Mentorship Training

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 offerings include…

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.

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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.

CIMER has assembled a list of publications that detail the necessity for excellent research mentorship.

UCLA has been integrally involved in developing and assessing national mentor training initiatives together with NRMN and CIMER.

  • UCLA is a part of the Diversity Program Consortium (DPC) which is a network of institutions, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to improve training and mentoring and to enhance individuals’ success in biomedical research careers. This initiative aims to transform institutional culture and biomedical training and mentoring nationwide. UCLA houses the DPC’s Coordination and Evaluation Center (CEC) which provides the DPC’s grantees with coordination and operational support, conducts data coordination/collection and program evaluation, and disseminates best practices. The CEC’s leadership includes a number of UCLA’s esteemed faculty.
  • Dr. Sylvia Hurtado, Professor of Education at UCLA, serves a Co-Investigator on a national study that examines the Impact of Culturally Aware Mentoring Interventions on Research Mentors and Graduate Training Programs (NIH Grant #U01 GM132372). Dr. Hurtado has led several national research projects, including NIH-sponsored projects on the longitudinal assessment of students aspiring for STEM careers and institutional strategies to broaden participation in STEM.

Program Director

Diana E. Azurdia, Ph.D.


Director of Mentoring and Inclusion, Graduate Programs in Bioscience

Senior Principal Facilitator, Center for the Improvement of Mentored Research Experiences


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 NRMN from 2014 to 2019 and with the CIMER since 2018 as a Senior Principal Facilitator.  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. Additionally, Dr. Azurdia serves on the David Geffen School of Medicine’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Academic Mentoring (JAM) Council which is designed to specifically meet the mentoring challenges of scholars with clinical and research backgrounds and careers who have navigated intersectional barriers associated with underrepresented or marginalized experiences. 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