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Vanderbilt ASPIRE-Basic Sciences Board of Visitors Mentoring Program

Posted by on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 in Announcements .

The ASPIRE Program, in partnership with the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Basic Sciences Dean’s office, is launching a new mentoring program to connect current PhD graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the biomedical sciences with a senior mentor who is a member of the Basic Sciences Board of Visitors (BOV). The purpose of the BOV is to support and foster the achievement of excellence in all aspects of research, teaching and career development for the students, postdocs and faculty members of Basics Sciences.

Goals of program:

The goal of the ASPIRE-Basic Sciences Board of Visitors Mentoring Program is twofold:

  • Trainee-centered: to broaden access of our biomedical sciences graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to mentors beyond those of faculty and peers to expand their knowledge of potential career paths and to help build their professional network
  • Alumni/Advisor-centered: to increase engagement of our alumni and advisors with our trainee population and give them the opportunity to share their knowledge and experiences to support the next generation of scientists.

Program Logistics:

  • The ASPIRE-Basic Sciences BOV Mentorship Program is open to all PhD graduate students and postdocs in the biomedical sciences who are served by the BRET office.
  • Graduate students and postdocs will apply through a formal application process which opens Monday, August 8th and closes on Monday, Aug 29th.
  • Members of the BOV Career Development and Alumni Relations subcommittee will select up to 10 trainees who will be matched with an alumni/advisor who is a member of the Basic Sciences Board of Visitors based upon common academic and professional interests, life challenges, and experiences.
  • Selected trainees will be onboarded through a required 1-hour group meeting with program facilitators to discuss program guidelines, expectations, and answer any questions. Trainees will be provided with resource guides to help them maximize their experience.

Mentorship Program Guidelines

  • Graduate students and postdocs will be responsible for initiating and maintaining the mentoring relationship.
  • The mentorship program will run for 9 months, from September 2022 -May 2023, but mentor-mentee pairs are welcome to stay in touch afterward.
  • The mentoring relationship will be conducted as agreed upon by the mentor and mentee, but will primarily take place via email, phone, Zoom, and in-person, when possible.
  • A minimum of two 1:1 mentoring meetings (no more than one hour long) is expected during this time.
  • Meeting agenda will be determined, organized and shared with the mentor by the mentee when requesting the meeting(s) and may include seeking advice and support on a variety of topics including
    • exploring careers paths of interest and pathways to get there
    • building professional skills and competencies needed to be successful in the workforce
    • identifying and pursuing interests and experiences
    • discussing networking strategies
    • setting professional goals
    • preparing a resume and cover letter
    • interviewing tips
    • connecting with others and establishing a broad professional network.
  • Both mentor and mentee will be asked to complete an evaluation survey at the end of the program to provide feedback on their experiences and inform the facilitators on ways to improve the program moving forward.

Application Process

Apply now by completing the form found at this link:

Deadline to apply: midnight, Monday, August 29th, 2022
Matches will be announced by Sept 15, 2022

To complete the application you will be asked to provide the following information:

  • What career field(s) most interests you?
  • Are there any particular qualities or experiences you are especially interested in your mentor possessing?
  • Personal Statement: please upload your personal statement as a PDF. In one page or less, please explain what you hope to gain from being part of the Basic Sciences BOV mentoring program, what your goals are professionally, and why you think this will be a valuable experience for you.
  • Please upload your CV as a PDF. Please make sure your CV includes any relevant extracurricular and leadership experience in addition to your research and academic accomplishments.


If you have any questions about the program or application process, please reach out to Ashley Brady, PhD, Assistant Dean of Biomedical Career Engagement and Strategic Partnerships at