The New Connections Mentorship Program is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) national program designed to expand the diversity of perspectives that inform RWJF program strategy.

Through the New Connections Mentorship Program, the Disparities Research Unit provides mentoring and training for program grantees, alumni and the broader network with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) funding. New Connections is a RWJF national program designed to expand the diversity of perspectives that inform RWJF program strategy and introduce new researchers and scholars to RWJF that represent historically underrepresented research communities. The grant is part of the RWJ Human Capital program, with the goals of supporting diverse scholars to conduct pioneering healthcare research by developing skills, offering resources, and providing training to develop capacity and create effective leaders. At the end of the grant period, we will provide a set of lasting deliverables for the New Connections Program and RWJF, including briefs on mentoring, training modules and webinar presentations. The Disparities Research Unit has developed a three tiered program to share with New Connections and the larger network.

Tier 1: Provide an individually mentored, didactic research, training, and support program for five to six current RWJF New Connections grantees and develop two related training briefs. The mentees selected will go through seven steps:

  1. Review & Assessment
  2. Presentation of grantee research ideas with assigned mentor
  3. Develop outline and preliminary draft of research topic and feedback from mentors
  4. Draft of manuscript or proposal and review by mentors
  5. Revise manuscript or proposal
  6. Presentation critiques
  7. Dissemination

Tier 2: Investigators will determine two to three potential trainings addressing areas of weakness or common difficulty identified by the trainees. These training areas may be linked to research briefs which reflect learning in the mentorship process. Mentors will be responsible for identifying the short seminars based on the progress made by each fellow at least every six months.

Tier 3: Investigators are preparing a series of 2-3 webinar presentations per mentorship Cohort for the broader New Connections network of grantees, alumni and other applicants and interested individuals, using WebEx. These provide a broader overview of some of the areas of the one-on-one mentee work that might be most useful for developing researchers.