McMillen, J., Davis, N., DeRosier, M., Greenblatt, A., & Huffman, K. (2010). Leadership Training Institute: Career advancement for diverse researchers. Cary, NC: 3-C Institute for Social Development.
Over the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the number of women and persons of color entering research careers related to mental health intervention and services. However, when the long-term career trajectories of these groups are examined, notable disparities in career success are evident. Barriers to career advancement (e.g., obtaining funding, departmental politics, stress of promotion) serve to reduce retention of mental health researchers who are women or persons of color. This paper describes a unique and compelling project to provide specialized training, mentoring and networking opportunities to help diverse researchers address these challenges and achieve a successful, long-term career in mental health research. Through funding from the National Institute of Mental Health2, this project generated a unique four-day training workshop, the Leadership Training Institute (LTI), and culminated in an innovative suite of online resources specifically designed for diverse researchers. This paper outlines the development of the LTI and presents findings from a longitudinal research evaluation comparing career-related outcomes for trainees who participated in the live, in-person LTI and used the online LTI resources versus trainees who only attended the live event and trainees who only had access to the online suite of tools and resources. Implications for continued training and career support of diverse researchers are discussed.