Our Mission

We are committed to the improvement of research mentoring relationships for mentees and mentors at all career stages through the implementation of evidence-based and culturally-responsive interventions.

Our program serves…

Our program follows the curricula developed by the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) and National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN), an evidence-based, interactive approach that engages mentors in collective problem solving and connects them with resources to optimize their mentoring practices.

Research mentor training has been tested and shown to be effective in increasing mentoring knowledge, skills, and behavior. Furthermore, culturally responsive interactions between mentors and mentees can help historically underrepresented mentees successfully progress in their research careers, becoming effective mentors, scientific leaders, and research team members of the future.

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Program Director

Diana E. Azurdia, Ph.D.
Director for Inclusion and Recruitment, Graduate Programs in Bioscience
Principal Facilitator, Center for the Improvement of Mentored Research Experiences
Email: dazurdia@mednet.ucla.edu

Dr. Azurdia has ten years of experience in implementing and facilitating culturally responsive evidence-based mentorship training for mentors and mentees nationally, via both the synchronous online environment as well as in-person workshops. She has worked with both the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) from 2014 to 2019 and with the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Research Experiences (CIMER) since 2018 as a Principal Facilitator. She is 1 of 23 CIMER Principal Facilitators and 1 of 9 Culturally Aware Mentoring Facilitators in the nation. Dr. Azurdia uses her platform as a Principal Facilitator to promote inclusive mentoring practices in all disciplines at UCLA. She founded UCLA’s mentor training program in 2014 and since its inception has facilitated hundreds of discussions with faculty, postdocs, and students on how to optimize their mentoring relationships. In this capacity, she also acts as a campus-wide consultant for departments that aim to increase the impact of mentoring in their programs. In an effort to build capacity for this work, she leads the development of UCLA’s ever-growing cadre of trained facilitators who are primed to lead similar offerings campus-wide. In 2021, Dr. Azurdia led the UCLA Graduate Divisions, Humanities Advancing Mentorship (HAM) Project whose objective was to adapt a comprehensive research mentor training manual for the humanities so that UCLA could offer the training to support advisors of graduate students beyond STEM disciplines. Dr. Azurdia earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from UCLA and graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry from CSU Los Angeles.


Please email Dr. Diana E. Azurdia directly at dazurdia@mednet.ucla.edu.