Mentoring is in full swing at the Broad

Leah Eisenstadt, January 27th, 2011 | Filed under
  • Broad researcher Dawn Thompson mentoring a high school intern
    Image courtesy of Broad Communications

January is National Mentoring Month, so it’s a nice time to reflect on our mentoring experiences. Many in the Broad community have at one time served as a mentor, a mentee, or both. Mentors at the Broad can be found at all levels, from research technicians up to core faculty members. The mentoring relationship is an essential one on the path to becoming a scientist, as many who enter the field are first inspired by a scientist or teacher they view as a role model. In addition to informal mentoring relationships, most students pursuing science receive guidance from academic advisors at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral levels.

The Broad hosts several programs that pair mentors from our community with young, aspiring scientists. The Educational Outreach Program connects high school students and teachers in the Boston/Cambridge area to Broad Institute researchers. Participants in this program can explore what it means to be a scientist through experiences ranging from class field trips to summer internships to teacher forums. Applications are now being accepted for the 2011 Summer Internship Program.

Another program at the Broad that offers mentoring experiences is the Diversity Initiative, which aims to increase the number of scientists from diverse backgrounds in the field of genomics. In the Summer Research Program in Genomics (SRPG), undergraduate students spend nine weeks with a Broad mentor conducting research in the lab. (We recently told you about one of these students, Esther Uduehi, who was recently named a Rhodes Scholar.) Through the Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science at MIT (MITES) program, promising high school seniors spend six weeks attending a lecture series and performing a research project with Broad researchers. The Diversity Initiative also includes programs for medical students and post-doctoral researchers to visit and perform research, in addition to a visiting faculty program. These programs enable Broad researchers to serve as mentors for young scientists and promote diversity in the field.

Applications are now being accepted for the SRPG program, the MITES program, the Medical Fellowship Program, the Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program, and the Visiting Faculty Program.

We’re grateful for the outstanding scientists in our community who have volunteered to serve as mentors for these worthy programs. Many of our mentors report that the experience is as enriching for them as it is for the students, and some stay in touch with the students for years as they enter college and embark upon their careers.