Melissa McDaniels

Melissa McDaniels
CIMER Co-Principal Investigator
Associate Executive Director & Associate Scientist, 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 member of the IGEN Alliance Management Team (AMT) and is co-directing the adaptation of Entering Mentoring (an evidence-based mentor training curriculum) for IGEN national laboratory partners.

She is also currently a co-investigator and community advancement manager for the NIH-supported National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN). From 2015-2019, she was co-Director of NRMN’s Master Facilitator Initiative. In addition to these leadership roles, Dr. McDaniels continues to be an active facilitator, running workshops and training sessions on the topic of culturally responsive mentoring for the NRMN; Big Ten Academic Alliance; American Society for Microbiology; National Postdoctoral Association; Council of Graduate Schools; Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL); and the NIH BUILD Institutions (undergraduate institutions implementing and studying innovative approaches to engaging and retaining students from diverse backgrounds in biomedical research). She enjoys facilitating mentoring workshops both in-person and online. Dr. McDaniels has spent over 25 years working with universities to promote environments that support inclusive excellence in mentoring and teaching. Dr. 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, 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.