Mentoring Programs

Mentoring of CFAR junior faculty is one of the key missions of the Developmental Core. It is executed through a direct mentoring program for CFAR junior faculty and mentoring workshops. A formal mentoring program is offered to CFAR junior faculty. The program is designed to encourage the development of junior faculty who are pursuing HIV/AIDS research, by providing guidance in the areas of grants, research, and publications. The unique aspects of our program are that it focuses specifically on HIV/AIDS research and career opportunities.

In particular, developmental grant applicants and awardees are required to enter into a formal mentoring relationship with an appropriate CFAR Member. Not only Developmental Award applicants, but all CFAR members with the rank of Instructor or Assistant Professor are encouraged to join the mentoring program. This mechanism provides the faculty members with cutting edge advice from experienced investigators, who are leaders in their respective fields. As in any mentoring activity, our mentors strive to facilitate and develop enduring, collegial relationships that allow junior faculty the opportunity plan, learn, collaborate and grow.

Three mentoring workshops organized annually for CFAR junior faculty, underrepresented minority, and CFAR Developmental Grant recipients provide exposure to various mentoring styles and experiences. A peer-to-peer mentoring program aligning CWRU CFAR junior faculty along the already existing synergies between junior investigators will be implemented in near future. The above mentoring functions provided by the Developmental Core are designed to complement the mentoring activities provided in junior faculty home departments by the School of Medicine.

It is easy to apply and participate in the CFAR mentoring program. Prospective mentees complete a brief application form, and return it to Brinn Omabegho via email. The Core's Director, Dr. Jacek Skowronski, with the assistance of the Mentoring Review Committee, will then match the mentee's priorities and research focus with appropriate CFAR mentor. Mentors are then asked to make initial contact with the mentee either by phone or email. It is anticipated that, at the first meeting, information is exchanged regarding professional background and experience, and also research interests, to establish a common ground upon which to build. The mentor will also help the mentee to establish a Research Development Plan. The Research Development Plan must be specifically tailored to the mentee's needs with the ultimate goal of achieving independence as an effective researcher.