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Workshops for NIH IRP Admin staff

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Our NIH IRP Admin staff are a vital lifeline for our trainees. Admin staff know how important it is to onboard a trainee effectively, support a trainee while they are here, and help them move on to their next positions. Additionally, admin staff are often the first to notice when trainees are in need of assistance. The goal of this series is to provide our admin staff with knowledge and resources to support our trainees across the entire lifespan of their training experience.

Note: These will all be recorded and available for post-event viewing.

While you may participate in any of the webinars, it is best to participate in the entire series as the material relates and concepts will be developed throughout the series. Zoom links will be provided soon.

Dates/Times/Descriptions are below

Developing Successful Training Experiences Date/TimeRegistration
The Rules Governing Trainee Appointments and Finding Resources and Support Date TBA, early Jan  
Best Practices for Selecting and Hiring Trainees January 25, 2021 3:30–5:00 pm Register 1/25
Training/Mentoring Graduate Students and Postdocs February 22, 2021 3:30–5:00 pm Register 2/22
Training / Mentoring Postbacs and Summer Interns March 8, 2021 3:30–5:00 pm Register 3/8
Setting and Communicating Expectations April 13, 2021 3:30–5:00 pm Register 4/13
Preparing Your Trainees to Leave May 10, 2021 3:30–5:00 pm Register 5/10



December 14, 2020 3:30–5:00 pm: The Rules Governing Trainee Appointments and Finding Resources and Support

We will discuss the IRTA Manual Chapter (, which was revised in October 2020 and should be published soon. Knowing in advance what you and your trainees can and cannot do and where to find “the rules” will streamline the training experience. In Part 2, the discussion will turn to OITE services and resources and how you and your trainees can make the best use of them.

January 25, 2021 3:30–5:00 pm: Best Practices for Selecting and Hiring Trainees

Selecting a trainee who is a bad fit can disrupt an entire research group. This workshop will focus on what to look for in the application. We will also discuss interviewing potential trainees and assessing the scientific and interpersonal skills of the candidate and his/her “fit” with your group. Finally, we will explore strategies for building a diverse research group.

February 22, 2021 3:30–5:00 pm: Training/Mentoring Grad Students and Postdocs

This is the second in the series on improving the NIH experience of trainees. The first half of this talk will focus on graduate students. We will clarify the intricate workings of the NIH Graduate Partnerships Program and share what we know about the unique challenges of grad students at the NIH. In the second half we will discuss how you can help your postdocs meet their needs: understanding career options, building their scientific “brand”, transitioning to a new research group or becoming an independent investigator, and developing a plan for success

March 8, 2021 3:30–5:00 pm: Training/Mentoring Postbacs and Summer Interns

This workshop is the first in a series that will focus on improving the NIH experience of trainees at all levels. We will begin by discussing the application and selection process for postbacs and summer interns. We will then move quickly to (1) the training expectations for each population, (2) the limitations arising from both the nature of the appointment and the developmental stage of the trainee, (3) how other trainees in your group can benefit from the presence of these trainees, and (4) steps you can take to ensure a successful experience for both the trainee and the rest of your research group.

April 13, 2021 3:30–5:00 pm: Setting and Communicating Expectations

As a PI, working successfully with a trainee depends on each side understanding and accepting the expectations of the other. This workshop will focus on three tools that can assist you in setting and communicating expectations: the “Welcome to my research group” letter, the Individual Development Plan (IDP) and annual reviews.

May 10, 2021 3:30–5:00 pm: Preparing Your Trainees to Leave

All good training must come to an end. We will discuss the conversations you will have with your trainees about authorship, taking projects with them, and career aspirations. We will also cover more practical considerations, such as writing letters of recommendations, and supporting your trainees during the interview, negotiation, and transition phases of their move to a new position.

For questions regarding this series, please contact the OITE at Please include "Admin Series" in the subject line.