Graphic of a diverse group of people: header image

Research shows that culturally diverse teams outperform and out-innovate culturally homogenous teams, and lead to better science. But addressing cultural diversity can be daunting. In recent times, we have been confronted with the difficulties of racial discussions and the legacy of racism in our institutions. Research is not insulated from these dynamics.

Culturally aware mentoring (CAM) guides faculty mentors to understand the sources and impact of bias graduate trainees from diverse backgrounds to improve the training environment for students from underrepresented (UR) groups. The program was developed by Dr. Angela Byars-Winston at the Center for the Improvement of Mentoring Research Experiences (CIMER), which is part of the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The novel intervention aims to increase mentors’ skills for interacting with mentees from different racial, ethnic and social backgrounds than the mentor. Find out more here.

This CIMER CAM workshop is one effort toward achieving inclusive excellence. While there are many aspects to cultural diversity, the CIMER CAM workshop focuses on race. Extrapolations can easily be made to other aspects of our identities.

The program’s learning objectives are:

  • Identify how cultural beliefs, worldviews, and identities influence mentoring practices;
  • Recognize how cultural diversity can impact, complicate, and benefit research mentoring relationships;
  • Acknowledge the impact of conscious and unconscious assumptions, privilege, stereotype threat, and biases on the mentor-mentee relationship; and
  • Apply evidence-based strategies using case studies to reduce and counteract the impact of biases, stereotype threat, and privilege to foster trusting, culturally responsive mentoring relationships.

Next CAM Training is

March 1, 2023
Herklotz Conference Facility

Registration for this event is now closed. 

For questions about CAM training, please email This training is hosted by Monica Daley and Michael Yassa.

Information for CAM Participants:

The CIMER Culturally Aware Mentoring workshops are conducted at an advanced level and assume familiarity with equity and inclusion in mentorship practices. This workshop was designed for those who have been introduced to core mentorship education concepts and have reflected on their practice. All participants at the event will be expected to have had some prior mentor training. This prerequisite can be fulfilled in a number of ways such as:

  • Attend a CIMER Mentoring Training (previously offered at UCI)
  • Completion of four hours of other mentor training
  • Completion of the Optimizing the Practice of Mentoring (OPM) from the University of Minnesota – online training.

Participant Pre-Work:

In addition to having completed prior mentor training, CAM participants are asked to complete an online module, iCAM, and to complete a personal reflection exercise, Culture Box. These two pre-work assignments will require 1-2 hours of time in total. These pre-work assignments will be forwarded to confirmed participants two weeks prior to the training.


Bruce Birren, Ph.D.

Bruce Birren is an Institute Scientist at the Broad Institute and Director of the Broad’s Genomic Center for Infectious Diseases. He founded the Broad’s Diversity Initiative and an institute-wide mentoring program. He facilitates workshops for faculty and trainees to increase the effectiveness of research mentoring relationships, with a focus on cultural awareness. He designs and leads workshops and longer-term interventions to help organizations promote a culture of inclusion. He facilitates workshops on mentorship skills development for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Gilliam Fellows Program and co-leads the curriculum development work for HHMI’s Scientific Mentorship Initiative. He serves as a Principal Facilitator for the NRMN and CIMER.

Philip Cheng, Ph.D.

Philip Cheng is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Henry Ford Health in Detroit, Michigan. His program of research examines the biopsychosocial dimensions of sleep and circadian disorders. Dr. Cheng is experienced in facilitating research mentor training and mentee training nationally, via both the synchronous online environment as well as in-person workshops. He has worked with both the NRMN and CIMER since 2014. Dr. Cheng also has specific interests in cultivating culturally aware and culturally responsive mentoring through an experientially-based curriculum, and has curricular expertise in the Culturally Aware Mentoring module offered through NRMN. He is also developing curriculum that target issues specific to the LGBT+ communities.