top of page

iTHRIV Scholars Program:


The iTHRIV Scholars Program is a multi-institutional career development program across multiple schools/departments focused on early career faculty and partially supported by the integrated Translational Health Research Institute of Virginia (iTHRIV) Clinical Translational Science Award (KL2TR003016 and UL1TR003015). Each Scholar has one or more Scientific Mentors identified in their application. This mentor/mentoring team plays an important role in the development of the research career for each Scholar.

Mentors may focus on ‘content,’ ‘process,’ or both helping the Scholars to establish and develop new technical and scientific skills, to navigate the challenges of setting up a new research team, and to identify critical steps for progressing in academia. During the first year of the iTHRIV Scholars Program, each Scholar is also assigned an ‘iTHRIV Mentor.’ This person is chosen to complement the existing Mentor/mentoring team and fulfill a specific need for the individual Scholar. This new mentor-mentee relationship is intended to allow the Scholar to move into a new scientific area, create connections to specific clinical populations, foster cross-disciplinary collaboration, augment access to grant writing expertise, or gain access to new sponsorship opportunities among other opportunities.

The iTHRIV mentor may be drawn from outside the Scholar’s research area, school, and even institution. Each month the Scholars and their mentors come together with the iTHRIV Scholars Program leadership for a Mentoring Hour focused on issues around mentoring. Scholar-Mentor pairs frequently lead discussion on topics of their choosing. These sessions also focus on the fact that the Scholars, as emerging clinical translational researchers, are themselves both mentees and mentors to others. As the Scholars Program embarks on its fifth year, program alumni are returning in formal mentoring roles.

Meet a Mentor

Meet a Metor
Raffaella De Vita, PhD

Professor & Associate Department Head

Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics

Virginia Tech

Dr. Raffaella De Vita is an inspiring educator and world class researcher who is passionate about advancing fundamental and mechanistic knowledge of biological systems. She has worked tirelessly to advance the field of female reproductive biomechanics and constantly advocates for research that addresses urgent public health needs in underserved populations. As a mentor she has been my biggest supporter and has helped me build confidence in my role as an assistant professor.  Her insight into how to build a team and create a supportive lab culture has been invaluable.


- Caitlyn Collins, PhD

Raffaella De Vita.jpeg
bottom of page