About the Program

Compass is an NIH-funded training and mentoring program for early-career biomedical researchers looking to employ effective leadership and management practices in their labs. The program is free to Scholars for the duration of the grant. Compass is open to all biomedical junior faculty and postdocs in the United States. A career in biomedical research requires scientists to lead lab members to conduct excellent science while juggling the demands of supervising people, managing projects, writing papers and grants, and so much more – all while trying to build a satisfying career and a fulfilling life. Compass offers essential knowledge, skills, and tools for navigating these issues with intention. Delivered remotely, Compass allows for convenience, the time needed to practice and apply learning, and the opportunity to learn with peers at institutions across the United States. Scholars also learn from experienced mentors who will share their lessons learned and advice. We believe that the essential skills and resources needed for career success should be available to all – not just left to guesswork.

Scholars Will:

Create a personalized Lab Manual

Engage in self-reflection

Interact in peer mentoring teams

Record personal insights

Collaborate in discussion forums

Practice skills using real-life scenarios

Learn from experienced mentors

Receive tools use in the lab

Learn in a supportive community

Our approach to learning is:


Early-career researchers want training focused on the real-world responsibilities of leading a lab. Compass provides practical training, resources, and tools that Scholars can put into practice immediately. During the program, Scholars develop a personalized lab manual that they can begin employing immediately in their lab.


The traditional path to career success can be a lonely endeavor. Compass employs team-based peer mentoring so that Scholars can learn from one another and get support from others who are on the same journey. The peer mentoring component mimics the real-world collaborative nature of research and leverages the way adults learn best: by doing.


Our novel, online learning environment offers flexibility, convenience, and the opportunity to learn with researchers from varied biomedical disciplines from across the United States. Compass accommodates Scholars’ busy schedules by keeping synchronous, live events to a minimum.


Compass provides advice from experienced researchers who have encountered many of the same challenges that Scholars are grappling with now.