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 with be placed in a small group with approximately two other peer participants and one senior faculty mentor. To maintain focus on development and growth, the match of mentees to mentors will not be based on scientific alignment.

The program will launch with an Opening Event on September 10, 2020, 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 and locations 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 on June 16, 2021, that will tie together the collective experience.

Session dates

September 2020 – June 2021

Time commitment

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

  • Two, one-hour meetings per month: October 2020-May 2021
  • 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 (all events will run from approximately 4:00pm-7:00pm on the Harvard Medical School campus):
    • Opening Event: Thursday, September 10, 2020
    • Mid-Year Event: Wednesday, February 24, 2021
    • Closing Event: Wednesday, June 16, 2021
  • Additional optional, in-person, and/or digital meetings offered throughout the year.

Application due

The application process is closed. Please check back in summer 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


  • 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 in summer 2021.