Mentoring, Training, and Scholarly Productivity Experiences of Cancer-Related Health Disparities Research Trainees: Do Outcomes Differ for Underrepresented Scientists?

Abstract

The study aims to explore variation in scholarly productivity outcomes by underrepresented status among a diverse sample of researchers in a community-engaged training program. We identified 141 trainees from a web-based survey of researchers in the National Cancer Institute-funded, Community Networks Program Centers (CNPCs) (2011–2016). We conducted a series of multiple logistic regression models to estimate the effect of National Institutes of Health (NIH)-defined underrepresented status on four, self-reported, scholarly productivity outcomes in the previous 5 years: number of publications (first-authored and total) and funded grants (NIH and any agency). Sixty-five percent (n = 92) indicated NIH underrepresented status. In final adjusted models, non-NIH underrepresented (vs. underrepresented) trainees reported an increased odds of having more than the median number of total publications (> 9) (OR = 3.14, 95% CI 1.21–8.65) and any grant funding (OR = 5.10, 95% CI 1.77–14.65). Reporting ≥ 1 mentors (vs. none) was also positively associated (p < 0.05) with these outcomes. The CNPC underrepresented trainees had similar success in first-authored publications and NIH funding as non-underrepresented trainees, but not total publications and grants. Examining trainees’ mentoring experiences over time in relation to scholarly productivity outcomes is needed.

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Correspondence to Tisha M. Felder.

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Felder, T.M., Braun, K.L., Wigfall, L. et al. Mentoring, Training, and Scholarly Productivity Experiences of Cancer-Related Health Disparities Research Trainees: Do Outcomes Differ for Underrepresented Scientists?. J Canc Educ 34, 446–454 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13187-018-1322-z

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Keywords

  • Cancer-related health disparities
  • Mentoring
  • Underrepresented scientists