MyNRMN: A national mentoring and networking platform to enhance connectivity and diversity in the biomedical sciences

Toufeeq Ahmed, Jay Johnson, Zainab Latif, Nan Kennedy, Damaris Javier, Katie Stinson, Jamboor K. Vishwanatha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aims: Increasing the diversity of the biomedical sciences workforce is a national priority. Having a mentor, and more crucially, a personal network of mentors, improves the likelihood that an individual will pursue an advanced degree and career in the biomedical sciences. The chief mission of the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) is to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the biosciences workforce through the mentoring of historically underrepresented individuals. Methods: To address this need, we created MyNRMN, an online mentoring platform that connects mentors and mentees nationwide. The platform enables multiple forms of mentoring and recommends connections to mentees that will help them build their personal networks. Results: The MyNRMN online platform has registered more than 13,500 active mentors and mentees across all 50 states and from more than 2100 institutions. Black and Hispanic mentees are highly represented. Discussion: MyNRMN has expanded opportunities for mentorship in the biomedical sciences, particularly among those not from a culture or institution that historically supports mentorship. The platform's robust search and recommendation capabilities and graph database technology enable members to grow their personal network of mentors. Conclusion: The MyNRMN online platform has proven successful in connecting mentees and mentors nationwide, expanding the pipeline in biomedical science careers to attract a more diverse workforce.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-509
Number of pages13
JournalFASEB BioAdvances
Volume3
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Keywords

  • cultural diversity
  • health workforce
  • minority groups
  • online social networking
  • user–computer interface

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