Research Mentoring



The CEHD seeks to increase the numbers of individuals trained to conduct health disparities research. This goal is consistent with the MSM Strategic Plan and evidenced by the numerous pipeline programs offered by the institution. The CEHD advances a passionate commitment to inspire, train and expand the gender and ethnic diversity of the next generation of social, biomedical and prevention scientists dedicated to advancing health disparities research among vulnerable populations.


Across many of the CEHD projects, students will be recruited, trained and mentored in data collection methods, including behavioral observation techniques, interviewing, data entry and data cleaning, database management and use of Community Based Participatory Research and Evaluation Methods. Mentoring students at all levels of the pipeline will ensure that increases become evident. Hence student involvement as research assistants with supervision provided by study investigators is a primary link to mentoring. Some of these roles are described below.


The Women’s Health Intervention Study (WHIS) offers opportunities for students at the undergraduate and graduate level to participate as research assistants. Graduate students, particularly in the Masters of Public Health Program at MSM, are involved in the project through practicum experiences and theses work. Through these and other opportunities, students will become familiar with health disparities research and will engage in such activities as literature reviews, intervention development, data collection, data management, data analysis, conference presentations and manuscript development. In addition, through annual participation in national summer training programs, WHIS is committed to providing research mentorship to minority undergraduate students with an interest in public health.


The Second Hand Smoke Exposure Project will employ students to interface with community residents in conjunction with the dissemination of smoking cessation resources and outreach to increase community awareness about the effects of secondhand smoke prevention.


The CEHD Community Engagement Core will annually involve and mentor trainees (undergraduate, graduates, residents and other interns) to support annual events including: 1) The Community Health Needs Assessment of Neighborhood Planning Units V, X, Y and Z; 2) The Community-Academic Partners Retreat; 3) The Understanding Community Engaged Research Trainings and; 4) The Community Recognition Event. Trainee experiences will be evaluated to gauge knowledge, satisfaction and impact.


The CEHD funded pilot study “Understanding Help Seeking for African American Women With Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms”, lead by Principal investigator Glenda Wrenn MD, will mentor a PGY-2 psychiatry student in the skills of data collection, analysis and publication of study results. In addition Dr. Wrenn will recruit Master of Public Health and Master of Science students possessing skills in qualitative data analysis to apply for research assistant positions.