Table 3

Qualitative themes emerging from the experiences of SWIMS members

CategoryIndividual topics
Personal topics
  • Family and relationship challenges

  • Financial decisions

  • Managing work and personal priorities

  • Balancing health needs and professional priorities

Professional topics
  • Managing personnel and laboratories

  • Mentoring challenges

  • Collaboration and authorship issues

  • “Big picture” career goals

  • Forum to explore new science ideas

  • “When to say no” to new tasks and responsibilities

  • Personalized career advice

  • Enhancing productivity and organization

  • Negotiating

  • Difficult conversations

  • Social media training and use

  • Improving networking at conferences

  • Grantsmanship

  • Balancing of multiple projects and competing professional obligations

Unique experience that SWIMS provides
  • Comfortable mentoring experience

  • Receptive to feedback because you can be more vulnerable

  • Learn from the advice given to others on common issues

Successes of members
  • Foundation and professional society national awards

  • Published manuscript and manuscript awards

  • Numerous invitations for national and international seminars

  • Leadership roles within the academic institution and in professional organizations

  • Promotions: 2 Assistant Professor, 4 Associate Professor, 1 Professor

  • NIH Grants: R01 (2), R03 (2), K12 (2), K23 (3), K24

  • Research center grants

  • Foundation Grants: JDRF (3), Doris Duke Foundation (3), Veterans Affairs, Helmsley Charitable Trust

  • Foundation and university pilot grants

  • Numerous collaborative manuscripts