Postdoc Guidelines: Step 1

Develop a mutually agreed upon Postdoctoral Career Development Plan with your primary faculty mentor.

Postdoctoral Career Development Plan (CDP) is a professional tool which outlines long-term and short-term objectives that you and your primary faculty mentor have identified as important steps in your professional development. Use this document, preferably before accepting your postdoctoral appointment, to guide discussions with your primary faculty mentor regarding your goals as well as his or her expectations. A comprehensive review of your career goals and objectives with your primary faculty mentor early in your postdoctoral training, even if you are undecided, will increase the likelihood of your being successful and satisfied with your postdoctoral experience.

The Career Development Plan highlights core competencies of a successful postdoctoral experience. The first five core criteria are universal for all postdoctoral positions and are required modules.


1. Scholarly Activities    
2. Publication Plans and Activities         
3. Presentation Opportunities     
4. General Transferrable Professional Development                  

5. Career Specific Professional Development

However, each postdoctoral appointment is unique. If applicable, four additional fields with drop-down features are available for you to further design your postdoctoral experience to meet your personal career goal. 


6. Instructional Training and Experiences
7. Clinical or Applied Experiences
8. Scholarly Independence Plan

9. Customized Career Competency 

This plan also serves as a benchmark for you to conduct an annual self-assessment and will contribute to your postdoctoral mentor/supervisor’s assessment of your progress.

After you accept a postdoctoral appointment, work with your primary faculty mentor to formalize an initial Career Development Plan. Print this document, acquire your primary faculty mentor's signature, and email a scanned file to the Center for Postdoctoral Affairs at within the first 90 days of your appointment. Career Development Plans are required annually. It will be your responsibility to prepare an updated Career Development Plan for your primary faculty mentor to review and approve during your annual Postdoctoral Progress Assessment review meeting. Your primary faculty mentor must provide an updated Career Development Plan for you, along with the other required paperwork, as a condition of your reappointment.

Download the Postdoctoral CDP >


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