Postdoctoral Mentoring and Advising Toolkit

The information and forms contained in this toolkit were designed at MIT to assist the training of postdoctoral researchers, and will be helpful to mentors/advisors, Postdoctoral Fellows, and Postdoctoral Associates. Some of these resources are for one time use, others will be useful on an annual basis. (For an overview of MIT guidelines, see Mentoring and Advising.)

For Incoming Postdocs and their Faculty Advisors

  • Statement on the Postdoctoral training period  [PDF] – describing the training status of MIT postdoctoral researchers.
  • MIT Mentoring Plan Outline (for faculty advisors/mentors) – topics that could be incorporated into a faculty advisor's mentoring plan proposal.   [DOCX]  [PDF] 
  • Initial Meeting Form for MIT Postdoctoral Researchers and Advisors – suggested discussion topics for an orientation meeting between a faculty advisor and new postdoc.  [DOCX]  [PDF]

Ongoing/Annual Documents for Postdocs and Faculty Advisors

  • Annual Development Review for MIT Postdoctoral Researchers – a suggested template for the postdoctoral researcher (Part I) and advisor (Part II) to complete during the annual review process. (See also MIT IDP Guidelines, below.)
  • Individual Development Plan and Career Planning Strategy (for postdocs) - vehicles to help postdocs to identify goals and develop plans:
  • MIT Postdoctoral Training Checklist (for postdocs) – a list of possible skills to build; the postdoc can refer to it periodically to monitor progress.   [DOCX]   [PDF]

NOTE: The National Science Foundation requires a one-page supplementary document for each proposal that requests funding to support postdoctoral researchers. It must describe “the mentoring that will be provided to all postdoctoral researchers supported by the project… 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.” [Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (NSF 16-1 January 25, 2016) - Chapter II Section C2(j) This first appeared in NSF 09-29 April 2009.]


These resources were developed using information provided by the National Science Foundation; MIT School of Science; MIT Postdoctoral Advisory Council; the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology; and other. Thanks go especially to Professor Hazel Sive and the School of Science Dean’s Office.