The Academy of Research Mentors (ARM) started with a Task Force, which reviewed potential Founding Members, who were recommended by Department Chairs, and these individuals were later approved by both the UTMB Research Executive Committee, and the Council of Deans. The ARM became an official UTMB entity in May of 2012. It has been supported by the Provost of UTMB and the NIH CTSA. The Founding Members of ARM are 18 UTMB faculty and all have a proven record of mentoring. We have continued on this forward path of growth and development with the recent addition of another 12 members to the ARM, bringing our current total to 30 members, as of October, 2012.
We initiated our work with a mentoring survey, which was distributed to UTMB faculty, and we have been impressed that over 300 faculty answered, many of whom indicated that they are interested in providing mentorship, as well as developing their mentorship skills.
We followed the general survey with a query to the 131 assistant professors in the three schools at UTMB who have at least 30% time devoted to research, asking them if they would like assistance in obtaining a mentor. To date, 60 have replied that they desired such help. The ARM is beginning the process of matching these junior faculty needing mentorship with senior faculty mentors.
The ARM is also beginning to design a curriculum that will help mentors enhance their skills, including: 1) collating relevant literature and approaches toward mentoring, 2) establishing an ongoing seminar series, and 3) inviting outside experts on mentoring, to lecture and provide additional guidance to our mentors and mentees.