NIH Resilience Training Program

Becoming A Resilient Scientist

NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE)

A Pilot Program from the NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE)
A virtual workshop series presented by the Chemical Biology Program (CBP) and the Training Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), both UC Davis NIH-supported T32 programs. 



The CBP and MCB T32 programs at UC Davis are hosting a pilot series (delivered virtually) developed by the NIH OITE office for biomedical graduate students to learn and implement strategies for building resiliency into their professional lives.  Small groups of graduate students (Trainees) will meet 6 times between Feb-May 2021 with local facilitators to discuss a webinar viewed on their own time prior to the meeting.

The 6 discussion group meetings will cover the following topics: (1) Introduction to Wellness and Resilience (2) Understanding Cognitive Distortions, Imposter Fears and Stereotype Threat (3) Emotional Intelligence and Emotions In The Workplace (4) Self-Advocacy and Assertiveness for Scientists, (5) Developing Feedback Resilience, and (6) Maximizing Mentoring Relationships.

A confidentiality statement will be made at the beginning of each session to guarantee that this is a safe space and that the meetings will not be recorded. Please note: because this is a pilot program from the NIH intended to train our facilitators, an NIH Observer will be attending one of the small group discussions per topic.

The goals of the program are to:

  • Provide strategies and tools to help trainees
    • increase their resilience with a specific focus on academic and research environments
    • develop interpersonal and emotional intelligence skills needed for success
  • Provide a place for trainees to come together to discuss
    • resilience strategies learned in the previous lectures
    • work toward integrating strategies learned into school, work and life
    • life, career, research, school and pandemic stress in a facilitated setting


NIH Webinar Series (11 AM - 1PM PST via YouTube either asynchronously or synchronously. Registration is required.)
Date  Topic & Registration Link Information

January 26, 2021

An Introduction to Wellness and Resilience We all experience setback and disappointments in science, work and life. In this webinar we will look at seven key elements of resilience with a focus on building habits that promote healthier responses and resilient behaviors in the face of set-back in educational and work environments.
February 15, 2021 Understanding Cognitive Distortions, Imposter Fears and Stereotype Threat We tell ourselves stories about what is happening to us and around us. In this webinar we will explore how our self-talk is generated and look at ways our self-talk can either help us be more resilient or how it can hurt us and hold us back. We will look at two important elements of our self-talk, cognitive distortions and imposter fears and explore ways to recognize internal messages and input from others that distorts our views of our abilities and accomplishments.
March 8, 2021 Emotional Intelligence and Emotion In The Workplace Emotions can play a critical role in how we communicate, navigate relationships, and manage conflict. In this webinar we will discuss Emotional Intelligence and emotions and how they influence our resilience as scientists.
March 30, 2021 Self-Advocacy and Assertiveness For Scientists We all need to develop the skills needed to be assertive and to advocate for ourselves, especially in hierarchical environments where we sometimes feel we do not have a voice. In this webinar, we will discuss how to set boundaries, communicate expectations, ask for feedback and discuss difficult issues with friends, mentors, colleagues and supervisors.
April 20, 2021 Developing Feedback Resilience We all need feedback to grow and learn but we often become defensive and are unable to learn from the feedback we receive, even if it is delivered well. In this webinar, we will talk about why receiving feedback is so difficult and explore ways to stay calm and engaged when receiving feedback. We will also talk about giving feedback in a calm and assertive way so that our voice can be heard.
May 10, 2021 Maximizing Mentoring Relationships We all need mentors to support and encourage us throughout our educational and career journey. In this webinar, we will talk about the mentoring relationship in research environments with a focus on improving your relationship with your PI, finding mentors and on improving communication and interpersonal interactions. The webinar will help clarify what you need from your supervisors and mentors and address how to get what you need from these important interactions.


  • Watch the provided webinar (2 hours each) via YouTube either asynchronously or synchronously (with the option to ask questions in real time with synchronous watching).
  • Attend a facilitated peer group discussion via Zoom (1hr) after each webinar:
    • MCB: Mondays 11 AM - 12 PM:  February 22, March 15, April 5, April 26, May 17
    • CBP: Tuesdays 1 PM - 2 PM:  February 23, March 16, April 6, April 27, May 18 (register here)
    • CBP: Thursdays 2 PM - 3 PM:  February 25, March 18, April 8, April 29, May 20 (register here)
  • Complete evaluation surveys for the NIH throughout the program to facilitate evaluation of this pilot curriculum.


Please contact Alex Lopez ( for general inquiries and interest. MCB Trainees, please contact Dr. Gaya Gomes (