Program Goals

  • Understand how to create a successful mentee-mentor relationship.
  • Learn the strategies involved in becoming an empowered mentee.
  • Appreciate the need for a dynamic mentoring network.
  • Understand how to promote career growth and development.

Career Catalyst is a strategic, one-year mentoring program for early-career researchers. Participants in the program learn about the importance of establishing successful mentoring relationships that promote personal and professional satisfaction.

Mentoring networks are composed of professionals who offer support and guidance on different aspects of a researcher’s life and career. A researcher’s mentoring network often includes a scientific mentor, who offers advice on technical skills or training that relates to the content of their research, and a developmental mentor, who advises on areas of professional development. A developmental mentor may advise on ways to improve communication skills, find a lab position, and expand mentoring networks. Developmental mentors are often highly influential in shaping career pathway opportunities for mentees, yet finding an appropriate developmental mentor early in a career can be challenging.

In Career Catalyst, junior investigators are matched with senior faculty who serve as developmental mentors for the duration of the program. Each mentee is placed in a small group with two to three other peer participants and one senior faculty mentor. To maintain focus on development and growth, the match of mentees to mentors is not based on scientific alignment.

The program will launch with an Opening Event on September 22, 2021, which will provide an introduction to the program structure and curriculum. The Opening Event will also give mentors and mentees the opportunity to connect and get to know one another. Each month, two required one-hour meetings will take place. Both of these meeting times are flexible and will be determined around your schedule. At the first meeting of the month, the small group of mentees will meet together with their assigned senior mentor. The second monthly meeting will focus on peer mentoring, and the mentee group will meet together without their assigned senior mentor. Materials such as articles, discussion prompts, and goal setting exercises will be provided to guide and supplement these meetings, but overall, the structure and content will be tailored to the individual needs and interests of the mentees. The program will end with a Closing Event in June, that will tie together the collective experience.

Session dates

September 2021 – June 2022

Time commitment

Mentees accepted into the program must commit to fully participate in the following*:

  • Two, one-hour meetings per month: October 2021-May 2022
  • Mentor/mentee meetings take place in small groups and will be scheduled for mutually convenient times.
  • Three, required events throughout the program for all mentees and mentors:
    • Opening Event: Wednesday, September 22, 2021 10:00-12:00pm EST
    • Mid-Year Event: Wednesday, February 2, 2022 10:00-12:00pm EST
    • Closing Event: Wednesday, June 15, 2022 10:00-12:00pm EST
  • Additional, optional meetings on special topics of interest offered throughout the year.

*Due to ongoing restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic, the program will begin remotely. As conditions change, it is possible that aspects of the program will resume in-person.

Application due

Thursday, July 8, 2021 5:00pm EST

Applicants will be informed of the status of their application by July 30, 2021.


  • Graduate students, postdocs, and junior faculty seeking guidance on overall career development.
  • Applicants may or may not have a scientific project mentor or principal investigator.
  • We believe that the research community is strengthened by understanding how a number of factors including gender identity, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, culture, religion, national origin, language, disability, and age shape the environment in which we live and work, affect each of our personal identities, and impacts all areas of human health.


  • MD, PhD, or equivalent, with an interest in clinical and translational research
  • Instructors
  • Clinical residents and clinical fellows
  • Postdoctoral research fellows
  • Graduate students pursuing doctoral degrees


Free for Harvard-affiliated schools and institutions.

The Harvard Catalyst Education Program is accredited by the Massachusetts Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Harvard Catalyst Education Program’s policy requires full attendance and the completion of all activity surveys to be eligible for CME credit; no partial credit is allowed.


The application process is closed. Please check back for future opportunities.