three women in conversation
Leadership Alliance Shares Mentoring Successes from the LANS:Career Development Workshop

Last weekend, representatives from the Leadership Alliance participated in the 10th Annual Understanding Interventions conference in Baltimore, MD. This three-day conferences emphasizes evidence-based best practices and emerging trends that broaden participation in research careers. According to its organizers, “the conference is designed to create a dialogue among behavioral/social science and education researchers, evaluators, and faculty in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields who participate in intervention programs.”

Dr. Don Brunson (Assistant Dean of the Graduate School, Vanderbilt University), Dr. Medeva Ghee (Executive Director Leadership Alliance Executive Office), and Dr. Wallace Sharif (Assistant Professor, Morehouse College) shared best practices for implementing multi-institutional partnerships using the Synergistic Network to Enhance Research and Grow Innovation (SYNERGI) project (This project is funded by the NIGMS 5R25GM114021) as an example in a symposium titled, “Improving Job Market Preparation through Skill-building and Mentoring Workshops”. In addition to describing the work and mission of the Alliance, the group presented the most recent data from SYNERGI Career Development Workshop participants.

The Career Development Workshop brings graduate students and postdocs in biomedical sciences together to engage with professional career mentors in all sectors. Participants have multiple opportunities for one-on-one mentoring and coaching during the event, which allows mentors to share specific and practical advice.  The impact of the career development workshop is evidenced by the responses to follow-up surveys, administered one year after the event (see chart below). Participants (30%) indicated that they continued to share resources and discuss career opportunities with the mentors and fellow attendees they met at the workshop over the following year, suggesting that the workshop helped to spark new connections and broaden networks.

chart of participants showing that the workshop helped making career decisions and planning the career
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