Background and Objective: The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Community Networks Program Centers (CNPCs) provide community-based participatory research (CBPR)-oriented mentoring and training to prepare early-stage/midcareer investigators and student trainees (trainees) in disparities reduction. This paper describes the academic, mentoring, training, and work–life balance experiences of CNPC-affiliated trainees.

Methods: We used a collaborative and iterative process to develop a 57-item, web-based questionnaire completed by trainees from the 23 CNPCs between August 2012 and February 2013. Their CNPC mentors completed a 47-item questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were calculated.

Results: The final analytic sample included 189 of 269 individuals (70%) identified as active participants in CNPC research or training/mentoring. Mentors (n = 45) were mostly non-Hispanic White (77.8%) and 48.9% were male. Mentors published a median of 6 (interquartile range [IQR], 3–12) first-authored and 15 (IQR, 6–25) senior authored manuscripts, and secured 15 (IQR, 11–29) grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other sources in the previous 5 years. Most trainees (n = 144) were female (79.2%), 43.7% were underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities, and 36.8% were first-generation college graduates. Over the previous 5 years, trainees reported a median of 4 (IQR, 1–6) publications as first author and 4 (IQR, 2–8) as co-author; 27.1% reported having one or more NIH R01s. Trainees reported satisfaction with their CNPC mentor (79.1%) and confidence in demonstrating most CBPR competencies.

Conclusion: The CNPC training program consists of a scientifically productive pool of mentors and trainees. Trainees reported rates of scholarly productivity comparable to other national training programs and provided insights into relationships with mentors, academic pressures, and professional–personal life balance.


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pp. 97-108
Launched on MUSE
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