AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 20, Supplement 2, pp 238–248 | Cite as

Defining Attributes and Metrics of Effective Research Mentoring Relationships

  • Christine Pfund
  • Angela Byars-Winston
  • Janet Branchaw
  • Sylvia Hurtado
  • Kevin Eagan
Original Paper


Despite evidence of mentoring’s importance in training researchers, studies to date have not yet determined which mentoring relationships have the most impact and what specific factors in those mentoring relationships contribute to key outcomes, such as the commitment to and persistence in research career paths for emerging researchers from diverse populations. Efforts to broaden participation and persistence in biomedical research careers require an understanding of why and how mentoring relationships work and their impact, not only to research training but also to promoting career advancement. This paper proposes core attributes of effective mentoring relationships, as supported by the literature and suggested by theoretical models of academic persistence. In addition, both existing and developing metrics for measuring the effectiveness of these attributes within mentoring relationships across diverse groups are presented, as well as preliminary data on these metrics from the authors’ work.


Mentoring Mentor Mentee Persistence Metrics 



We thank other members of the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) Mentor Training Core (Stephanie House, Richard McGee, Sandra Quinn, Jenna Rodgers, Christine Sorkness, Kimberly Spencer, Stephen Thomas, Anne-Marie Weber-Main) for contributions that led to conceptualization of this article in preparation of NRMN grant proposal and their previous work. Specifically, we thank, AMWM and RM for work on definition of mentoring as well as RM and SQ for work on the conceptual frameworks. We thank SH, KS and JR for their feedback and Matt Holtz for work on the references. This works was supported CP, ABW, JB through the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) NIH U54MD009479/NIGMS, U54GM119023, and NIGMS R01GM094573 and SH and KE through the Coordinating and Evaluation Center NIH U54MD009508/NIGMS, U54GM119024, and R01GM071968. Research reported in this manuscript was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund, through the Office of Strategic Coordination/Office of the NIH Director; all of the NIH Institutes and Centers; and the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs/Office of the NIH Director under award numbers U54GM119023, and U54GM119024. Research was also supported by R01GM094573, and R01GM071968. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Pfund
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Angela Byars-Winston
    • 4
    • 5
  • Janet Branchaw
    • 1
    • 6
    • 7
  • Sylvia Hurtado
    • 8
  • Kevin Eagan
    • 8
    • 9
  1. 1.Mentor Training Core, National Research Mentoring NetworkUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Wisconsin Center for Education ResearchUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  5. 5.Center for Women’s Health ResearchUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  6. 6.Department of KinesiologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  7. 7.Wisconsin Institute for Science Education and Community Engagement (WISCIENCE)University of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  8. 8.Graduate School of Education and Information StudiesUniversity of California-Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  9. 9.Cooperative Institutional Research ProgramUniversity of California- Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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