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Office of Education

Brenda Hanning, Director, Office of Education
  • Brenda Hanning, Director, Office of Education

Goals and Objectives

The intramural Office of Education was established in September 2004 to support the training needs of intramural scientists, fellows, and students at all levels. This is achieved through recruitment and development of academic support programs; maintenance of accreditation; contributions to mentoring, evaluation, and career guidance; and creation of new training initiatives. Expanded areas of involvement include international exchanges for the training of graduate students, networking among fellows and alumni, grantsmanship, and the enhancement of fellows' competitiveness for awards, as well as support of new tenure-track investigators.


The Office of Education delivers workshops, programs, and individualized opportunities to a population averaging 350 trainees, including postdoctoral, visiting, and research fellows; clinical fellows and medical students; graduate students; and postbaccalaureate and technical fellows. Typically, activities include public speaking workshops, job interviewing, writing and editorial services, grantsmanship and study section observerships, career presentations and counseling, teaching opportunities through the NICHD "Becoming an Effective Scientist" course for postbaccalaureate fellows, teaching skills workshops, and management programs. Each spring, a retreat for fellows and graduate students, which includes presentations by fellows and a poster presentation by each attendee, is held for 100 people to address scientific developments and careers. The program is developed and run by a fellow/student steering committee.

Notable accomplishments of the past year include the following: In May 2010, the Division of Intramural Research gave its third Mentor of the Year awards to Ramanujan Hegde, MD, PhD, investigator, and Errett Hobbs, PhD, fellow. The Division of Intramural Research's second K99 was awarded to Miho Matsuda, PhD, in the laboratory of Dr. Ajay Chitnis, by NICHD. Two exchange students from the Chinese University of Hong Kong received their PhDs. FARE 2011 (Fellows Award for Research Excellence) awards went to 19 applicants. Eleven students were hired for Summer 2010 with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus funds, including two community college students. New program activities were related to establishment of the DIR's Assistant Clinical Investigator program and a Diversity Committee, oversight of the institute's summer program, crafting of the grant administration guidelines for the DIR, involvement in the PI retreat and Graduate Student Research Forum in May, as well as new workshops on team science, management for scientists, and writing specific aims for grants, among others. An intramural fellows committee was established, as was the NICHD Connection, a newsletter run and written by fellows and issued monthly. In the Office of the Scientific Director, a Poster of the Month board was installed, which displays research from each intramural program on a rotating basis.

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