NSF Mentoring Requirements for Proposals that Support Postdocs
The National Science Foundation requires all proposals that include funding for postdoctoral researchers to include a postdoctoral mentoring plan. Proposals that do not include a plan for mentoring activities will be returned without review. Check the most recent version of the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide on the NSF website for more details.
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
- training in responsible professional practices
Investigators may seek to identify local resources and activities that provide mentoring opportunities (i.e. laboratory meetings and seminars, periodic individual meetings, participation in manuscript and grant proposal/preparation, etc.) .
Other Mentoring Resources
- The Graduate School's Responsible Conduct of Research Seminar Series is offered each fall. Topics covered include mentor/trainee responsibilities, research misconduct, authorship and responsible publishing, etc.
- The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) has created a Compact between Postdoctoral Appointees and Their Mentors, which is "intended to initiate discussions ...about the postdoctoral appointee-mentor relationship and the commitments necessary for a high quality postdoctoral training experience." The AAMC suggests various ways it can be used in order to create mutual expectations for training between postdocs and their mentors.
- An annual review and an Individual Development Plan for Postdoctoral Fellows developed by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) provides a planning process that identifies both professional development needs and career objectives.
- UW-Madison offers informal and formal activities for postdocs to improve their teaching and mentoring skills through the Delta Program in Research, Teaching and Learning and the Annual Teaching and Learning Symposium.