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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2014 Aug;30(8):730-7. doi: 10.1089/AID.2014.0018. Epub 2014 May 12.

Development and implementation of a workshop to enhance the effectiveness of mentors working with diverse mentees in HIV research.

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1 Department of Medicine, University of California , San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco, California.


A growing body of evidence highlights the importance of competent mentoring in academic research in the field of HIV, particularly for early stage investigators from diverse, underrepresented backgrounds. We describe the development and implementation of a 2-day intensive workshop to train mid-level and senior-level investigators conducting HIV-related clinical and translational research across multiple academic institutions on more effective mentoring, with an emphasis on techniques to foster mentees of diversity. The workshop was focused on training mentors in techniques designed to improve the effectiveness of the mentor-mentee relationship, and included didactic presentations, interactive discussions, and small-group problem-based learning activities. Mid-level or senior-level faculty involved or planning to be involved in significant mentorship activities related to HIV research were eligible. Surveys and formal actions plans allowed for workshop evaluation and laid the groundwork for subsequent workshops. Twenty-six faculty from 16 U.S.-based institutions participated, with good representation across discipline, gender, and race/ethnicity. The sessions were highly rated and discussions and evaluations revealed important barriers and facilitators to mentoring, challenges and solutions related to mentoring mentees from diverse backgrounds, and specific tools to enhance mentoring effectiveness. The Mentoring the Mentors training program for HIV researchers focusing on early career investigators of diversity was the first of its kind and was well attended, was rated highly, and provided guidance for improving the program in the future. This training program fills an important gap in the HIV researcher community and offers guidance for training mentors interested in diversity issues in settings outside of HIV.

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