The Research Mentoring Program was established in 2006 to prepare junior investigators to lead funded translational research programs. The program is open to residents, fellows and all faculty members at Rush University Medical Center and John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. The program is designed to enable mentees to
- Develop testable, health-related research questions;
- Develop novel and fundable methods to study complex biomedical and behavioral health problems;
- Work collaboratively on interdisciplinary research teams that include basic, clinical and community-based population scientists as well as experts in biomedical informatics;
- Conduct funded original research synthesizing basic and clinical science specific to the research topic;
- Develop a funded, sustainable program of translational research that will directly improve the health of the nation; and
- Increase the likelihood that innovations will be implemented and improve the nation's health by disseminating findings beyond the scientific community. This entails employing presentations and publications targeted to various audiences, including clinicians, researchers and consumers.
The program has three translational research tracks: clinical (outcomes, behavioral interventions, decision-making, communication, and patient safety), population (community-based participatory research, provider-based research networks), and laboratory. More than 50 senior faculty members with a wealth of research, teaching, and clinical expertise from both Rush and Stroger serve as mentors. A wide range of resources are available, including data management, statistical support, professional grant writing and manuscript editing, graphics/presentation consulting, and other research support. The program also offers regular workshops and seminars in a variety of areas, such as identifying funding sources, grantsmanship and writing skills, statistics and databases, and career development.
Residents, fellows and all faculty members interested in joining the Research Mentoring Program are required to have at least 20 percent protected research time from their departments. Each mentee must also agree to dedicate an additional 25 percent effort and work very closely with a senior mentor. Each mentee's entry into the program depends upon program leaders identifying an appropriate mentor match.