Smith describe the process of revising and expanding the curriculum to 96 ​active learning activities, which was a collaborative effort that began in 2015 and involved 24 practitioners across the country.  The manuscript provides a summary of pilot testing data collected from a national sample of 78 facilitators and 565 undergraduate and graduate research trainees from 20 sites, as well as data from four ​Entering Research facilitator training workshops. 
The second edition of Entering Research is available from Macmillan and individual activities are available for free on the CIMER website. For more information on the Entering Research curriculum, evaluation and assessment tools, and upcoming facilitator training opportunities, visit or contact the Entering Research authors at


The second edition of Entering Research (ER) is a collection of customizable active-learning activities, resources, and assessment and evaluation tools for use in undergraduate and graduate research training programs and courses. Results from two design and development research studies examining the effectiveness of the second edition of the ER curriculum and a 2-day ER facilitator training workshop are reported. Pilot testing of the second edition of the curriculum at 20 sites across the country (42 unique implementations) with 78 facilitators and 565 undergraduate and graduate research trainees provides evidence that the ER activities are clear and complete and that they were effective in helping trainees gain knowledge or improve their ability to do research. Overall, research training program directors and trainees were satisfied with courses and workshops that incorporated activities from ER. Likewise, evaluation data from four ER facilitator training workshops showed that participants valued the workshop and reported significant gains in confidence in their ability to successfully develop and implement a custom ER curriculum. Together, these results provide evidence that the ER curriculum and training workshop warrant further efficacy, effectiveness, and scale-up research.

Read the full article at CBE-Life Science Education Online Journal

Meet the Authors

Janet Branchaw

Janet Branchaw

Director of WISCIENCE, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology

Amanda Butz

Director of Evaluation & Research at WISCIENCE

Amber Smith

Associate Director of WISCIENCE & Director of Research Mentor and Mentee Training

Dr Christine Pfund – Improving Mentoring Relationships in Science: Mentors Need Mentors

Dr Christine Pfund is a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. With a strong network of colleagues and collaborators, her work focuses on developing, implementing, documenting, and studying interventions to optimise research mentoring relationships across science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine. Read on to discover how the success of these initiatives has resulted in the development of a national network of mentors in the USA.

Mentors in Science

Mentors play a critical role in developing the careers of junior scientists. A good mentor inspires, encourages, and supports their mentee. This commitment is especially important for those from traditionally underrepresented groups in science who typically receive poorer quality mentoring than their non-minority peers.

The benefits of mentoring are clear. Mentored graduate students are more likely to publish their research and report greater career satisfaction. Benefits have also been identified for mentors themselves, including increased productivity, sense of fulfilment, and refinement of leadership and other key skills, in addition to their existing subject-specific expertise.

Unfortunately, in some cases, the mentor-mentee relationship is unsuccessful, resulting in a detrimental impact on the happiness and motivation of both parties. This circumstance may be due to a lack of training and support offered to mentors; despite its critical importance, mentors typically learn by example, trial and error, and peer observation.

Dr Christine Pfund at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW), along with her colleagues and collaborators, places particular focus on optimising the mentoring relationships that occur in the research context. Currently, this team is leading several national programs based at the UW, including the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) and the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER). By using evidence-based curricula and approaches to foster the persistence and success of a diverse group of trainers, mentors, and mentees, the team focuses on aligning expectations and strengthening communications for mentoring relationships.

The team has also developed a strong, collective scientific foundation for research mentor and mentee training that includes both face-to-face and online delivery across a variety of disciplines and career stages. Indeed, their work is supported by a convincing track record of success in creating, implementing, publishing, and rigorously investigating interventions for scholars from diverse groups and their mentors.

Dr Pfund leading a mentor training workshop’

UW Madison as a National Mentor Training Hub

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is supporting the Diversity Program Consortium (DPC) to develop new approaches to engage and support researchers from populations which are underrepresented in biomedical sciences. Due to the established national reputation of Dr Pfund and her colleagues in the field of mentorship, the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) became a national hub for research mentor and mentee training for the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN), part of the DPC.

The NRMN aims to provide all researchers, regardless of their position or background, access to evidence-based mentorship, professional development, and networking opportunities. The main aims of the project in its first phase were to: 1) increase access to mentoring across career stages; 2) improve mentoring relationships through training; 3) increase access to research resources and career development, and 4) promote the value of mentoring. As a nationwide project, the overarching goal is to assist in the development and expansion of a diverse, high-quality biomedical workforce.

As one of the NRMN Principal Investigators, Dr Pfund and the NRMN team developed training materials for both mentors and mentees with a focus on attributes known to impact mentee persistence, including cultural awareness. The team also assembled a group of 32 Master Facilitators who have collectively trained over 6000 mentors across the country. Starting in July 2019, Dr Pfund will launch the NRMN Coordination Center, which will support eleven NRMN research projects and a resource center to catalyse long-term potential across the collective. Dr Pfund and colleagues have also been involved in building capacity for training beyond NRMN, teaching others to implement evidence-based mentor and mentee workshops, and to further extend the reach of the initial programme.

Additional Training for Mentors and Mentees

Dr Pfund and the team are actively involved with other training programs, both at UW and at other institutions, aimed to establish, foster, and promote effective mentoring relationships at a broader level.

For example, at UW, they lead mentor and mentee training efforts at the Institute for Clinical and Translation Research and are part of efforts to optimise the mentorship training provisions for graduate students, post-doctoral trainees, and junior faculty for this and other programs. As part of their work, the team is also developing and testing new training modules and assessment tools.

Dr Pfund also directs the Center for Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER; at UW. Here, the focus is on the development, implementation, and evaluation of mentor and mentee training using theoretically grounded, evidence-based, and culturally-responsive training interventions and investigations. One element of this work involves making evidence-based curricula available to the public. Another element is the development of a platform which can be used to assess researchers’ mentoring experiences both in mentor and/or mentee training as well as in their mentoring relationships.

As part of their national efforts through CIMER, Dr Pfund and colleagues are implementing and testing an integrated mentor-mentee training package in partnership with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as part of the prestigious Gilliam Fellowships for Advanced Study. Gilliam scholars engage in an evidence-based session at their annual meetings to support effective and proactive navigation of their mentoring relationships. Mentors of the Gilliam scholars engage in a full year of culturally responsive mentor training which includes face-to-face meetings, online modules, and other resources, all with the aim of fostering an environment where mentors can learn and support their peers.

Dr Pfund and two NRMN Master Faciliators discussing ways to improve mentor training curricula
‘Mentoring is known to be a critical factor in the satisfaction, productivity, and advancement of researchers across career stages.’
Chris Pfund
CIMER Director

How and Why Do Mentoring Relationships Work?

It is important to understand how and why mentoring relationships work from a solid theoretical perspective. Dr Pfund and colleagues have investigated several frameworks to inform future practice. These conceptual frameworks consider, for example, what factors are associated with academic persistence and career attainment. They provide a means of understanding the relationships between these factors and experiences, such as mentoring. Social cognitive career theory is one framework that helps explain these factors as potential mechanisms underlying key factors in motivation to reach a specific career goal.

Other frameworks of importance to Dr Pfund and the team include science identity development and social negotiation. These frameworks aim to explain how an individual adopts his/her professional identity and social capital. However, to advance the science of mentorship and understand what works for whom and in what context, more research is needed to determine the most appropriate metrics for assessing mentors, mentees, and mentoring relationships. This question requires further research, and is one of the goals of the NIH Diversity Program Consortium.

Research is also needed to understand the process by which evidence-based approaches in mentoring, such as Entering Mentoring, are disseminated and implemented on a national scale. A recent article by the UW team, led by Kim Spencer and colleagues, describes the approach the team used for national scale-up. Using these approaches, the team has trained more than 600 facilitators nationwide. The majority of these facilitators went on to implement mentor training for more than 4000 other researchers.

It is important to also note that barriers still exist to implementing research-mentor training. These can include a lack of support and resources, including training materials, personnel for planning and organising training, dedicated time for training, and a lack of confidence in implementation. However, outcomes from facilitator training sessions have revealed that having attended, delegates report more confidence and preparedness, and also reported that the opportunity to develop connections with other delegates was invaluable.

Dr Pfund and the NRMN Master Facilitators

Key Findings

When asked what the key findings of current and past projects were, Dr Pfund identified the following take-home messages:

  1. Mentor and mentee training interventions can improve the knowledge and skills of both mentors and mentees, and improve the effectiveness of mentoring relationships.
  2. Despite evidence supporting the importance of mentoring, it remains unclear which mentoring relationships have the most impact. What specific factors best account for key outcomes in mentoring success? Critically, mentoring relationships do not occur in isolation – they are inherently woven into the social and cultural contexts of individuals and their academic institutions.
  3. Facilitator training/train-the-trainer workshops are a demonstrably effective means of national dissemination and capacity-building.
  4. Critical factors, known to impact mentees persistence and development in their careers, can be incorporated into mentor and mentee training. In this way, mentors and mentees are better able to address these factors in their relationship(s).

We can clearly see how the work of Dr Pfund and her colleagues benefits all – mentors, mentees, and the scientific workforce more generally. As Dr Pfund notes, ‘Mentoring is known to be a critical factor in the satisfaction, productivity, and advancement of researchers across career stages.’

By building, improving, and evaluating the relationships between mentors and mentees, this work is playing a critical role in shaping the success of research establishments from local to national levels within the USA, with potential for application even further afield.

Meet the researcher

Dr Christine Pfund

Wisconsin Centre for Education Research
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI

Dr Christine Pfund is a Senior Scientist at the Wisconsin Centre for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW). She is also director of the Centre for the Improvement of Mentored Experience in Research (CIMER) at UW, one of the principal investigators of the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN). Dr Pfund completed a PhD and post-doctoral projects at UW and served as the Associate Director of the Delta Program in Research, Teaching, and Learning and the Co-Director of the Wisconsin Program for Scientific Teaching for more than a decade. Dr Pfund’s work is conducted in collaboration with an established network of colleagues and collaborators, focusing on the development of mentor-mentee relationships across several academic disciplines. Currently, Dr Pfund is co-leading multiple studies focused on the impact of training on both mentors and mentees, and understanding specific factors in mentoring relationships that account for positive student outcomes. She is a member of the National Academies committee that recently published the consensus report and online guide, The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM.





Dr Janet Branchaw, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Dr Christine Sorkness, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Dr Angela Byars-Winston, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Dr Rick McGee, Northwestern University, USA


National Institutes of Health (Common Fund, NIGMS, and NCATS)

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

National Science Foundation


A Byars-Winston, V Womack, A Butz, R McGee, S Quinn, E Utzerath, C Saetermoe, S Thomas, Pilot study of an intervention to increase cultural awareness in research mentoring: Implications for diversifying the scientific workforce, Journal of Clinical and Translational Science, 2018, 2(2), 86–94.

J Rogers, CA Sorkness, K Spencer, C Pfund, Increasing research mentor training among biomedical researchers at Clinical and Translational Science Award hubs: The impact of the facilitator training initiative, Journal of Clinical and Translational Science, 2018, 2(3), 118–123.

KC Spencer, M McDaniels, E Utzerath, JG Rogers, CA Sorkness, P Asquith, C Pfund, Building a sustainable infrastructure to expand research mentor training, CBE Life Sciences Education, 2018, 17:ar48, 1–11.

CA Sorkness, C Pfund, EO Ofili, KS Okuyemi, JK Vishwanatha, NRMN team, A new approach to mentoring for research careers: The National Research Mentoring Network, BMC Proceedings, 2017, 11, 171–182.

C Pfund, A Byars-Winston, J Branchaw, S Hurtado, K Eagan, Defining attributes and metrics of effective research mentoring relationships, AIDS and Behavior, 2016, 20, S238–S248.

AM Byars-Winston, J Branchaw, C Pfund, P Leverett, J Newton, Culturally diverse undergraduate researchers’ academic outcomes and perceptions of their research mentoring relationships, International Journal of Science Education, 2015, 37, 2533–2554.