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Frequently Asked Questions from NORC Mentors

  1. Why am I being asked to meet with potential candidates for pre- or post-doctoral fellowship positions?
    You may have been identified as someone whose interests are compatible with the incoming candidate either by NORC leaders or program staff or by the candidate upon submission of his or her application.
     
  2. What if I am not asked to meet with a candidate, but would like to meet with him or her during their visit to UAB?
    Notices are sent in advance of upcoming talks given by potential candidates. You may request to meet with candidates. Please contact Sarah Peek to be added to the itinerary.
     
  3. What are the categories of NORC Mentors?
    Primary Mentors, Collaborating Mentors, and Affiliated Mentors are the three categories of mentorship.
     
  4. What is a Primary Mentor?
    Primary Mentors are scientists that have an active record of independent scholarship in obesity and are considered established investigators. Our criteria for ‘established’ in this program are being at or above the level of associate professor, having a strong record of scholarship and/or having obtained a major non-mentored NIH or NSF grant as a PI for obesity-related research, and having scientific connectivity with other primary mentors.
     
  5. What are Collaborating Mentors?
    Collaborating Faculty members are well-established scientists with strong records of competitive grant funding, whose research is closely related to the topic of the T32 (usually obesity), but for whom obesity is not their primary focus. Across all categories, both clinical and basic scientists are represented.
     
  6. What are Affiliated Mentors?
    The Affiliated Faculty comprise individuals whose work is squarely in the realm of obesity-related research but do not have a recent track record of NIH or similar competitive funding or do not have an established record of successfully mentoring fellows.
     
  7. Can I, a faculty member at UAB, have a student of mine be a NORC trainee if I am not listed as a Primary Mentor?
    If your student meets all of the eligibility criteria outlined on the website, you may apply for him or her by partnering with one of the Primary mentors named on the website. Then, the Primary Mentor would help with the submission. The submitted application will have to make the case that the project is good science and vital to the field of obesity and that the mentoring to be received will be outstanding.
     
  8. How can I get added to the list of Mentors?
    First, you will need to be a member of the NORC. If you are not already a member, you are very welcome to apply for membership in the NORC. To do so, please send Jeff Allison a full CV and a 1-paragraph statement of interest. Once you are a NORC member, you can be added to the appropriate mentorship category. Primary Mentors must be approved by both the NORC and the NIH.
     
  9. If my PhD student will not be in his or her second year, is he or she still eligible to apply?
    He or she may still apply, but all other things being equal, their application may receive a lower priority than that of a student entering his or her second year.
     
  10. What is my role as a mentor?
    1. What is my role as a mentor to those I am mentoring?
      • With your fellow (trainee), create an Individual Training Plan, which encompasses the requirements of the training program and the trainee’s individual career goals.
      • Provide ongoing mentorship in responsible conduct of scientific research.
      • Provide fellows (trainees) opportunities to publish and ensure that they succeed in pursuing these opportunities.
      • Provide fellows (trainees) opportunities to participate in grant preparation as training.
      • Provide an active research program and resources in support of the fellows (trainees) project.
      • Provide encouragement and opportunity to move toward independence (especially via grant writing).
      • Assist in career objectives at conclusion of training.
      • Provide networking opportunities.
    2. What is my role as a mentor specific to the NORC?
      • Agree to mentor fellows (trainees) in accordance with the requirements of the specific training program. At any given time, there are several ongoing training programs (e.g., related to obesity or cardiovascular health and either at the predoctoral or postdoctoral level) that have specific requirements.
      • Participate with NORC leadership in ongoing evaluation of fellows (trainees) meeting of goals.
      • Complete required paperwork necessary for ongoing renewal of training grants.
         
  11. Does the mentor have any other commitments they must make towards the training of the selected student?
    1. The primary mentor or a combination of the mentors must agree to pay all applicable tuition and fees not covered by the training grant. Generally this means all tuition and fees not related to health insurance above the 60% funding level of the training program. Health insurance related fees are covered at 100% by the T32 program.
    2. Additionally, each school/college at UAB requires a minimum level of compensation for pre-doctoral trainees. If the selected student’s particular school requires a level of support greater than the portion supplied by the NIH, the mentor will be required to supplement the stipend to that level with non-federal funding.