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Postdoctoral Mentorship Program

Developmental and Cellular Biology Postdoctoral Mentorship Program

Summary: The main objective of this program is to facilitate the career success of our postdoctoral trainees. Having a strong mentorship relationship is an important component of the development of postdoctoral trainees because it fosters their intellectual and technical growth, helps build networks, and supports their wellbeing. Studies have shown that successful individuals often have a “mentoring team”, with multiple complementary mentorship relationships that support different aspects of their career (Clifford, 2014). Thus, this program is designed to facilitate mentorship interactions between postdoctoral researchers and faculty members (in addition to their supervisor/mentor) in the department.

This program will:

1. Pair faculty and postdoctoral fellows 1:1 for advice on research projects, letters of support for grant proposals and job searches, as well as comments on job talks.
2. Offer postdoctoral fellows the opportunity to present their job talk and/or chalk talk to a group of faculty to get feedback.
3. Offer opportunities for postdoctoral fellows to meet with invited speakers.
4. Offer postdoctoral fellows the opportunity to present their work in the monthly Postdoctoral Colloquia research series and the Departmental Seminar series.
Expectations of Postdoctoral Protégées:
1. To establish and pursue an individual development plan for postdoctoral training (AAAS has an IDP facilitator at http://myidp.sciencecareers.org).
2. Arrange meetings with assigned mentor at least 3X/year (spring, summer, winter).
3. Participate in the Postdoctoral Colloquia series and present each year.
4. Coordinate with mentor(s) to make sure they can attend the postdoctoral fellow’s presentation in the Postdoctoral colloquia and/or Departmental seminar series.
5. Communicate with program director to arrange a job talk practice seminar to faculty.
6. Keep mentor informed of career accomplishments such as papers, talks, and awards.

Expectations of Mentor:
1. Meet with mentee at least 3x/year – to be initiated by mentee.
2. Aid in preparation of the mentee’s individual development plan and evaluate its progress.
3. Provide critical input into grants and manuscript preparation if requested.
4. Advocate on behalf of the mentee, for example by providing letters of reference, providing ideas and opportunities to showcase the mentees success, and alerting them to job opportunities.
5. Attend presentations by mentee in Postdoctoral Colloquia and/or departmental seminar series, as well as practice job talks (Mentee is expected to coordinate with mentor before signing up for talk).
6. Respect confidentiality of mentee.
7. Provide yearly written feedback to the mentee.

Program Implementation:
1. Postdoctoral researchers must be members of the department for at least 6-months prior to joining the Mentorship Program. Interested postdocs can sign-up for the program by contacting the Program Coordinator (Dr. Kavita Arora) at (karora@uci.edu).
2. The Postdoctoral Program Coordinator will:
a. Facilitate coordination of mentor/mentee matches
b. Organize a Program Meeting once a year to receive program assessment from mentors and mentees
3. Faculty mentors will receive service credit for participation in the program.


Based on the “Immunology Program career development pathway” at UCSF (http://immunology.ucsf.edu/program-career-development-postdoctoral-fellows)

1. Clifford, P. S., Fuhrmann, C. N., Lindstaedt, B. & Hobin, J. A. Getting the Mentoring You Need. Science (2014). doi:10.1126/science.caredit.a1400027