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Research Mentor News, March 2017

The semester is in full swing! We had a successful Annual BUILD Research Symposium, have elected BUILD trainee representatives and are currently reviewing applications for next year’s BUILD trainees. Please read on for reminders of how you can help with the mentor-mentee matching process.

2017 Annual Research Symposium Highlights


The second Annual BUILD Research Symposium was held on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, at the University Student Union Ballrooms at the California State University, Long Beach, campus.

The conference theme was "Inspiring Student Research for Better Health Tomorrow" and it featured four presentations by CSULB BUILD Mentors and their mentees.

  • Dr. May Ling Halim, Mentor, with Miguel Portillo, BUILD Associate Mentee
  • Dr. Houng-Wei Tsai, Mentor
  • Dr. Ted Yu, Mentor
  • Dr. Michelle Alencar, Mentor, with Elizabeth Gutierrez, BUILD Scholar Mentee

Research demonstrations followed lunch.

  • Salud a la Vida: Cheers to Life! Health, Sex, Drugs and Alcohol
  • The Application of Dynamics and Control Theory for the Simulation and Analysis of Biomechanics and Robotic Systems
  • Sanos y Fuertes: Healthy and Strong: Family-centered Childhood Obesity Prevention
  • Bioassays as a Tool for Assessment and Analysis
  • PRO-Health Research Program: Disseminating Innovative Health Interventions through Community Partnerships

The keynote speaker, Tony Iton, MD, JD, MPH., the Senior Vice President of Healthy Communities for the California Endowment, presented about "When It Comes to Your Health, Does Your Zip Code Matter More than Your Genetic Code?". You can download a copy of his slides, as well as view photographic highlights from the event here.

Introducing BUILD Trainee Representatives

To help improve communication between BUILD trainees and the BUILD team, each cohort has elected representatives (one from each college). Once a month, they meet with Enrique Flores, Program Manager, to discuss ideas and issues. The following is the list of BUILD Student Representatives for Spring 2017:


  • Katherine Henson (CNSM)
  • Diane Kim (COE)
  • Wilma Figueroa (CHHS)
  • Yohanna Brown (CLA)

Year 1 Scholars:

  • Shai Tanner (CNSM)
  • Adam Grosvirt-Dramen (COE)
  • Melany Garcia (CHHS)
  • Tian Walker (CLA)

Year 2 Scholars:

  • Trevor Teafatiller and Rhea-Comfort Addo (Co-Reps for CNSM)
  • Gina Vimbela (COE)
  • Genesis Gutierrez (CHHS)
  • Jessica Rayo (CLA)

Clarification on Trainee Travel Reimbursement and Presentation

Some mentors and trainees have expressed concern and confusion about when trainees will be reimbursed for travel to conferences. Originally, it had been interpreted that the trainee needed to be a first author on a poster or presentation in order to be reimbursed. After some consideration, it has been decided that as long as the trainee is presenting, travel can be reimbursed, regardless of which order the student is listed as author. Also, if a student has submitted an abstract but was rejected, it may still be possible to get travel expenses reimbursed if the student completes a special form while at the conference. Contact Marie Reed at ext. 5-8537 or for more information.

Trainee Selection and Matching is Underway: Update Your Research Mentor Profile

BUILD is now actively recruiting for next year’s cohort of Associates and Scholars. Applications for Scholars were due yesterday and Associate applications are due March 24th. Therefore, you may be approached by new potential mentees. You can help with the mentor-mentee matching process by updating your BUILD Research Mentor Profile. Please be sure to select from our new selection of keywords and check the box if you will be accepting trainees this year. You can do that by following these instructions:

edit icon

  1. Go to
  2. Locate your profile.
  3. Click on the edit icon in the upper right-hand corner. It looks like a paper with a pencil as shown here.
  4. Update your information.
  5. Click the “Save” button at the bottom of the page.

The new mentor matching database is now live for prospective trainees to use. Therefore, if you don’t make sure that your keywords and profile is accurate, they might not be able to find you. To help make this process as frustration-free as possible, Carma Spence is available to help you. If you run into any trouble or need help with this process, feel free to contact her at ext. 5-2319 or

Upcoming BUILD Multicultural Workshops

We have three upcoming opportunities for you to attend the BUILD Multicultural Workshops. As a reminder, attending at least one workshop is required of all BUILD mentors who have or will be accepting trainees into their lab. Even if you have already satisfied this requirement, we invite you to attend future workshops of interest.

  • Intercultural Communication & Miscommunication. You have two times from which to choose: Tuesday, March 14, 10 am to noon, or Friday, March 17, 1 pm to 3 pm.
  • Myths and Facts about Language and Ethnic Minority Students in Learning Situations and Possible Effects on Academic Preparedness and Success. You have two times from which to choose: Tuesday, April 18, 10 am to noon, or Friday, April 21, 1 pm to 3 pm.
  • Stereotype Threat and Unconscious Bias. Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 10 am to noon.

For more information, visit the Multicultural Workshops webpage.

Year 2 Scholars Will Need Your Assistance

Year 2 Scholars will be asking for your assistance for the BUILD final research report. Please make yourself available so they can be as successful as possible.

Also, if you are mentoring a Year 2 Scholar, save the date on your calendar for May 19, when we will be holding the first BUILD Commencement event for them. Festivities include food, a video montage, keynote speaker and dancing! Keep your eyes open for your invitation.

Acknowledge BUILD in Your Papers and Submit the PMCID

Before you know it, the BUILD Annual report to NIH will be due. Keeping track of the output from the trainees’ research is an important part of this reporting. Remember, as you submit papers, and other results of research supported by BUILD, to acknowledge the program. In addition, we need the PMCID numbers for papers. You can find instructions here.

Grant Writing Support Available from NRMN

Are you preparing a proposal to submit to NIH in the upcoming months? Would you like to be coached by experienced grant writers so you can more effectively write your grants? The National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) is offering three programs that will pair you with highly skilled grant writing coaches.

Proposal Preparation Program

If you are preparing a new, or resubmitting a revised, NIH K- or R-series proposal with an NIH deadline of January-March 2018, apply for mentoring here. Sessions will be held at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in Minneapolis and supplemented by online sessions, June 26 through Nov. 17, 2017. Applications are due April 10, 2017.

This program will also be offered at Northwestern University in Chicago, supplemented with online sessions. You can apply for this location here. Applications are due April 10, 2017.

Steps Towards Academic Research

Are you a postdoctoral fellow or junior faculty member with minimal or no grant writing experience? Do you have a sincere interest in establishing a research career and can commit to a year-long training program? Then apply for this program here. Sessions will be held at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, supplemented with online sessions, July 5, 2017 through June 8, 2018. Applications are due May 8, 2017.

Coming Next Month …

  • Year Two Scholars Accepted into Graduate Programs
  • Colloquium Highlights

Communicating with BUILD

We invite your news about your BUILD Trainee and any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions about BUILD.  If you have any of these, in relation to being a BUILD Research Mentor, or concerns about your BUILD Student, please contact us at  Be sure to keep an eye out for the April newsletter.