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Leadership, Management And mentoring Training for NIH Intramural Fellows

The OITE has recognized a need in the postdoc, clinical fellow and graduate student community to improve leadership and management skills.  We have developed a set of workshops and resources to help you be a better leader and manager, deal with conflicts, and thrive in a team environment.  The topics have all been developed with a focus on science, using examples taken straight from research groups. 

Our Leadership and Management training has two parts.  The first is leadership, which consists of the five sessions in our Workplace Dynamics Series, as described below.  These workshops are for any level of intramural trainee. We recommend taking the series in order (the first two must be taken in order), but each topic can stand alone.  Trainees who complete all five session are eligible for a certificate of completion. The entire series is offered twice a year. Actual dates are available under the "Upcoming Events" section of the OITE website.

OITE Management training builds on knowledge gained in the Leadership series.  Therefore, completion of the entire Leadership series is a prerequisite for admittance into the Management Bootcamp (described below).  Management bootcamp will also be offered twice a year.

Assertivenees training

Speaking Up: Asking for What You Need in Lab and Life

Offered quarterly

Do you have a suggestion for improving efficiency in your lab but lack the confidence to bring it to the attention of your PI? Do you need additional resources for your experiments or time off for an important family activity but don't know how to ask?  Are you afraid to mention the fact that you are having major difficulty dealing with one of your lab mates? 

This session will help you to explore strategies for communicating your needs in a variety of situations. Learn how to be more assertive, to speak up for yourself, and how to decide when to speak up and when not to.  A comprehensive handout is available.


Workplace Dynamics I: Self-Awareness

Offered in January and July of each year 

This experiential and engaging workshop, rooted in psychological type and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment, aims to improve self-awareness and self-management.  You will be asked to complete an MBTI assessment before the workshop.

Workplace Dynamics II: Communication, Learning, & Influencing Others

Offered in February and August of each year 

This interactive workshop uses personality type to explore communication, learning, and influencing others. Drawing and expanding on the self-awareness gained in Part I, this workshop moves the focus from the individual to how the individual works with others, such as in a lab or workgroup. Workplace Dynamics I is a prerequisite.

 Workplace Dynamics III: Conflict & Feedback

Offered in March and September of each year 

Rooted in the Thomas and Kilmann Conflict Model, this interactive workshop provides an accessible framework for conflict management as well as for giving and receiving personal feedback. In small group exercises, participants learn how to have - and even practice having - difficult conversations often associated with conflict at the NIH.

Workplace Dynamics IV: Team Skills

Offered in April and October of each year 

This is an experiential workshop that focuses on team tools and group development insights through the experience of real team and group work. This class is intended for anyone who works on or with teams and wishes to have greater team-facilitation skills.  The workshop also focuses on spotting the stages of group development and how to shepherd teams through rough spots, conflict and growing pains.

Workplace Dynamics V: Diversity in a Multicultural Society

Offered in November and May of each year 

Diversity.... difference.... post-racial..... multicultural --  all buzzwords we regularly hear.  But how often do we as future scientists, healthcare providers, science educators, and policy experts stop to consider our own reactions to diversity and difference?  Furthermore, why does this matter to our research and how do we build inclusive and welcoming work environments? This workshop will examine the meaning of diversity in the lives of individuals, groups, and communities, as well as the larger society and scientific community.   

Management Boot Camp

Management of people and resources is a key component to being successful as you move forward in your career.  The OITE has developed an intense course to give advanced postdocs and fellows an overview of common management concepts that are not often taught in a research environment.  The topics covered will be applicable to all sectors (academics, industry, non-profits, government, etc.).

This course requires a commitment of two full days, and will be offered each year in January and June.  Applications for the course will be available in April for the June course and November for the January course.  Applications are competitive and enrollment will be limited to 30 people.  Travel awards are available for non-Bethesda locations if the candidate is selected.  

Course Content:

Introduction to management

Unit 1: Managing you

Unit 2: Managing staffing

Unit 3: Managing Interpersonal Interactions

 Unit 4: Managing the team

Course Applications 

Candidate selection will favor those fellows leaving the NIH within a year and those who exhibit an enthusiasm for becoming a better manager.  Note: in order to participate, you MUST have completed all five sessions of the Workplace Dynamics series.  If you are an NIH intramural fellow outside of Maryland, there are options available for you to participate. Contact Dr. Lori Conlan for more information. 

Mentor training

Offered every Spring and Summer

The OITE leads a 2 hour workshop and a multi-week course to prepare graduate students and postdocs/clinical fellows to become mentors.  The course provides more in-depth material and case studies to prepare for successful mentoring relationships

Topics include:

  • Effectively establishing mentor-mentee expectations
  • Developing strategies for helping mentees build confidence, independence, creativity, and communication skills
  • Improving cultural competency in mentoring
  • Developing a mentoring philosophy
  • Designing a project for a mentee  

Participants who complete the course will receive a certificate. 

Other resources available for Leadership and Management


Assess yourself to understand your personality

True leadership can grow out of understanding yourself.  The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessment is the best known and most widely used personality tool available today. Developed more than 60 years ago, the MBTI assists users in understanding individual differences and uncovering new ways to work and interact with others.  If you are interested in taking the MBTI, please attend an upcoming MBTI program.

Resources available in the OITE Career Library:

Type Talk at Work, by O. Kroeger and H. Rutledge

Many books by the Center for Creative Leadership:

Do What You Are, by Tieger and Barron

Manager's Toolkit, by Harvard Business Press

Online Resources:

Center for Creative Leadership