June 23, 2023, Durham, NC – Researchers from Mentoring Central, a division of iRT, are seeking STEM mentoring programs to participate in usability and feasibility studies to evaluate a new online mentor training course for STEM mentors. The new course includes an adapted version of Building the Foundation, Mentoring Central’s foundational mentor training course, that contains revised content that is relevant to STEM mentoring and new content related to how mentors can support the recruitment and retention of mentees into STEM, build cultural competency, and identify, prevent, and support mentee’s exposed to microaggressions in STEM settings. Development of this course was funded through a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS).

The Feasibility Study will focus on STEM mentors’ experiences with the training—how long they spent completing the training, whether they found the training helpful and engaging, whether they were satisfied with the training, and what suggestions they have for improving the training. Researchers will recruit staff members from a minimum of 8 STEM mentoring programs, as well as 3 mentors from each of the programs, to participate in the study. All mentoring program staff members and mentor participants will be paid an incentive for their participation.

The Usability Study will focus on the functionality of the software and the training course. Researchers will recruit 5 staff members from 5 STEM mentoring programs to participate in the Usability Study. All participants will be paid an incentive for their participation.

If you are a staff member at a STEM mentoring program and are interested in participating in the Feasibility or Usability Studies, or learning more about these studies, please contact the project Co-Principal Investigator, Dr. Katie Stump, at kstump@irtinc.us.