Administration and Faculty

Center Grants


The Center of Excellence in Oral and Craniofacial Biology
Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE)

The mentoring activities for each JPI will involve a significant effort of a team of mentors.  All mentors have agreed to be available to the JPI at any time on an ‘as needed’ basis. This is critical to the success of the JPI. Additionally, there will be more structured meetings between the JPI and primary/secondary mentors. The primary mentor (1º) will be the closest mentor to monitor the research and academic progress of the JPI. The JPI and primary mentor will meet monthly to discuss any and all aspects of the project basis. The meetings will be more often during the first 6 months to ensure proper direction of the JPI. These sessions are meant to be informal constructive meetings that foster a strong relationship between the mentor and JPI relative to advice and guidance. The primary mentor will also be the main person to review manuscript drafts and grant applications. The secondary mentors (2º) will serve in a similar capacity, but not as often. The plan will be for the primary and secondary mentors to meet with the JPI and the whole lab quarterly to discuss the progress during that time and provide suggestions and input into the projects. It is important that the whole lab be present at these sessions so as to obtain a global mentoring effect. These sessions are a bit more formal than those with the primary mentor and force the JPI to gather data and present the findings, but still relatively informal. The ultimate goal of the mentors is to promote the scientific development of the JPI such that they get an R01 grant funded as early as possible, but certainly by the end of the fifth year of the COBRE. This will require strong mentoring during the first 3 years to obtain the necessary focus, publications, and preliminary data to compose the R01 grant application. This also requires NIH funded mentors to adequately provide guidance for grantsmanship and scientific strategies for future grant applications. To accomplish this, each mentoring team has at least one NIH funded investigator. Additionally, we aim to stimulate interactions with the medical school in scientific areas that would benefit. Thus, several mentors for the infectious disease focus are from the medical school and team mentoring meetings will rotate between the dental school and medical school to offer potential for interactions at the medical school in an area rich in research of infectious disease. For the dental materials/restoration focus, the most effective interactions will be from those at the dental school. Thus, the mentors and mentoring sessions for this focus will be centered more at the dental school.

With this general mentoring plan, we anticipate a grant submission during the 4th year of the COBRE should result in a funded R01 during the 5th year with the appropriate commitment of the JPI. We will consider these JPI’s graduated from the COBRE when an R01 is funded. A social celebration will be given for each graduated JPI involving the whole COBRE scientific community. This is as critical to the COBRE as the mentoring and science as it provides positive reinforcement, distribution of the news, and encourages community.

All graduates of the COBRE will ultimately be considered honorary mentors. That is, they will play an active role in the new JPI’s or other junior faculty that are recruited into the school/center. It will be honorary as they won’t formally have a portion of their salary diverted to this mentoring. If however, a JPI that graduates still requires some level of support before he/she is completely independent and considered a mentor to the Center, they will be eligible to enter into a period of transitional support. In this case, they would continue to receive some salary or other types of support for a limited period while they continue to become fully independent investigators. It should be stressed, however, that any JPI who graduates into transitional support or honorary mentors will have full and complete access to all the resources that the Center offers to JPI’s.

This Figure demonstrates the Mentoring/Training structure of the COBRE.

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Last Update 6/2009