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 Career Development Resources for Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. 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.

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".