NCRG Conference: Workshop For Young Investigators

Prior to the start of the11thannual Conference on Gambling and Addiction, Linda B. Cottler, Ph.D., M.P.H., professor of epidemiology in the department of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and Catherine Striley, Ph.D., M.P.E., M.S.W., ACSW, LCSW, assistant director of the master in psychiatric epidemiology program at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, held a workshop to provide young investigators with advice for career development.

“Get a [mentor] if you don’t have one!” said Dr. Cottler. Dr. Striley added that Dr. Cottler has been her mentor since 2002, and they stressed the importance of finding a mentor who will make the mentee a priority, provide detailed feedback and be energetic while helping the mentee advance his or her career. Dr. Cottler added that the young investigators should find a mentor who will invest them. She also referenced a guide titled,“Mentoring: A Guide for Drug Abuse Researchers,”which was published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Drs. Cottler and Striley said that it is also the responsibility of the mentees to tell their mentors exactly what they need from them. They also said that peer-to-peer mentor programs are beneficial, as they help to keep research projects moving forward.

During the session, the group also discussed managing work/life balance and high pressure situations, handling negotiations and forming research collaborations. Drs. Cottler and Striley provided advice for writing research grants, and stated that the new investigators should not be afraid to write grants – they will get better as they write more. Drs. Cottler and Striley said that even when they get discouraged, the new investigators should “stick it out” because they are the future of gambling research.

Drs. Cottler and Striley also encouraged new investigators take courses that will prepare them to be future faculty. These include courses on leadership, management, compliance, health and safety, and ethics.

Continue to visitGambling Disorders 360°for daily updates, on-site reporting about the sessions and audio interviews from leading researchers and industry representatives.

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