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URMC / Clinical & Translational Science Institute / Stories / August 2017 / Nina Schor: Master Mentor for Under-Represented Scientists

Nina Schor: Master Mentor for Under-Represented Scientists

Nina Schor, MD PhDNina F. Schor, M.D., Ph.D., chair and William H. Eilinger Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center was recently added to the list of “Master Mentors” by the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN). As part of the National Institutes of Health Diversity Program Consortium, NRMN connects trainees under-represented in biomedical, behavioral, clinical, and social sciences to biomedical professionals who can offer mentorship and professional guidance.

Schor, who has mentored more than 80 trainees over the past several decades, joined NRMN as a mentor less than two years ago. In that time she has developed long-distance mentoring relationships with four trainees that run the gamut of career stages. From doling out advice on preparing for medical school, to offering guidance on accepting a first faculty position, Schor has thoroughly enjoyed being able to offer a helping hand to her NRMN mentees.

“Each of these relationships has been very different from the others,” said Schor of her NRMN mentees. “It has really been a lot of fun and I've met such nice people.”

Schor says mentoring for NRMN is easy, too. The online sign up process is quick and once you are in the system, trainees can reach out to you for mentorship. If you are in a position to help, you can declare yourselves as mentor and mentee and the NRMN system will send monthly prompts to facilitate a dialogue. Each mentor/mentee pair chooses how best to communicate. Most of Schor’s mentees preferred 30-45 minute Skype or phone calls once a month.

For busy faculty members, Schor reassures that NRMN mentoring is not very time consuming and mentors can reschedule meetings if they need to. Mentors are also not obligated to take on every mentoring request they receive, especially if they feel they are not well suited to help. In fact, she believes knowing your limitations is a critical feature of a good mentor.

“I have an immense respect for those who not only mentor people,” said Schor, “but who know when things are going in a direction or a depth for which they are not the best mentor and will help you find the right mentor.”

NRMN strives to engage a diverse group of quality mentors; so all under-represented trainees can find the mentor that matches their needs.


The University of Rochester Clinical and Translational Science Institute is committed to diversity and inclusion in workforce development, community engagement, and research participant recruitment. CTSI diversity and inclusion efforts are supported by the University of Rochester CTSA award number UL1 TR002001 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. The content of this article is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Michael Hazard | 8/17/2017

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