Melissa McDaniels

Melissa McDaniels
CIMER Co-Principal Investigator
Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research

Melissa McDaniels is Associate Executive Director & Associate Scientist at the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a co-investigator and community advancement manager for the NIH-supported National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN, and is also leading a project as a part of the American Physical Society’s NSF INCLUDES Inclusive Graduate Education Network (IGEN).

From 2013-2020, in her role as member of the Michigan State University Graduate School leadership team, Dr. McDaniels worked to support graduate students and postdocs at Michigan State as they develop their capacities as postsecondary instructors and mentors. From 2008-2012, McDaniels served as Director of Michigan State University’s NSF ADVANCE Grant where she spearheaded the institution’s efforts to diversify the faculty in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. In this role she was responsible for the development and implementation of MSU's new faculty mentoring policy. Prior to working at MSU, she held full time positions at Northeastern University, Boston College, and National Geographic Society. McDaniels has over twenty years of experience in graduate student and faculty development, undergraduate and graduate teaching and learning and organizational change. She has had the pleasure of doing research and consulting domestically and internationally. McDaniels holds degrees from Michigan State University (PhD), Boston College (MA), and University of Michigan (BA).



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The University of Wisconsin-Madison is home to the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER). CIMER, an IGEN Alliance Partner, is charged with Improving the research mentoring relationships for mentees and mentors at all career stages through the development, implementation and study of evidence-based and culturally-responsive interventions. CIMER faculty and staff investigate approaches for improving research mentoring relationships for IGEN and its partner institutions.