Intensive Mentoring Program for Advancement and Career Training
While the IGP is a moderately sized program, we value the benefits that come with small, personal groups and meaningful faculty-student interactions. One way we facilitate that interaction is through small discussion groups in a course called IMPACT. Students in the IGP, which typically has around 65 members, are sub-divided into small groups of approximately ten individuals led by a faculty mentor.
Each group meets every week and the content of the meetings will likely vary throughout the year, depending on student needs. Initially, we discuss a range of issues relating directly to the new environment of graduate school, including advice on lab choices and the balance of lab time versus studying for courses. At the same time, we introduce the tools and skills necessary to perform at a high level in required courses and the FOCUS group journal article reviews. As the year progresses, we spend time on presentation skills and developing the critical skills necessary to review literature.
The IMPACT course demonstrates our commitment to personal development of graduate students. It is the first stage of the ASPIRE program which is a three-phase initiative administered through the Office of Career Development within the Office of Biomedical Research Education and Training (BRET). ASPIRE offers educational programs in career planning and management to trainees at all stages of their development.