Mid-Career Development Program for Research Faculty

In July 2020, the UCSF Mid-Career Faculty Development Program launched its first cohort of exceptional mid-career scientists who are also extraordinary mentors for historically excluded students, trainees, and junior faculty. This unique program provides scientists with flexible financial support and career development strategies, alongside ongoing support for their mentorship. This career development program fosters peer membership, training in academic medicine’s “hidden curriculum,” and provides both mentorship and sponsorship for the awardees. Hidden curriculum refers to information useful for career advancement that may not be formally shared equally with all faculty, resulting in uneven progress and potential bias.

We built this program recognizing that diversity is critical to institutional success and scientific progress, and that representative role models positively impact junior faculty and trainees. It is well known that efforts to recruit and retain historically excluded faculty have been plagued by long-standing challenges. Retaining historically excluded mid-career faculty is particularly challenging given implicit biases uniquely faced by historically excluded scientists. People at the intersection of multiple forces of oppression are less likely to be retained in academia and less likely to receive federal funding. In addition, historically excluded scientists more frequently face burdens and are more likely to carry greater numbers of early career mentees because few such mentors are available.

We believe that mid-career is a critical time to support historically excluded faculty to meet distinct demands at this stage, including critical—yet time-intensive—mentoring provided to early career scientists. Since prior research demonstrates that career development programs, membership in peer cohorts, and training in the “hidden curriculum” can foster career advancement, we have added each of these components to our program.

We are grateful for funding from the Genentech Charitable Foundation, Weston Havens Foundation, and an anonymous donor.

Program Benefits

Each awardee will receive the following for 2 academic years:

  • Funding: Each awardee will receive $75,000 per year for 2 years. The awardees may use these funds for salary support, research staff support, or other needs for advancing their research program. Of note, if the awardee receives any other career development award during the award period, the awardee must relinquish all remaining funds but may continue with the programmatic elements of the program. Notification of additional funding must be made within 30 days of notification of funding.
  • Mentorship & Sponsorship:  Awardees will meet, as a group, with program leadership (Drs. Christina Mangurian and Urmimala Sarkar) every month for peer and near-peer skills building and research and career mentorship. To enhance networking and sponsorship opportunities, university-wide executive leaders will be periodically invited to participate in monthly meetings.
  • Change-Maker Circle (Advisory Council) mentorship: Our Changemaker Circle reflects UCSF’s mission of diversity and inclusion. As a group, all program awardees will attend twice-yearly meetings with this Advisory Council to obtain personalized peer- and near-peer mentorship. These half-day meetings will provide career development support and opportunities to openly discuss common issues faced by emerging leaders. Members are also available for individual consultation with awardees, beyond their established mentoring teams.