Resources for Faculty Mentors

This page contains some suggestions and resources that may be helpful to faculty mentors. The Director of Postdoctoral Affairs, Jenny Hoit, is also available to provide additional information and individual consultations (

Before Your Postdoc Arrives

If your postdoc is international, point out the International Faculty and Scholars section of the Global Initiatives website.

Refer them to the Postdoctoral Affairs website to be sure the new postdoc is aware of university-wide resources and support, including information on campus life and housing.

Point them to the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) website to view all of its valuable resources, and the Postdoc Academy, a free comprehensive program built on the NPA core competencies to support skill development throughout postdoc training.

Introduce your postdoc to other postdocs in the department/unit. Also inform the new postdoc about the UA Postdoctoral Association, an organization which represents the UArizona postdoc community.

Keep in touch after hiring your postdoc and before their arrival to UArizona.

For helpful hints on mentoring postdocs see section on Mentoring below.

After Your Postdoc Arrives

Establish open and regular communication. It is often a good idea to set a regular meeting schedule to be sure the postdoc gets off to a good start and stays on track throughout the postdoc years. 

Be sure your postdoc understands university, departmental, and/or laboratory rules, policies, and benefits. Different laboratories are overseen by different agencies and have different compliance regulations (see RDI compliance policies), some may require responsible conduct in research (RCR) training (learn more about the RCR certificate), and some may have their own rules and policies in place. Because postdocs can be hired into different types of job positions, these positions may carry different university benefits (see our human resources page). 

Consider creating an Individual Development Plan (IDP). Although the UA does not require postdocs to create and submit an IDP as some other universities do, we recognize that this can be an effective strategy for establishing mutually agreed-upon goals and communicating expectations clearly in writing. You can find resources for creating an IDP here. The National Postdoctoral Association suggests that a postdoctoral experience help the postdoc gain six core competencies 

Discuss authorship criteria. Authorship can be a sticky issue, in part because different mentors have different criteria for what types of contributions deserve authorship. An effective way to avoid future disagreements and misunderstandings is to discuss authorship criteria before the research begins.

Discuss career goals and help your postdoc obtain the experience necessary to attain those goals. For those who have aspirations to pursue a career in teaching, you may be able to offer them some mentored teaching experiences; also, there are campus resources that may be useful (See Teaching Resources). For those postdocs who are more interested in a nonacademic career, you may be able to offer them advice and networking opportunities; there are also campus workshops and resources (including a career counselor for postdocs) that may prove helpful (Career Preparation and Events).

Provide professional development opportunities that are applicable to your discipline and your postdoc’s career goals. Examples include opportunities to write and submit grants, give oral presentations, teach, mentor students, develop an effective CV/resume, and refine interviewing and networking skills. You may be able to provide these opportunities; you may also direct the postdoc to the Postdoctoral Professional Development Certificate.

Resources for Grant Applications

If you are preparing a training grant that will fund postdocs, or if your postdoc is working on their own individual training grant, you will probably need information about campus resources and support. Here, we provide some documents that may be helpful.

Principal Investigator, Project Director, Co-Principal Investigator (PI, PD, Co-PI) Eligibility

Institutional Environment, this is a description of resources and support that could be used in the writing of an institutional environment section of a training grant.

Some training grants may ask for the list of professional development workshops offered by the institution. Although the schedule and titles of the workshops change from year to year, we have compiled a list of “typical” workshops offered each year. These workshops are either sponsored or co-sponsored by UArizona Postdoctoral Affairs or information about them is provided in our weekly email and on our calendar. Here is the list

National Institutes of Health (NIH) may require a Career Development Plan (CDP) for the F32, K awards, and other training grants. Here are some guidelines for creating a CDP.

Resources for Mentoring

National Science Foundation (NSF) may require a Mentoring Plan. Here is a sample template of a mentoring plan.

NPA Mentoring Plans for Postdoctoral Scholars

Training Scientists to Make the Right Moves