Goals for postdoctoral training
The goals for postdoctoral training parallel those of predoctoral training. However, since the next step for postdoctoral trainees is to enter a career that will involve independent research and, very likely, broader academic pursuits, we have the additional goal of providing fellows with more extensive professional skills that will enable them to compete successfully as they enter the job market following their postdoctoral training
In order to assure the best possible training opportunity for postdoctoral trainees, trainees and all other postdocs in C-CEBH laboratories work with their mentors to develop a formal “training plan” at the start of their postdoctoral training. This plan includes: a description of the trainees research goals; plans for obtaining individual funding (e.g., individual NRSA, R03); a listing of courses that the trainee might participate in; expectations for participation in Training Program activities such as seminars, annual retreat, etc.; and other activities that are designed to provide a rounded and useful postdoctoral experience. These Training Plans will be reviewed by the Training Program Steering Committee to ensure that the trainee meets the goals of the TRAINING PROGRAM, and is provided with opportunities beyond research training that will enable the trainee to grow into an independent investigator. A requirement for the program is that a postdoctoral trainee must apply for his/her own NRSA award during the first year in the TRAINING PROGRAM in order to be considered for a 2nd year of support.
Specific research projects for postdoctoral trainees depend upon the mentor’s and trainee’s interests.
Trainees are encouraged to take full advantage of the whole program by interacting with all Training Program Core Faculty and other members of their laboratories, both informally and formally. This may be through participation in (auditing) of our course in Fundamentals of Hearing and our expectation that the postdoctorals will attend NACS and other seminars. Moreover, postdoctoral trainees will be expected to participate in Training Program activities, including the C-CEBH annual retreat. One goal is to ensure that postdoctoral trainees learn about the animal models and techniques available among the group of labs making up the research Training Program.
Postdoctoral trainees may participate in one or more courses to enhance their background in comparative and evolutionary issues. If they joined the program without any formal training in evolutionary biology, they audit a course in evolutionary biology. They are required to audit the course in Responsible Conduct of Research (scientific integrity) if they had not had a similar course during their predoctoral training, and to attend our new seminar in translational research.
Since one of our goals for postdocs is to help them achieve independence as investigators, we will expect all of our postdoctoral trainees to participate in our course in Professional Development. In addition to the material covered in this course, which is also directed at predoctoral students, we will have extra sessions for issues of particular interest to postdoctoral trainees, such as lab management, mentoring, time management, interviewing skills, etc., and/or we will invite the postdoctoral trainees to sit in on seminars and presentations on many of these topics that are given for new faculty in the College of Chemical and Life Sciences.