Mom and two kids

Mothers Leading Science program expands to University of Pittsburgh

Michelle Hoedeman

Mothers Leading Science was recently adopted by the University of Pittsburgh, making it the first institution outside the University of Minnesota to implement the program as a sister site.

Established by the UMN Clinical and Translational Science Institute in 2018, Mothers Leading Science is a yearlong career development program for research-intensive faculty in the health sciences who are raising young children.

Empowering researcher-moms

The program addresses the challenges faced by women in academic health sciences research through dedicated programming and facilitation, networking, annual retreats, peer support and connection, and resilience and leadership training.

“Mothers Leading Science started with a group of six early-career female faculty getting together for informal coffee meetings to discuss common challenges they experience as researcher-moms and then they asked me to help support them with some programing and facilitation,” says Michelle Lamere, MPA, ACC, assistant director of CTSI’s education and training programs. “It became so popular that it blossomed into a full-fledged formal program focused on empowerment and embracing their identities as women, mothers, and scientists.”

Lamere added:

“Over the years, it’s helped researcher-moms become more confident leaders and parents, align their career paths with personal values, and rekindle their passion for research. This program has played an important role in retaining these highly skilled scientists in academic medical research.”

Its success has attracted national interest.

Sharing best practices nationally

At Pitt’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Assistant Professor Amery Treble-Barna, PhD, was looking for a way to support fellow researcher-moms and became excited about the University of Minnesota’s program.

“[...]We decided to collaborate and create a sister site at Pitt,” Dr. Treble-Barna explained in a Pitt story. Pitt’s program kicked off earlier this month.

“Our University of Minnesota researcher-moms are thriving, and we’re excited that the program is now supporting their Pitt peers too,” says Lamere.

Other CTSA institutions across the country are also engaging in discussions with the University of Minnesota CTSI about adopting Mothers Leading Science.