Research accountability groups and mentoring minutes: The M³ approach to promote public health infectious diseases research for diverse graduate students.

Efforts to recruit and retain public health researchers should include scholars that reflect the demographics of the United States. Innovative research mentoring programs that integrate one-to-one and small group learning experiences may result in improved engagement and research productivity among graduate school scholars from underrepresented populations in public health research fields. This study analyzed leadership characteristics and research productivity of 54 graduate scholars who participated in the Dr. James A. Ferguson Emerging Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program (Ferguson Fellowship). Ferguson Fellows participated in 9-week research experience before and after implementation of a multimodal mentorship (M3) designed to support submission of research abstracts to national scientific conferences. M3 strategies included: (a) weekly research content mentoring, (b) myIDP, (c) professional development (process) mentoring, and (d) Research Accountability Groups. Overall, transformational leadership characteristics improved following completion of the Ferguson Fellowship (M = 3.71, SD = 6.37), t(33) = 3.39, p < .01. Transformational leadership characteristics of Ferguson Fellows who received M3 improved significantly (M = 3.88, SD = 6.63), t(24) = 2.93, p < .01 during the program. Fellows who received M3 had almost 4 times (OR = 3.88; 95% CI [1.21, 12.47], p < .05) higher odds of submitting research to scientific meetings compared to their peers who did not participate in M3. Providing process mentoring and research accountability groups were associated with increased research self-efficacy. Graduate scholars from underrepresented populations may benefit from multimodal mentoring strategies that provide scholars with individualized research and professional development support based on the scholar's needs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)