Research Mentor Role Description

AACP Article
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Research Mentor Role Description


A Research Mentor is a senior research administrator who serves as a role model and coach to an individual Catalyst in a formal relationship at the home institution. A Research Mentor should create an environment that dissolves the limitations of history, expectation and assumption. When permissible, a Research Mentor includes a Catalyst in activities that advance leadership skills and enables a Catalyst to pursue professional and personal goals throughout the year. 


  • Encourage a Catalyst to find opportunities that further their research impact.  
  • Provide opportunities for a Catalyst that empowers them to seek new or expanded leadership roles.
  • Create opportunities for a Catalyst to support junior investigators and trainees.
  • Provide support for a Catalyst to cultivate and utilize a broad research network.
  • Encourage advocacy for research at the institution.


The relationship between Research Mentor and Catalyst is important. An ongoing connection throughout the year is necessary for a Catalyst to have the freedom to explore new ideas and test out theories and practice before putting ideas in action. A Research Mentor should support the development of a Catalyst’s network of researchers and research funders. It is highly encouraged that a Research Mentor establish a partnership with AACP staff to allow for ongoing dialogue about the topics and discussion occurring at in-person meetings.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Values and ethics consistent with AACP. 
  • Research leadership position in health professions education or healthcare research organization.
  • Knowledge of leadership theory, practice and implementation. 
  • Knowledge of multidisciplinary collaborative research. 
  • Access to University leadership for research advocacy. 

Typical Activities

  • Review individual and program goals with the Catalyst.
  • Assist the Catalyst in identifying program impact on the institution.
  • Assist the Catalyst with application.  
  • Assist the Catalyst in networking within health professions education and the healthcare research community.
  • Engage in discussion with AACP staff during the program year as necessary.
  • Provide guidance and opportunities for continued research leadership development of the Catalyst at the home institution.