Key Features of Assessment Process

Overview

Key features of this assessment process include:

Postdoctoral Career Development Plan

A Postdoctoral Career Development Plan identifies a postdoc’s long-term and short-term objectives that the faculty mentor and postdoctoral trainee have identified as important steps in the postdoc’s scientific and professional development. This annual plan, mutually agreed upon by both the faculty mentor and postdoc, serves as the benchmark from which the postdoc’s progress is assessed.

  • This plan is required to be completed no later than 90 days after the initial postdoctoral appointment.
  • An updated plan is required as a condition of reappointment.
  • Upon the introduction of this process, postdocs with contracts in progress are to submit their initial Career Development Plans at the time of their reappointments.

View samples of completed postdoctoral career development plans below:

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Optional Research Independence Plan

For those postdocs who intend to pursue academic careers, it is important for faculty mentors to engage in conversations with these postdocs, early in their training, regarding strategies for establishing the postdoc’s research independence. The Career Development Plan includes this option for trainees to shape a Research Independence Plan, in conjunction with their faculty mentor, articulating the goals and objectives that can lead to their own independent research program.

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Postdoctoral Mentoring Team

Trainees supported by training grants, or those who have successfully competed for independent funding, receive optimal training experiences by interacting with multiple mentors. Building upon this model, postdocs will consult with their primary faculty mentors to identify two additional individuals in addition to their primary faculty mentor to serve as members of their mentoring teams. Establishing postdoctoral mentoring teams will provide expanded networks of support for all postdocs in the schools of the health sciences. Depending upon postdoctoral career goals, mentoring teams may include faculty or professionals outside of the university.

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Postdoctoral Self Assessment

A Postdoctoral Self Assessment exercise provides a structure for postdocs to compare their annual accomplishments to the expectations set forth in their Career Development Plans. Once a postdoc completes and submits the self assessment form to his or her mentoring team, it provides a guide or tool for the primary mentor to evaluate the postdoc’s overall progress towards his or her career goals in combination with the faculty mentor’s own assessment of the postdoc’s progress.

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Postdoctoral Progress Assessment

A postdoctoral training experience is unique from a student, staff, or faculty appointment, and as such, warrants a distinct assessment process. Whereas traditional student or employment evaluations solely critique one’s performance, a postdoctoral training experience is also assessed by the degree of progress one makes towards his or her career goals. Therefore, this innovative Postdoctoral Progress Assessment instrument assesses core postdoctoral research competencies and performance factors as well as critiques a trainee’s progress towards his or her customized career goals as articulated in his or her Career Development Plan.

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Postdoctoral Performance Improvement Plan

In the event that you determine that a postdoc is in need of significant improvement in a given competency or performance factor, a clearly defined Performance Improvement Plan and timeline are required. The Performance Improvement Plan template may be used or an additional document that sufficiently describes the plan. If a Performance Improvement Plan is in effect, the Postdoctoral Progress Assessment form allows a specific timeline for a follow-up review.

Darlene Zellers, PhD, Director of the Center for Postdoctoral Affairs in the Health Sciences, is available to consult with or to assist in developing a Performance Improvement Plan upon request, as well as being available to mediate any postdoctoral personnel matter as needed.

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Postdoctoral Outcome Summary

If a postdoc completes his or her training or is not being reappointed, the Center for Postdoctoral Affairs in the Health Sciences requests that an Outcome Summary form be provided along with the postdoc's final Postdoctoral Progress Assessment and Employee Record.

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