The core of the program is the individual mentored research experience which will occupy a majority of the scholar’s time. We fully recognize that success requires extensive protection from other (important) activities including clinical care, teaching, service and administration. The scholar will receive up three years of continued support with at least 80 percent time for research. In special circumstances, where even more intensive laboratory experience is required, particularly for bright promising faculty that have had less extensive basic laboratory experience during fellowship, we may recommend 90 to 100 percent protection for research during the first year.
During the second year, and if necessary third year, the scholar will be expected to spend at least 80 percent of their time in the research experience with no more than 20 percent effort available for teaching and clinical service. We will also discourage other significant commitments, such as administrative roles during this time.
You will have individualized training developed by the PI and Training Directors in collaboration with a multidisciplinary mentorship team and support by a broad array of institutional and departmental resources.
The program has identified 25 carefully selected basic and translational senior investigators with sustained NIH funding and successful track records of mentoring early career scholars. In addition, we have carefully selected 10 pediatric mentors-in-training, most with R01 funding that will be well positioned for full mentorship of K12 scholars.
You will have confidential face-to-face meetings with two outside advisors (former Department of Pediatrics Chairs, Drs. Arnold Strauss and George Dover).
Scholars participate in regular peer-to-peer group meetings including twice-monthly career development seminars with other campus K-awardees, monthly breakfast meetings, weekly departmental research seminars, regular mentorship committees (at a minimum every 6 months), and annual formal evaluations of scholars and program.
Individualized Research Training in Primary Mentor’s Laboratory
The cornerstone for a successful mentor-mentee relationship is a research apprenticeship in the laboratory of the primary mentor who must be an established, well-funded NIH investigator with adequate time to train and mentor, and a passion and track record for mentoring junior faculty scientists, especially physician scientists. All mentors have been carefully selected by the PD.
The scholar will work in the lab of the primary mentor so as to facilitate very frequent contact and close supervision. We expect at least weekly lab meetings with the primary mentor present, although anticipate contact on an even more frequent basis. We expect the mentor and mentee to enter into Vanderbilt’s mentoring contract that has been established for other campus K12 scholars. The contract identifies the roles and responsibilities of both the primary mentor and mentee.