Press Releases


iRT Presents Results of Evaluation of National Demonstration Project Designed to Enhance the Impact of Mentoring on Children of Incarcerated Parents

When a parent or caregiver of a child is incarcerated, the impact of incarceration on the child can be a traumatic experience with long-lasting effects. Children of incarcerated caregivers are susceptible to a wide range of negative outcomes, from depression and low self-esteem to substance abuse and delinquent behavior.

To develop new avenues of support and early intervention for youth potentially impacted by the incarceration of a loved one, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) funded a multi-year, multi-site national initiative, the Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents (MCOIP) Demonstration Project, in a pair of grant awards. The first award focused on developing and implementing mentoring program enhancements to better serve youth impacted by caregiver incarceration, and the second award focused on evaluating the effectiveness of the new program enhancements.

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Dr. Stelter Appointed to the MENTOR NC Board of Directors

Durham, NC, May 5, 2021 – innovation Research & Training is pleased to announce Dr. Rebecca Stelter’s appointment to the MENTOR NC  Board of Directors.

MENTOR NC is a non-profit organization that is a state affiliate of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership that is “dedicated to increasing the number of youth in quality mentoring relationships across North Carolina while working to address the systemic barriers that young people face on a daily basis.”

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iRT Awarded NIGMS Grant

Durham, NC, September 30, 2020 – innovation Research & Training (iRT) is expanding its suite of mentor training courses to include training for mentors who work with STEM mentoring programs. The National Institute for General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) awarded iRT with a grant (R43GM137663) to fund the development of a new, customizable mentor training course that covers new topics that are particularly relevant for informal STEM learning environments. A primary goal of this training will be to attract and retain youth in a STEM field from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM careers including first generation college students, youth with a disability, girls, and youth from an ethnic or racial minority group.

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Dr. Rebecca Stelter, a Research Scientist II at iRT, will be co-presenting at the virtual 2021 National Mentoring Summit on Intentional program planning to create a safe (virtual) space for mentees during unprecedented times, on  Friday, 1/29/2021, from 2:14 – 3:45 PM. Dr. Stelter and her co-presenter, Darlene H. Marlin, Senior Director at National Urban League, will discuss the National Urban League’s Project Ready: Mentor program. The Project Ready: Mentor provides group mentoring to prepare students for college, work, and life through the development of 21st Century, as well as other critical social skills. The program also has the goal of fostering personal, global, and cultural awareness. Project Ready: Mentor is built on the research-based best practices outlined in the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring and the 110 years of the NUL’s racial justice and education work. This session will provide attendees with key practices for creating physically and emotionally safe spaces for mentees to participate in a group mentoring program that meets their needs and builds their assets.


iRT Partners with College Access for All

iRT has partnered with College Access for All, an initiative developed by NYC Schools and Mayor Bill de Blasio to ensure all students are engaged in a “college-ready” culture.

Hundreds of schools participate in this initiative, which was designed to help students form a career and college plan upon graduation from high school. College Access for All provides several support services for students, including funding Student Success Centers, eliminating application fees to the City University of New York, and providing for high school juniors to take the SAT for free.

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Webinar: Applying the EEPM 4 to Diverse Models and Youth Populations [free]

Applying the EEPM 4 to Diverse Models and Youth Populations [free]

2/25/16 1-2:30pm EST

~ 75 minutes

Applying the EEPM 4 to Diverse Models and Youth Populations will provide attendees with an interactive discussion on how the Elements of Effective Practice applies to mentoring programs given the diverse array of mentee and mentor populations and program models. In addition, we will solicit questions and feedback from attendees regarding how the EEPM applies to their programs.

Take the free training at: Free Mentoring Central

[Webinar] Risk Management Part 2 – 1pm (EST) Feb. 16, 2016

Risky Business (Part 2): Developing your mentoring program’s risk management policies [free]

Take the Free Training at Free Mentoring Central

A mentoring relationship cannot be considered effective unless it is safe. Training on ethics and safety in mentoring is critical to ensuring the health and well-being of mentees and mentors. The recently released Fourth Edition of the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring (EEPM) identified a set of risk management topics that programs should address in their policies and include in their training of mentors, mentees, and parent or guardians. This three-part webinar series will focus on how mentoring programs can decrease the potential for harm to anyone involved in a mentoring relationship.

Join our expert researchers (Drs. Janis Kupersmidt and Rebecca Stelter) and practitioner (Ms. Sharon Daura) who will provide a thorough exploration of the 19 risk management topics outlined in the EEPM, with the goal of helping you to fine-tune your existing program policies or develop new ones.  After you attend these webinars, you will understand the importance and relevance of each topic for mentoring as well as key issues to address in your policies.  Future training will focus on how to conduct mentor, mentee, and parent or guardian training on these policies.

The second webinar in the series focuses on issues to consider in a mentoring program’s risk management policies and practices that are related to communications by mentors, mentees, parents or guardians, and the mentoring program with individuals, organizations, and media outlets that are outside of the mentoring relationship.

Celebrating 25 Years of the Youth Mentoring Movement

Monday, November 9, New York City—The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) is proud to celebrate 25 years of building and unifying a youth mentoring movement in 2015! This yearlong celebration will include a special event at The Plaza Hotel on Monday, November 9 honoring MENTOR’s co-founders and commemorating a quarter of a century of milestones and achievements in the field. More on this celebration:

Advanced Screening

November 17, Boston–Join Mass Mentoring Partnership for an advanced training that will build upon the basics of screening. Participants will have the opportunity to refine program eligibility requirements, receive feedback on program applications and interview forms, enhance awareness of red flags, and practice relevant steps in the screening process.  Participants will receive MMP’s Advanced Screening Workbook which contains useful tools and templates to support screening of volunteers and mentors. Register:

National Mentoring Month: Amplifying Your Voice

November 19, 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., EDT–Planning to participate in National Mentoring Month this January? Join this webinar to learn best practices for amplifying your voice during this yearly recruitment campaign. We will feature panelists from Midlands Mentoring Partnership in Nebraska, TeamMates Mentoring in Iowa and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mid-South in Tennessee. Each presenter will speak on a different way to engage throughout the month. Whether you represent a small, mid-size or large program, there will be plenty of useful information shared. Register now! Facilitated by MENTOR. For more information:

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Mentor Training Online: Preparing Your Program for Training in a Virtual World

By jmeyer

Is mentor training online worth it? Learn about asynchronous mentoring training, and where to find the most valuable courses that are backed by science.

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Mentorship Training Program: The 6 Skills Your Mentors Need to Learn That Strengthen Your Program’s Value

By jmeyer

There are many crucial elements to learning mentoring. Find out the elements that your mentorship training needs to cover to enhance your organization. Connecting with a mentee requires a certain skillset. Discover the top mentoring skills that you can use in training new mentors.

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5 Tips for Onboarding New Volunteer Mentors to Your Program

By jmeyer

Every mentoring program has common elements but their uniqueness is important, but new mentors need to know about the specific history, policies, rules, and regulation of your program. It’s important for mentors to know about your program, not just mentoring as a whole—but what it means to be a mentor in our program. Read the full article…

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Research Assistant

By Richard Van Horn

POSITION TITLE:  Research Assistant
EMPLOYER:  Innovation Research & Training
LOCATION (City, State):  Durham, NC

START DATE:  Available immediately


Innovation Research & Training (IRT) seeks a part- or full-time Research Assistant to work on qualitative and quantitative research, training and intervention development, technical assistance, and customer support projects in the fields of mentoring and prevention.

Job Description: Participate as a team member on research, evaluation, training, technical assistance, and customer support projects. Responsibilities include conducting scientific literature reviews; assisting with writing presentations, manuscripts, and grant proposals; recruiting study participants; collecting, transcribing, coding, and entering data; maintaining meeting minutes; helping with developing and writing in-person and online training and intervention programs; and assisting with customer support and administrative work.

Requirements: 2 or more years of research experience in psychology or related field as an undergraduate or post-baccalaureate. Must be able to work as a team member as well as independently; take initiative; be extremely attentive to detail; and have excellent interpersonal skills. The successful candidate will need to be familiar with all Microsoft Office programs as well as have strong writing and verbal communication skills.

Compensation:  Salary is based upon education and previous work experience. We offer a comprehensive benefits package which includes BCBS health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance, short- and long-term disability, PTO, an employer-matched SIMPLE IRA, and more. Drug-free, smoke-free work environment. No relocation assistance available.

Company:  iRT is a small behavioral science research and development firm located in Durham, North Carolina. IRT specializes in the development, evaluation, and dissemination of evidence-based prevention and intervention programs and services to improve the lives of children, adolescents, and families.

Our team is working entirely remotely due to COVID-19. All interviews will be held via video conference.

 If interested, please submit a cover letter including your available start date, CV or resume, at least one scientific writing sample, and three references to Dr. Janis Kupersmidt at


Health Communications Writer

By Mentoring Central

POSITION TITLE:  Health Communications Writer
EMPLOYER:  Innovation Research & Training
LOCATION (City, State):  Durham, NC


innovation Research & Training (iRT) seeks a part-time writer to work on health and social media communications starting in February 2021. We are looking for a highly motivated, creative, self-starter who can write with a customer-centered mindset about the research, products, and services relevant to iRT’s work, with a focus on our projects in the field of youth mentoring. If you have strong writing skills and desire to make a difference in the lives of children and families, read about our work and consider joining our team!

iRT is a small behavioral sciences research company that specializes in the creation of evidence-based, health promotion and asset-building interventions and resources. Our mission is to create products and services that improve the well-being of youth, families, schools, communities, and organizations. Technological innovations are fundamental to our mission.

Job Description:  The person in this position will contribute to developing and implementing communication strategies for the projects, products, and people at iRT in the field of mentoring.

The ideal candidate would be able to start immediately.


  • Coursework in communications, preferably in health and social media communication
  • Excellent knowledge of grammar and punctuation
  • Must be flexible and able to handle multiple projects simultaneously
  • 1-2 years of experience in a communications field
  • Proficiency using Microsoft products (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)
  • Must be legally able to work in the U.S.

Experience with the following desired:

  • Use of a customer relations management (CRM) software program
  • eHealth or eLearning programs
  • Google Analytics
  • Social media communications
  • Marketing or strategic communications
  • Social media scheduling software
  • Being a mentor to a child or adolescent

If you are interested in working with our team, please submit a cover letter including your available start date, your resume, a writing sample, and three references to