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workshops and trainings for nih Irp Staff scientists and staff clinicians

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Staff Scientists and Staff Clinicians are often the first-line mentors/supervisors for many of our trainees. This series is designed to help you understand how to support IRP trainees at all levels. Track 1: Developing Successful Training Experiences will discuss NIH policies, the unique needs of various trainee levels, hiring the best people, and preparing your trainees to leave. Track 2: Professional Development for Staff Scientists and Staff Clinicians will build your mentoring skills and help you think about your career advancement.

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

Track 1: 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
The Mental Health and Well-being of Your Trainees April 19, 2021 1:30–3:45 pm Register 4/19
Preparing Your Trainees to Leave May 10, 2021 3:30–5:00 pm Register 5/10


Track 2: Professional Development for Staff Scientists and Staff CliniciansDate/TimeRegister
Mentoring 1 January 22, 2021 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm Register 1/22
Mentoring 2 January 29, 2021 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm Register 1/29
Mentoring 3 February 4, 2021 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm Register 2/4
Understanding your Career Development  February 10, 2021 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm Register 2/10

Session Descriptions

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.

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

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.

April 19, 2021 1:30–3:45 pm: The Mental Health and Well-being of Your Trainees

Our trainees operate under considerable stress, whether from the process of getting into medical/graduate school or finding an appropriate job. They report rates of anxiety and depression (~40%) more than six times the rate (6%) in the general population. This workshop will focus on helping trainees to cultivate well-being, recognizing stress and its effects on trainee mental health, supporting your trainees during difficult times, and finding professional help when necessary.

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.


Improving Mentoring Skills: a three-part series

Though mentoring can be a very rewarding experience, it also has its challenges. This three-part workshop series will provide you with insights into ways to enhance trainee learning and to help you set your trainee up for success. We will discuss setting expectations, providing feedback, setting boundaries and assessing how trainees learn best. We will also talk about psychosocial issues impact student learning to provide you with tools to assist trainees in dealing with their imposter fears, cognitive distortions and other barriers to success.

Understanding your Career Development 
Your career advancement is as important as your trainee's career needs. This workshop will help you understand how your personal interests, skills, and values contribute to your career success. Topics to be covered include the importance of career decision making, self-assessment, transferrable skills, networking, defining success, personal needs, work/life balance, and defining short-term and long-term goals.


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