Training NIH K Award Recipients: The Role of the Mentor

Elizabeth Ripley, Monika Markowitz, Ann Nichols-Casebolt, Larry Williams, Francis Macrina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Mentors play important roles in training new investigators. This study was designed to determine characteristics of NIH mentored K award recipients and their mentors, their interpersonal interactions, and the factors, which influence satisfaction within this relationship. Method: A survey of 3027 NIH mentored K recipients and 1384 mentors was conducted in 2009. Nine hundred twenty-nine (30.7%) of the K recipients and 448 (32.4%) mentors completed the survey. Results: The gender of K respondents was evenly divided while the mentors were 72.1% male. The overall rating of their mentors was positive. Ideally, both thought the mentor should be important in research training; however, in actual practice, both rated the importance as lower. A total of 88.2% of recipients were satisfied with their relationship. Although the number of black K recipients was low, this group was more likely to be dissatisfied with the mentor relationship (6/29 or 20.7%) than their white counterparts. The frequency of meeting or communicating was correlated with K recipient satisfaction. Conclusions: Overall K recipients are satisfied with their mentor relationships. Although the number of black K recipient respondents was small, the higher level of mentor dissatisfaction should be further evaluated. Qualities of mentors, including the frequency of interactions and accessibility, can influence satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-393
Number of pages8
JournalClinical and Translational Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Ethics
  • Mentor
  • Translational research
  • Trials


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