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Nicotine Tob Res. 2019 May 16. pii: ntz083. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntz083. [Epub ahead of print]

Implementing and Evaluating a Mentor Training to Improve Support for Early-Career Scholars in Tobacco Regulatory Science.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine.
Health Law, Policy & Management, Boston University School of Public Health.
Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine.
Behavioral Health Group, Westat; Associate Professor (Adjunct), Department of Oncology, Georgetown University Medical Center Cancer Prevention & Control Program, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Global Health Research, Boston Children's Hospital.
Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, National Jewish Health.
CASEL Education and Training Core Lead, Westat.
Boston University Medical Campus.
Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Department of Epidemiology School of Public Health, Boston University.



To implement and evaluate a blended online and in-person training to help mentors of early-career researchers appreciate the complexities of Tobacco Regulatory Science (TRS), refine TRS mentoring skills, and become acquainted with resources for providing effective guidance to TRS mentees.


TRS mentors engaged in a two-part pilot test of the training program. Authors evaluated both the online and in-person training using retrospective pre-post evaluations, which measure learning at the conclusion of a training program, and post-program focus groups. Twenty learners completed the online training and sixteen learners attended the in-person training module. Nine participants completed evaluations for the online module and twelve participants completed evaluations for the in-person module.


Program assessments revealed that participants found that the training achieved its overall goals. The majority of respondents (87.5%) rated the online portion of the training as valuable. For the in-person training, participants reported statistically significant improvements regarding confidence in: helping mentees to identify skills and training to effectively pursue TRS, assisting mentees in weighing career trajectories, and guiding mentees in conducting research responsive to TRS regulatory priorities.


The novel mentoring program was well received by faculty seeking to strengthen skills for mentoring early-career TRS researchers to navigate the complex landscape of TRS, explore diverse funding opportunities, and discern potential career trajectories. It provided unique content to address issues outside the traditional tobacco research training curriculum and offered specific information on regulatory policies, priorities, and opportunities.


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