The Women’s Health Research Institute created two sister programs, the Women’s Health Science Mentoring Program and the Women in Science Journal Club, to provide a transformative mentoring and networking experience for women along the science pipeline. These two sister programs are housed under the Women in Science Education study (WISE) to best identify whether the goals of these programs are met. The over-arching goals of these two sister programs (under the WISE study) include:

(1)  Improve communication and collaboration links between women of all ages along the science pipeline

(2)  Increase opportunities for near-peer mentoring relationships between women in science

(3)  Enrich knowledge about women in academia that will empower women in science to make informed, authoritative decisions about their careers

(4)  Develop mechanisms that can be easily instigated at the department and institutional levels to aid in transitioning women along the science pipeline

The Women’s Health Science Mentoring Program is a nine-month-long mentoring program for high school girls and female science graduate students and medical students at Northwestern University. This program is designed to foster relationships and opportunities to study specific areas of scientific interest via one-on-one mentoring partnerships. Each high school student will be paired with a graduate or medical student mentor and will have one formal meeting and one informal meeting monthly from September 2015-April 2016. The program will culminate in the completion of a scientific research poster that each pair will present at the Women’s Health Research Institute’s Annual Conference in May 2016. 

The Women in Science Journal Club is a nine-month-long journal club and mentoring program for post-doctoral research faculty and tenured science faculty at Northwestern University. This program is designed to facilitate conversations on the culture of women in science academia as well as cultivate mentoring relationships and networking opportunities between women faculty at different career stages. Women involved in this study will meet in quarterly luncheon journal club sessions from September 2015-May 2016. 

Program Goals:

Goals for the high school students:

·       Learn and apply scientific concepts and processing skills by doing hands-on laboratory and clinical activities under guidance of a mentor

·       Develop meaningful relationships with graduate and medical students, scientists, doctors, and other healthcare professionals

·       Understand the current climate of science academia in order to best navigate this field as a potential career path

·       Complete a high-level scientific project in collaboration with a mentor

Goals for the graduate students and medical student mentors:

·       Learn to adequately communicate scientific knowledge to high school students

·       Develop meaningful relationships with high school students, scientists, doctors, and other healthcare professionals

·       Rejuvenate passion for one’s field of interest by volunteering in philanthropic opportunities

·       Complete a scientific poster and research project that will advance knowledge in a specific field

Goals for post-doctoral research faculty and tenured faculty at Northwestern University:

·       Develop relationships and cultivate networking opportunities with female science faculty at all career stages at Northwestern University

·       Explore the climate of science academia through informal conversations with other women in the field

·       Read and discuss surfacing literature on the climate of science academia and explore mechanisms to incite change where needed

·       Be empowered with gained knowledge and support systems to persist and advance as women in science academia