Mentors Helps Researcher Discover Success
Craig Forrest, Ph.D., recalled the day four years ago when one of his Department of Microbiology and Immunology mentors, Xuming Zhang, Ph.D., D.V.M., came looking for him.
Forrest had sought input from Zhang and mentor Usha Ponnappan, Ph.D., on his first NIH National Cancer Institute grant application. Zhang found him in a fifth-floor lab of the Biomedical One building. There, standing at the freezer, the two had one of the more consequential mentoring sessions of Forrest’s early career.
“This is all wrong,” Zhang said, presenting his marked-up copy with an outline and arrows showing Forrest how to more effectively make his case.
“He knew exactly what he was doing,” Forrest said.
Ponnappan, who joined UAMS 25 years ago, and Zhang, who joined UAMS 20 years ago, said their approaches to mentoring are grounded in their own experiences as junior faculty.
Zhang, as an early career researcher, recalled his own need for the kind of detailed review he gave Forrest’s application. He loved getting thorough critiques from his mentors and colleagues because it gave him a better chance of being funded. Today, Zhang can bring to bear his expertise in the field and experience as an NIH reviewer to help mentees.
Read Full Story >