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Raising a Resilient Scientist (RRS) series

A five-part series including lectures and discussion groups for faculty, staff scientists, and administrators who mentor students and postdoctoral fellows in the biomedical, behavioral, and social sciences.

About the series

The goal of the 'Raising a Resilient Scientist' series is to promote the mental health and well-being of the academic research community by supporting faculty and administrators to develop self-management, relationship-management, and mentoring skills. A variety of topics will be covered with a specific focus on communication and shared problem-solving to help trainees deal with the inevitable setbacks experienced in high knowledge environments.

There are five units in the series; each unit will consist of a 75-minute lecture followed by a 1-hour facilitated discussion with peers.

The spring 2024 series starts February 1, 2024. To register, click on the link within each unit description.

Series components

  1. Communication Skills to Build Trainee Resilience

    This session will introduce you to the principles of trainee well-being and how to create a safe and supportive environment that fosters trainee resilience, growth and productivity. It will teach skills for effective communication with trainees including active listening. The session will explore how communication and work style differences influence the way we collaborate, make decisions, handle differences, and manage conflict. This material will help you decide when and how to have conversations while building and leading a successful research group.

    February 1, 2024, 12:00-2:15 PM ET - this session has passed.

    Email Dr. Ulli Klenke with questions.
  2. Promoting Trainee Resilience

    Resilience helps those in high-knowledge environments succeed. This session will address barriers to trainee resilience, including cognitive distortions and imposter fears. It will emphasize ways and provide practical applications to encourage resilience in trainees in areas as such as fostering a growth mindset, promoting realistic self-talk, and modeling self-care and well-being as a priority in your research environment. (Related reading:

    March 7, 2024, 12:00-2:15 PM ET - this session has passed.

    Email Dr. Ulli Klenke with questions.
  3. Building a Welcoming and Inclusive Research Group

    Building an inclusive research group means creating a space where individuals of all identities feel welcome and accepted. Inclusivity and diversity have been reported to help build community and promote depth of scientific knowledge, creativity, and collaboration. This session will address the effect of bias, both explicit and implicit, on our research groups. It will provide strategies to ensure that all trainees are set up for success at work, including welcoming diversity and addressing issues such as stereotype threat, micro-aggressions and attributional ambiguity.

    April 11, 2024, 12:00-2:15 PM ET

    Email Dr. Ulli Klenke with questions.
  4. Difficult Conversations, Conflict, and Feedback

    This unit will build a framework for having difficult conversations, including providing effective feedback. It will examine how we decide to engage in difficult conversations and provide strategies and tools for effective communication under challenging circumstances. Specific issues, such as differences in style or culture, appropriate boundaries, and managing challenging interactions will be reviewed.

    May 9, 2024, 12:00-2:15 PM ET

    Email Dr. Ulli Klenke with questions.
  5. The Mental Health and Well-being of Your Trainees

    Our trainees operate under considerable stress, with anxiety and depression in biomedical trainees occurring at higher rates than in the general population. This can have a significant impact on research and research groups. Leaders and mentors often are the first to notice the struggles of their trainees. The webinar will focus on structuring your environment to promote a well lab, recognizing stressors, supporting trainees during difficult times, appropriate boundaries, and when and how to connect them to resources when appropriate. It will also touch on some ways you can find support for yourself as you support your trainees.

    June 20, 2024, 12:00-2:15 PM

    Register for Unit 5

What past participants say

Previous participants found participation valuable, and the tools presented practical and actionable.

Informative workshop that I think all faculty should be required to attend. Making this a requirement for mentoring teams for fellowship and training grants would be a great approach! They need to be invested in mentoring and training, as much as training fellows.”

“Thank you! I've done a lot of mentoring workshops/training but feel like this one is already taking things to another level.”

“This course needs to be offered again and again, such an important resource in any academic curriculum.”