Dissemination & Implementation Curriculum and Competencies

Competency-based education is rapidly becoming a norm in all levels of education in the United States. Formally, a competency is defined as a cluster of related knowledge, attitudes, and skills that affects the major part of one’s job and can be measured against well-accepted standards and improved through training. Competency sets are used both to guide credentialing processes, and for this program, curriculum development.

In spring 2014, we embarked on our first project aim to “Develop and refine a set of competencies and model curriculum in D&I research, including those specific to D&I research on cancer disparities”.

We outlined a list of competencies that has been used in building the curriculum and agenda of our Summer Institutes. We employed an online card-sort to engage the expertise and opinions of current leaders in D&I research to help sort these competencies into learning levels and categorical domains.

The results of that card-sort were published in Implementation Science in January 2015.

In addition, we published preliminary results of the training program competency outcomes in Implementation outcomes in September of 2017.

Access the entire list of competencies by clicking on the button below.

Mentoring in the MT-DIRC Program

Mentoring in the MT-DIRC Program

For any new field to prosper, both human and intellectual capital must be developed to generate new knowledge and narrow the research to practice gap. MT-DIRC fostered a collaborative learning environment to develop a group of D&I researchers capable of reducing the gap between cancer research and practice. Our training program was based on a pedagogical philosophy that interpersonal activities (group training, one-to-one mentoring) are key components of the science-building process. As noted in the NCI Strategic Plan, the training of graduate and post-graduate scientists is a high priority.

MT-DIRC placed a strong emphasis on mentoring, which is a relationship between a senior and junior organizational member to help the mentee (Fellow) advance within her/his career and in an organization. Mentoring has been shown to have clear and numerous benefits (in particular research productivity and career success). Assistance provided to the mentor can enhance these relationships and improve their ability to overcome the barriers to an optimal mentoring relationship. The literature on mentoring in the health sciences forms the basis for our approach to evidence-informed mentoring.

Christine Pfund, PhD University Wisconsin-Madison, director of the National Research Mentoring Network, provided consultation and training to our mentors. All of the MT-DIRC mentors (faculty) completed mentor training prior to their entry into the program. Ongoing support was provided to mentors and mentees throughout the time in the program to foster and enhance the relationship. For more information about the mentor training curriculum, methodology and other resources, please visit the National Research Mentoring Network’s website.