Effectiveness of mentoring in science research

ID: 2611
School: School of Science, Technology, Accessibility, Mathematics, and Public Health
Program: Biology
Status: Ongoing
Start date: October 2014
End Date: August 2030


Disabled individuals, women, and cultural and ethnic minorities continue to be underrepresented in STEM. Research has shown that mentoring increases success for underrepresented individuals. Available mentoring survey instruments have all been developed for the majority population and were not intended to capture factors for successful mentoring of underrepresented groups. In this project, we are developing and validating a next-generation mentoring survey drawing from prior mentoring instruments, and incorporating capital theory and critical race theory. From critical race theory, this survey includes community cultural wealth, which is thought to be instrumental to the success of individuals from minority communities. Our survey focuses on mentoring relationships between Deaf and hard of hearing protégés and their research advisors. From the pilot survey results we have identified three segregating factors. The first two factors contain traditional capitals. The third factor, community cultural wealth, was well conferred when Deaf protégés were paired with mentors who were either Deaf or had knowledge of American Sign Language and Deaf culture. This next-generation survey is geared for improving the success of underrepresented groups in STEM and can be used for hypothesis testing or for generating constructive feedback for mentors. Our results so far suggest that cultural awareness training may be a strategy for improving mentoring effectiveness.

Principal investigators

Additional investigators

Priorities addressed

Funding sources

Approved Products


Braun, DC, Gormally C, Clark MD. (2017). The Deaf Mentoring Survey: A Community Cultural Wealth Framework for Measuring Mentoring Effectiveness with Underrepresented Students. CBE-Life Sciences Education,16(1):10.

Braun, DC, Gormally C, Clark MD. (2017, June). Applications of the Deaf Mentoring Survey to Medical Education. Presented at the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss (AMPHL), Rochester, NY.

Braun, DC. (2017, June). Best Practices to Mentor and Collaborate with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Scientists. Presented at the Rochester Summer Research Training Institute (RSRTI), Rochester, NY.


Braun, D. C., Clark, M. D., Marchut, A. E., Solomon, C. M., Majocha, M., Davenport, Z., et al. (2018). Welcoming Deaf Students into STEM: Recommendations for University Science Education. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 17(3), es10. http://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.17-05-0081

Braun, D.C. (2019, October). Welcoming Deaf Students into STEM: Recommendations and Research. Presented at Opening the Pathway Conference; Rochester Institute of Technology (NY).

Braun, D.C. (2020, August). Mentoring Deaf Students in UREs: The Value of Cultural Competency. Presented at Cultivating Scientific Curiosity; BIOME Institute.

Majocha, M., Davenport, Z., Braun, D. C., & Gormally, C. (2018). “Everyone Was Nice…But I Was Still Left Out”: An Interview Study About Deaf Interns’ Research Experiences in STEM †. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, 19(1). http://doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1381