A successful mentor/protégé relationship is critical to the success of the BIRCWH scholars. From the application process through the mentored research process, the BIRCWH directors help the Scholar identify appropriate mentors. To ensure a successful mentor/protégé relationship is established, all mentors and protégés are required to sign a Mentor Agreement designed specifically for the BIRCWH program. This program explores mentoring as fundamental to developing young investigators, and it also outlines roles and expectations for both mentors and protégés.
Twice annually, scholars and mentors participate in retreats held in conjunction with participants of other campus-wide research training programs. These retreats emphasize career development, women's health research issues and research opportunities. They may include poster competitions and presentations by scholars and other trainees.
The mentored research experience is interdependent with the courses, training, mentoring and skills acquired during a scholar's tenure with BIRCWH, and scholars work with the directors and mentors to develop research topics and funding proposals. BIRCWH provides protected research time in a supportive mentoring environment, ensuring opportunities for scholars to successfully establish their independent research careers.
Mentors and the BIRCWH leadership will monitor scholars' progress as outlined in the Productivity Standards. These were established to guide scholars and their mentors through anticipated stages of development in becoming independent investigators.