University of Kentucky Research

Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plans

Beginning in January 2009, NSF grants requesting postdoctoral support must include a description of the mentoring activities that will be provided for such individuals. From the NSF guide: “Examples of mentoring activities include, but are not limited to: career counseling; training in preparation of grant proposals, publications and presentations; guidance on ways to improve teaching and mentoring skills; guidance on how to effectively collaborate with researchers from diverse backgrounds and disciplinary areas; and training in responsible professional practices.” (see NSF Grant Proposal Guide pdf, version effective 2/24/14)

Multiple programs exist on the UK campus that provide opportunities for postdoctoral career development and are listed below. Each faculty member who must include a mentoring plan in their grant proposal may choose to include information on one or more of these programs, as appropriate to their specific discipline. However, inclusion of additional, discipline-specific activities would likely strengthen this part of the application.

(1) College of Medicine has had a formal Postdoctoral Resource Office for many years. The Advisory Committee organizes a Career Development Seminar Series, given during the fall and spring semesters, that cover professional skills such as resume writing, poster preparation and presentation, interviewing skills, grant writing and journal article writing. They also present topics such as different career opportunities, ethics and scientific misconduct and managing people as a PI. This series of seminars is available to interested postdoctoral researcher.

The COM Postdoctoral Resource Office also organizes a Postdoctoral Research Seminar Series and Poster Competition in which presenters are critiqued on their presentations; this series is specifically for the COM postdocs. The COM Postdoctoral committee is willing to assist other colleges in developing their own post-doctoral development programs.

(2) The Graduate School provides various development opportunities for graduate students that are also open to interested postdoctoral trainees.

They run the Preparing Future Faculty Program and students can earn a Graduate Certificate in College Teaching and Learning.

The complete list and description of Graduate School courses can be found here.

The Graduate School also offers professional development workshops.