Postdoc Guidelines: Step 4

Prepare for your annual Postdoctoral Progress Assessment review meeting with your primary faculty mentor.

Although we recommend that you review your progress with your primary faculty mentor and mentoring team members on an ongoing basis, you will be required to submit a formal Postdoctoral Self Assessment to these individuals 120 days prior to the end of your postdoctoral appointment contract in preparation for your annual Postdoctoral Progress Assessment review meeting. This is required so that your primary faculty mentor and mentoring team members can review your self assessment in advance of your primary faculty mentor completing your annual Postdoctoral Progress Assessment. 

If your primary faculty mentor plans to reappoint you, you must also provide your primary faculty mentor a draft of your updated Career Development Plan in addition to your Postdoctoral Self Assessment. Seek input from your mentoring team when you are updating your Career Development Plan. 

You must receive 90 days notice if your postdoctoral appointment is not being renewed therefore your primary faculty mentor is required to schedule your Postdoctoral Progress Assessment review meeting in advance of this deadline. Providing your primary faculty mentor and members of your mentoring team your Postdoctoral Self Assessment 120 days before the expiration of your postdoctoral appointment, along with your updated Career Development Plan if appropriate, allows them 30 days to confer regarding your annual Postdoctoral Progress Assessment. Whereas your primary faculty mentor will solicit input from your mentoring team members, he or she will ultimately be responsible for completing the Postdoctoral Progress Assessment and scheduling your Postdoctoral Progress Assessment review meeting.

Familiarize yourself with the Postdoctoral Progress Assessment form that your primary faculty mentor will be using to assess your annual progress. It corresponds very closely with your Postdoctoral Self Assessment with regard to core competencies: research accomplishments, presentation experience, publication record, and professional development. Your primary faculty mentor will also critique your progress towards the customized career criteria articulated within your Career Development Plan.

The core competencies alone do not encompass the breadth of skills necessary for a successful postdoctoral experience. The Postdoctoral Progress Assessment provides your primary faculty mentor the additional dimension of assessing your performance with regard to the following factors:

      1) Execution of Research
      2) Knowledge of Literature
      3) Professional Communication
      4) Interpersonal Skills
      5) Self-Improvement

If your primary faculty mentor plans to reappoint you, he or she will provide feedback regarding your updated Career Development Plan during your progress review meeting. The Postdoctoral Progress Assessment process requires that your primary faculty mentor approve your updated Career Development Plan as a condition of your reappointment.

Performance Improvement Plan  

In the event that your primary faculty mentor determines that you are in need of significant improvement in a given competency or performance factor, your primary faculty mentor is required to develop a clearly defined Performance Improvement Plan and timeline. He or she may use the Performance Improvement Plan template or draft a separate document. If a Performance Improvement Plan is in effect, your primary faculty mentor will specify a timeline for a follow up review as part of your Postdoctoral Progress Assessment. 

Outcome Summary 

If you are completing your training or not being reappointed, and have accepted other employment, provide your primary faculty mentor a completed Outcome Summary form during your final progress review meeting.

Darlene Zellers, PhD, Director of the Center for Postdoctoral Affairs in the Health Sciences, is available to provide referrals or to consult with you confidentially regarding your postdoctoral training experience.

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