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Raising the BARS: Becoming A Resilient Scientist

Posted by on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 in Announcements, Workshops and Seminars .

Raising the BARS: Becoming A Resilient Scientist

A Pilot Program from the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE)
A virtual workshop sponsored by the BRET Office and the ASPIRE Program

Vanderbilt Course Facilitators: Faith Bishop, Beth Bowman, Ashley Brady, and Kate Stuart

Dates: Mondays, 1-2:30pm: February 1, February 22, March 15, April 5, April 26, May 17

Audience: preference will be given to early to mid-stagegraduate students

Application Deadline: noon, Friday, January 22, 2021

Apply here!


The BRET Office and ASPIRE Program will be offering a pilot program (delivered virtually) developed by the NIH OITE office for biomedical graduate students to learn and implement strategies for building resiliency into their professional lives.  A small group (12-15) of graduate students will meet 6 times between Feb-May 2021 with the course facilitators to discuss a webinar viewed on their own time prior to the meeting.

The 6 discussion group meetings will cover the following topics: (1) Intro to wellness and resilience (2) understanding cognitive distortions, imposter fears and stereotype threat (3) emotional intelligence and emotions in the workplace (4) self-advocacy and assertiveness for scientists, (5) developing feedback resilience, and (6) maximizing mentoring relationships.

A confidentiality statement will be made at the beginning of each session to guarantee that this is a safe space and that the meetings will not be recorded. Please note: because this is a pilot program from the NIH intended to train our facilitators, an NIH Observer will be attending all small group discussions.

The goals of the program are to:

  • Provide strategies and tools to help trainees
    • increase their resilience with a specific focus on academic and research environments
    • develop interpersonal and emotional intelligence skills needed for success
  • Provide a place for trainees to come together to discuss
    • resilience strategies learned in the previous lectures
    • work toward integrating strategies learned into school, work and life
    • life, career, research, school and pandemic stress in a facilitated setting


  • Required attendance at 6 group meetings via Zoom (1hr) according to the dates provided above.
  • Prior to the group meeting, watching the provided webinar (2 hours each) via YouTube either asynchronously or synchronously (with the option to ask questions in real time with synchronous watching).
  • Complete evaluation surveys for the NIH throughout the program to facilitate evaluation of this pilot curriculum.

A certificate of completion will be awarded by the NIH at the completion of the workshop.

Note: If you have already participated in the ASPIRE Modules:  EQ + IQ or Maximizing Your Potential, some of this material may be redundant or overlapping.

Questions? Contact Aaron Howard (


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