Career Development

Career Development is a major aspect of the Research Trainees Program.  For best results, trainees are encouraged to take an active role in developing their own careers.  Mentoring and peer mentoring are also an important part of career development.  

Mentoring and the IDP

Many formal 'tools' and other resources are available to guide the mentoring process and the mentoring relationship for scientists and clinicians.  An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is now required for all trainees in the Research Training Program in Sleep, Circadian and Respiratory Neurobiology.  Peer mentoring is also a valuable resource for career development, and is actively promoted at regular trainee meetings that non-Training grant trainees may attend.  For more information on the significance of mentoring please see The Merits of Training Mentors, from Science magazine, January 2006; and Nature's Guide for Mentors, from Nature, June 2007.

The Training Coordinator for the Research Training Program in Sleep, Circadian and Respiratory Neurobiology, facilitates Division-wide training and mentoring activities, and is available to all trainees in this program.

Trainees may wish to familiarize themselves with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) "Compact Between Postdoctoral Appointees and Their Mentors." The Compact was created with the intentions to initiate discussions at the local and national levels about the postdoctoral appointee-mentor relationship and the commitments necessary for a high quality postdoctoral training experience. The Compact was drafted by the AAMC Group on Graduate, Research, Education, and Training (GREAT) and its Postdoctorate Committee. It is modeled on the AAMC Compact Between Resident Physicians and Their Teachers. The document was subsequently endorsed by the AAMC Executive Committee on October 20, 2006.

Career Development Resources

There are many career development services available to both faculty and fellows at Harvard Medical School and its affiliated hospitals, and beyond. For information on HMS affiliate-specific resources please see Brigham and Women's Hospital resources, Massachusetts General Hospital Resources, Children's Hospital resourcesDana-Farber Cancer Institute resources, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center resources. The HMS Division of Sleep Medicine has also assembled a collection of useful Academic Research Resources on this website.

The National Postdoc Association has a great deal of career development advice for postdoctoral fellows as well as information on funding opportunities for senior postdocs (NIH K awards).

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) has developed an Individual Development Plan for Postdoctoral Fellows. MyIDP is an interactive website based FASEB Individual Development plan.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has published a guide to lab management: "Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty".

Brigham & Women’s Hospital resources

The Postdoc Advisory Committee of the BWH Office for Postdoctoral and Research Careers (OPRC) maintains a website on which you can find postdoctoral career advancement information, and other resources, including a list of career development programs, seminars, and workshops.

For a general research fellows’ guide, visit the OPRC Benefits and Policies web page.

For various funding opportunities including fellowships, check out the Grants and Funding page at BWH Research Intranet.

For more information on the services that the BWH Research Council offers, call Caroline Rotondi at 617-525-9323.

Massachusetts General Hospital resources

The Office for Research Career Development at MGH has developed an institution-wide postdoctoral policy to enhance the recruitment and job satisfaction of research fellows, career mentoring and counseling, and fostering pathways to independence.  On the website you can find access to several postdoc career resources.

Within MGH you will find the Mass General Postdoc Association (MGPA), which focuses on fellow research advancement, career development, social activities, quality of life and postdoc advocacy.

For a general research fellow guideline, please visit the Guidelines for Research Fellows.

For information on funding opportunities, visit Research Funding at MGH.

For more information on research fellow services, call the MGH Office for Research Career Development at 617-643-1606.

Children's Hospital resources

The Office of Fellowship Training (OFT) at Children's Hospital exists to assist both clinical and research fellows by holding career development seminars and social functions on a monthly basis and identifying relevant training and other opportunities in the Longwood Medical Area and in Boston.

The OFT also offers information on obtaining funding.

For a summary of fellowship benefits and policies, please visit Work and Benefits.

For more information on the services that the Office of Fellowship Training offers, call 617-919-2961.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute resources

The Office for Postdoctoral Training and Career Development (OPTCD) provides postdocs with various research and career resources.

Serving as a liaison between postdocs/fellows and the Institute, the Postdoc and Grad student Association (PGA) provides information on training, mentorship and organized activities.

The DFCI Office of Research provides general research assistance and clinical research support is offered by the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.

For more information on career development resources at DFCI, please contact Jenny Zilaro at 617-632-4223.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center resources

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs provides information available to Research Fellows at BIDMC.

Resources regarding assistance with professional development can be found at Graduate Research Job Information.

BIDMC also offers research funding information including external sponsored funding sources and a research funding opportunities database where fellows can search for funding.

To submit additional resources for this page, please use the Contact form.

Related links
Trainees' Portal Page
Individual Funding Applications Help
Training Resources
Academic Research Resources

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