You are an important supporter of graduate and postdoctoral trainees at your institution. To provide additional opportunities to support your trainees, we are partnering with investigators at MD Anderson Cancer Center to bring you an NIH-funded online faculty mentor training workshop “Scientific Communication Advances Research Excellence” (SCOARE, GM125640). The project includes a companion research study of workshop participants and their research trainees. You are invited to attend the workshop as well as to participate in the associated research study assessing workshop outcomes.
What is the SCOARE workshop?
In this workshop, you will learn best practices and strategies for helping trainees develop their scientific speaking and writing skills, which have been shown to build trainees’ commitment to research careers. The workshop was developed by Drs. Carrie Cameron and Shine Chang of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, principal investigators of the project, and will be delivered in 2 online 3-hour sessions.
What is the SCOARE study?
The companion research study will investigate the translational effectiveness of the workshop. It involves confidential pre- and post-workshop surveys for participating mentors and up to 5 of their doctoral (PhD) or postdoctoral research trainees. You and your trainees will be offered compensation upon completion of study assessment surveys.
What are the expected outcomes?
The workshop will focus on practical mentoring strategies you can use in your mentoring immediately that are effective, efficient, and accessible to mentors. Former attendees say:
“This should be a mandatory requirement for new faculty who participate in mentoring.”
“My students have demonstrated a great level of improvement in their writing skillsets.”
The trainees of former attendees say, six months after the workshop:
“Our communication has improved drastically over the last few months.”
“Our meetings are much more productive, and our mentor/mentee relationship has grown.”
How do I participate?
The workshop is currently being offered as 2 online 3-hour sessions and is limited to 20 attendees. In order to participate in the workshop, you must be able to attend both sessions. To participate, you can either attend the workshop and participate in the research study, or attend the workshop only. Priority for spaces will be given to study participants; however, study participation is not required for workshop participation. There are 3 Fall 2021 workshops scheduled currently:
Option 1: Tuesday, September 14 and* Thursday, September 16, 2021; 9:00AM – 12:00PM Central
Option 2: Monday, November 15 and* Wednesday, November 17, 2021; 10:00AM – 1:00PM Central
Option 3: Tuesday, December 7 and* Thursday, December 9, 2021; 9:00AM – 12:00PM Central
*The complete workshop consists of 2 separate sessions (same time both days).
Additional details including a link to the web conferencing platform will be sent to registered workshop participants. Participating in the workshop and the associated study are great ways to support our trainees and research training and to add to our own professional development. We look forward to seeing you there.
If you have any questions, please contact the SCOARE Team at SCOARE@mdanderson.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do my trainee(s) attend the workshop?
No, trainees are not invited to attend the workshop, nor are they informed about the specific content of the workshop. Trainee participation is limited to the completion of two surveys, which include questions about career intentions, participation in scientific communication tasks, etc. Trainees are not asked to ‘grade’ or evaluate their mentors' competence or skills.
- How and why do I need to provide my trainee(s)’ information for the research study?
If you opt to participate in the research study, we will contact the trainees that you nominate and invite them to participate in the study as well. Trainees will complete two surveys including career intentions, self-efficacy for, interest in, and outcome expectations for persisting in research careers. Like mentors, trainees will also be compensated. To maintain confidentiality, you will not be notified which (if any) of your trainees have elected to participate. Neither trainees nor mentors will see each other’s survey questions or responses. Trainees are not informed about the specific content of the workshop and are not invited to attend the workshop. Trainees are not asked on the surveys to evaluate their mentors' competence.
- Do I have to participate in the research study in order to attend the workshop?
While you can attend the workshop without participating in our research study, we strongly encourage you to consider participating in the study if you have doctoral (PhD) or postdoctoral research trainees.
- What happens if I cannot attend the scheduled dates of the workshop?
First, please let us know as soon as possible if you can no longer attend, so we can offer your spot to someone on the waitlist. Second, consider attending one of our upcoming workshops. Contact us at SCOARE@mdanderson.org to find out about future workshops and receive registration announcements. We check this email account daily. PLEASE NOTE: It is not possible to “mix and match” workshop parts/session in different months, e.g., Part A in November and Part B in December.
- Is there compensation for participating in the study?
Yes, for both faculty mentors and participating trainees. Compensation for mentors is offered upon completion of the post-workshop assessment survey. Compensation for the trainees is offered upon completion of each of the pre- and post-assessment surveys.