, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 493-497
Date: 14 Jan 2014

Peer-Mentored Research Development Meeting: A Model for Successful Peer Mentoring Among Junior Level Researchers

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Abstract

Objective

This report describes a model for the development, process, and tracking methods of a Peer-mentored Research Development Meeting (PRDM), an interdisciplinary peer mentoring program. The program was initiated in 2004 by a group of post-doctoral scholars and junior faculty from the Schools of the Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh.

Method

From February 2004 through February 2006, PRDM’s first five members tracked and documented their research activity (e.g., manuscripts, grants) every 4 months. The defining features of PRDM are adherence to a structured frequency and format for meetings, systematic tracking and evaluation of research development activities, and maintenance of ongoing relationships with senior mentors.

Results

During the 24-month data collection period, members were involved in 91 research development projects including grant applications, journal article manuscripts, book chapters, and conference abstracts. Members’ productivity increased during the 24-month period, as did the efficiency and focus of the completed projects.

Conclusion

Members increased the efficiency and focus of their research development activities during the study period. Structured peer-mentoring groups have the potential to enhance research productivity among junior investigators in research intensive environments.

We would like to thank senior members of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh for traditional mentoring opportunities. Our research activities were supported during the period of the study by the following NIH grants: 5 K01 MH067976 (PI: Karen L. Schmidt), 5 T32 MH016804 Clinical Research Training in Adult Psychiatry (PI: Charles F. Reynolds, III), 5 T32 AA007453 Alcohol Research Training Grant (PI: Marie Cornelius), 5 T32 MH19986 Clinical Research Training in Geriatric Psychiatry (PI: Charles F. Reynolds III).