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.
- Translational research