Leadership Development in Early Career Scientists: Themes and Feedback from Executive Coaching and Mindful Leadership Training

Melissa M.B. Morrow, Marissa J. Schafer, Kejal Kantarci, Michelle M. Mielke, Celine M. Vachon, Stacey J. Winham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Career development is essential for all academic stages, but particularly critical for the growth and retention of early career scientists. In addition to scientific technical training, professional skill development is crucial for the upward transition from postdoctoral trainee to early faculty member and beyond. Building leadership skills, specifically, is an important component of professional development, and the evaluation and reporting of professional development are important to improve and enhance the impact of programs. Methods: The purpose of this article is to share the program evaluation performed on leadership development activities, including executive coaching and mindful leadership training provided to a small group of early career scientists who participated in the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Mayo Clinic Specialized Center of Research Excellence (SCORE) in Sex Differences Career Enhancement Core and Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) K12 programs during 2020-2022. Results: Eighty-seven percent of participants rated their satisfaction with the executive coaching program as ''Very Satisfied'' or ''Satisfied,'' and 75% of participants were ''Very Satisfied'' or ''Satisfied'' with the mindful leadership training program. The findings of this program evaluation highlight the value of communication skills for navigating precarious situations, building self-efficacy and intentionality in making and holding boundaries for an individual's time and energy. Further, the individualized small group format of the activities allowed for deeper introspection and peer to peer connection. Conclusion: The identification of common themes within the Mayo Clinic program provides guidance to other academic environments on areas where they can support their early career scientists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-882
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2023


  • NIH
  • career development
  • program evaluation
  • scholars
  • trainees

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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