As you begin your postdoctoral training, it is important to establish a strong working relationship with your postdoctoral mentor and advisor. Active and effective communication is an essential element for success in your postdoctoral experience.
We encourage you to work with your faculty advisor to lay out a plan of action to foster your success at Iowa. These goals should include not only a productive research project but also activities that will foster your professional and career development. A comprehensive Professional Development Plan should be designed, evaluated annually, and updated regularly as you progress with your training.
In 2006, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) released the "Compact Between Postdoctoral Appointees and Their Mentors." This document was written by the Postdoctorate Committee of the AAMC Group on Graduate Research, Education, and Training (GREAT) with input from a number of constituencies, including the postdoctoral community and the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA). The Compact is broadly applicable across disciplines and provides a framework for postdocs and mentors to consider their professional commitments to each other.
We encourage postdoctoral scholars and faculty mentors to undertake a sustained dialogue and to construct a Professional Development Plan that you and your advisor will review and revise annually. These efforts will facilitate your overall growth towards independence as a scholar.
Mentoring & Being Mentored, from Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs & New Faculty (Burroughs Wellcome Fund & HHMI)