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Becoming a Resilient Scientist (BRS) series

A five-part series including lectures and discussion groups to help you develop skills needed to thrive in research and healthcare careers.

About the series

The goal of this series is to provide you with the resilience tools needed to study and work in high-knowledge environments. The material will help you develop well-being, assertiveness, and feedback skills with the goal of improved relationships in research groups and beyond. The series is helpful for trainees and fellows at all levels. The series is also helpful for fellows who supervise others and wish to develop strong mentoring skills for the future.

The series is offered in the fall for current NIH trainees and fellows and in the summer for NIH summer interns; we also welcome students and fellows from outside the NIH.

How to attend

There are five sessions in the series. Each session includes a lecture followed by a facilitated small group discussion allowing you to share your experiences and learn from peers.  While it is best to attend the entire series, you may attend individual sessions. Trainees who participate in all five lectures and attend at least four small group discussions will receive a certification of completion.

This series will be offered in a synchronous format in the summer, starting in June, and the fall, starting in September.

Unit I of this series is required for participation in the OITE Management Short Course.

Register to attend the next 'Becoming a Resilient Scientist' session

Look for the next session in Upcoming Events

Series components

  1. An Introduction to Resilience and Well-Being

    We all experience setback and disappointments in science, work, and life. In this webinar we will look at seven key elements of resilience with a focus on building habits that promote healthier responses and resilient behaviors in the face of set-back in educational and work environments.

  2. Exploring Self-Talk: Imposter Fears and Other Cognitive Distortions

    We tell ourselves stories about what is happening to us and around us. In this webinar we will explore how our self-talk is generated and look at ways our self-talk can either help us be more resilient or how it can hurt us and hold us back. We will look at two important elements of our self-talk, cognitive distortions and imposter fears and explore ways to recognize internal messages and input from others that distorts our views of our abilities and accomplishments.

  3. Self-Advocacy and Assertiveness

    We all need to develop the skills needed to be assertive and to advocate for ourselves, especially in hierarchical environments where we sometimes feel we do not have a voice. In this webinar, we will discuss how to set boundaries, communicate expectations, ask for feedback, and discuss difficult issues with friends, mentors, colleagues, and supervisors.

  4. Developing Feedback Resilience

    We all need feedback to grow and learn but we often become defensive and are unable to learn from the feedback we receive, even if it is delivered well. In this webinar, we will talk about why receiving feedback is so difficult and explore ways to stay calm and engaged when receiving feedback. We will also talk about giving feedback in a calm and assertive way so that our voice can be heard.

  5. Managing Up to Maximize Mentoring Relationships

    We all need mentors to support and encourage us throughout our educational and career journey. In this webinar, we will talk about the mentoring relationship in research environments with a focus on improving your relationship with your PI, finding mentors and on improving communication and interpersonal interactions. The webinar will help clarify what you need from your supervisors and mentors and address how to get what you need from these important interactions.

What past participants say

Thank you for putting this series together. I learned so many critical skills that I have already applied in work and in personal life, and I am eager to refine them as I grow. You have truly impacted how I see myself and my role at work and reminded me that I have agency.”

“This series has been invaluable to me as a graduate student and future independent researcher. Much still needs to be changed in this culture, but this series was incredibly helpful in increasing my awareness, empowerment, and skills related to the topics taught/discussed. After participating, I have noticed myself sharing what I’ve learned with my peers when they talked about issues that they are facing as well. I believe having this as a regular offered series would have an incredible impact on individuals who participate and eventually on the culture of science.”

“Completion of this program should be a part of ... [the requirements every institution must meet to receive funding] ... from the NIH in the same way RCR is. The information in these presentations is invaluable. And if students and post docs had this info they could avoid getting into bad situations with tormentors. Thank you very much; this series has helped me immensely. The tools presented here have allowed me to identify and deal with stressors much more effectively.”

Additional resources

You can find additional recorded seminars on the OITE YouTube channel.


Reach out to us at with questions.