The Research Fellow Association (RFA) is comprised of all predoctoral and postdoctoral research fellows at MMCRI. Our mission is to support and advocate for predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows at MMCRI in all aspects of their professional research training and career development. The RFA leadership group organizes seminars and events of interest to research fellows including fellowship presentations, alumni speakers, and grant writing groups. We act as a liaison between fellows, faculty, and administration to address relevant issues. The RFA also plans regular social events to promote a sense of community among our research fellows.
Our goal is to continue implementation of a mentoring program for postdoctoral fellows. This program is similar to one already in place for predoctoral fellows through the University of Maine Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. It includes the development of an individualized educational and career development plan that fellows revise with their principal investigator and additional mentor at regular intervals. Research environments with these types of mentoring programs have higher rates of research fellow satisfaction and productivity, a win-win situation for all involved. In addition to implementation of a postdoctoral mentoring program, our goals include restructuring of our Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) program in compliance with new federal guidelines for research training. We also plan to continue our career development series with a variety of internal and external invited speakers.