Experimental Plan and Evaluation
Choosing a mentor
Each mentee will identify an area of research with the help of the directors and identify a mentor. The mentee may either directly approach the potential mentor or may request help from the Directors of the program to find a suitable mentor. The mentee and mentor will write up a brief experimental plan to be conducted over a period of up to 6 months for generation of preliminary data for submission of an NIH grant (F, K, or R type). If the mentee is at an institution other than Johns Hopkins University, they may identify a collaborating mentor at Johns Hopkins University. Travel funds may be available for such collaborations.
Each proposal will be evaluated and approved by the Executive committee. The criteria for evaluation will include the scientific merit of the proposal (innovation, experimental approach) and the relationship of the project to issues related to the health of racial and ethnic minorities as it relates to Neuro-AIDS.
The purpose of the proposal and evaluation process is to ensure and individualized long-term research mentoring relationship. The concept of co-mentors will be encouraged. This will help develop interdisciplinary programs and will also help train junior mentors in the art of mentoring.
Trainees who come from other universities will need to identify appropriate mentors at their respective institutions to ensure that their research could then be continued at their institutions. Mentors at JHU will continue to assist them as their research evolves.
Thus, the relationship between the mentors and mentee will extend past the 6-month research experience, and the mentors at JHU will assume the role of “distant” mentors for the mentee and collaborators for the mentors located at other universities.
We have found that mentees with families found it difficult to come to JHU for extended periods of time, hence we have made this requirement flexible whereby they may come for shorter periods of time and may come more than once as dictated by their project and decided by their mentors.
Mentor program goal
The ultimate goal during this process is to establish a network of mentors across the county. To ensure high quality interactions between all mentees and mentors at each of the institutions, guidelines and evaluation tools have been developed for both the mentees and mentors. We will also use an online web-based format for regulatory meetings with the distance mentors for continued interactions. This is a critical part of the training program.