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Postdoc Mentor Guidelines

Mentor’s Role

MSRI takes the mentoring of Postdocs very seriously. Mentors and Postdocs are paired at the beginning of each semester, and mentors are urged to meet regularly with their partners. We distribute the following suggestions for topics of discussion to both parties, and monitor the progress of the relationship to help ensure that each postdoc receives the level of mentoring he or she desires and needs.

Establishing a research plan:

  • Designated weekly meeting
  • A discussion at the beginning of the semester about the project(s) the PD is pursuing and ideas about how to choose projects
  • Introductions to senior researchers in the PD’s area
  • Advice on how to write a paper well (point to literature on this subject); give feedback on paper drafts
  • Advice about publication (e.g. how quickly to publish a thesis, choosing and dealing with journals, etc.)
  • NSF grant proposal writing; feedback on proposal drafts, from beginning to submission

Planning for professional development:

  • Advice on writing a CV and a research and teaching statements
  • Advice on preparing for interviews
  • Advice on how to give a good talk
  • Critique talks given by the PD; also advise on giving talks at national meetings
  • Discussion on how to address the various aspects of an academic career (proportion of research/teaching/service at various stage of one’s career; etc.)