Mentoring provides the core of a postdoctoral experience, and communication between the fellow and mentor is essential for a successful fellowship. The overall purpose of this Mentoring Plan is to enhance the mentoring and training of postdoctoral fellows at NIDA IRP. The elements of the plan described below emerged from the deliberations of the NIH Mentoring Committee. The Individual Development Plan and the Annual Progress Review are intended to provide guidance for improved communication between fellows and mentors. The annual IRP Mentoring Awards recognize outstanding mentors.
Individual Development Plan
During orientation, postdoctoral fellows, together with their mentors, will generate a plan that describes the projects they will work on and the goals and expectations for the first year of the fellowship. The fellow will meet with the Director, Office of Education and Career Development (OECD) after the form is completed; a copy of the form will be kept on file in the OECD office and will be forwarded to the fellow’s servicing Administrative Officer. This plan should be revisited at each annual review to monitor progress towards stated goals.
Annual Progress Review
At the time of a fellow’s annual renewal, postdoctoral fellows and mentors will meet to review progress during the past year. Before the meeting, the fellow and mentor should complete their respective annual progress form as a basis for the discussion. The summary progress form is then completed together and is part of the fellow’s renewal package.
All postdoctoral fellows must complete an exit interview when they are leaving the NIH or moving to a different lab. The exit interview will be conducted by the Director, OECD or another designated official.
Office of Intramural Research policy requires that the Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) incorporate some evaluation of mentoring into BSC reviews. In addition to the mentoring section of the BSC report submitted by the PI, the above forms will be used to document the PI’s mentoring efforts.
IRP Mentoring Awards
Each year, nominations will be solicited for four mentoring awards: PI, PI for Diversity, postdoc fellow, and Staff Scientist. A selection committee comprised of postdocs, grad students, and postbacs will determine award winners.