Topics covered on this page:
- Best Practices for Mentoring Postdocs
- Mentoring Resources
- The Individual Development Plan (IDP)
- Sample Assessment and IDP Templates
- Mentoring Plans for Grant Applications
Best Practices for Mentoring Postdocs
- Compact Between Postdoctoral Appointees and Their Mentors - drafted by the AAMC Group on Graduate Research, Education, and Training (GREAT) and its Postdoctorate Committee, this document covers key areas of concern.
- Computer Science Postdocs - Best Practices - Memo from the Computing Research Association
- Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty - developed by HHMI, this resource includes chapters on:
- Getting the Most Out of Your Mentoring Relationships: A Handbook for Women in STEM - from the Association for Women in Science
National Postdoctoral Association Resources
- Mentoring Plans for Postdoctoral Scholars - includes recommendations on how to draft a mentoring plan, effective mentoring activities, and other resources on effective mentoring.
- Core Competencies Toolkit - the competencies described can be used as a basis for self-evaluation by postdoctoral scholars and a basis for developing training opportunities that can be evaluated by mentors, institutions, and other advisers.
- Mentoring International Postdocs - video vignettes and an accompanying discussion guide prepared by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and presented by the Office of Research Integrity of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Individual Development Plan (IDP)
We encourage faculty mentors at Georgia Tech to have their graduate and postdoctoral trainees complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP) and review it with the trainee regularly.
The Individual Development Plan (IDP) for postdocs was conceptualized by FASEB: "The IDP outlines a planning process to help postdocs identify their short- and long-term career and professional development goals and serves as a tool to facilitate communication about these goals between postdocs and their mentors."
IDPs generally follow four-step process, which is driven by the postdoc or graduate student:
- Self assessment of skills, career interests, and areas which need development
- Discuss goals and opportunities available for career development with mentor
- Write down short and long-term S.M.A.R.T. goals
- Implement the plan and review it regularly with mentor
Further information about the IDP process:
- Individual Development Plan for Postdoctoral Fellows (IDP) - from FASEB
- Postdoctoral Career Development & Assessment Process - developed by the University of Pittsburgh
- "You Need a Game Plan" - first in a series of articles from ScienceCareers about myIDP, a free, online tool that guides scientists and engineers through the process of developing an IDP.
Sample Assessment and IDP Templates
- Progress Assessment Tool for Postdoctoral Scholars - Georgia Tech's Office of Postdoctoral Services drafted this tool to help with annual performance reviews. Feedback on this draft can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Written Goals and Expectations Form - A tool for use in the first meeting between a mentor/PI and a mentee, which was developed by Georgia Regents University.
- Sample Annual Review - progress assessment form from FASEB that can be used for any discipline.
myIDP - A free, web-based tool that guides scientists and engineers through the process of developing an IDP.
- Note: myIDP requires a private login. Once complete, trainees can print out the skills assessment and/or goal-setting forms.
- IDP Handout - pdf version of myIDP
- Postdoctoral Career Development & Assessment Process - the University of Pittsburgh has created an exemplary process that is useful for any discipline. It features:
Mentoring Plans for Grant Applications
- FASEB Statement on Including Postdoctoral Mentoring Plans in Research Grant Applications (.pdf) and Sample Mentoring Plans (.pdf)
- National Institutes of Health
- National Science Foundation
- Developing a Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan - from the National Postdoctoral Association
- Georgia Tech Resources