Postdoctoral Affairs

The Office of University Postdoctoral Affairs (OUPA) recognizes the powerful impact that effective mentoring relationships have on the postdoctoral training experience. Brown University faculty members can find information about mentoring a postdoctoral scholar on this page.

Expectations for Mentors

  • Empower postdocs to work independently in directions that will enhance their career prospects.
  • Counsel postdocs on career options and assist them where appropriate in finding employment after Brown
  • Provide postdoc(s) with an annual written performance evaluation that includes a summary of the postdoc's activities and accomplishments over the past year; this evaluation can serve as a guide to improve performance and as the basis for future recommendations.
  • Consider consulting the AAMC Compact Between Postdoctoral Appointees and their Mentors for setting expectations at the start of the postdoctoral appointment.
  • Review the AAMC ATORT resource for additional guidance on establishing a supportive training environment.

Mentoring Resources

The Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning offers resources to help postdocs build successful mentoring relationships. The Individual Development Plan also provides regular opportunities for mentoring conversations.

Performance & Conduct

When a postdoctoral appointee's performance or conduct does not meet expectations, it is the PI's responsibility to ensure that Brown's employment policies are followed and that the postdoc is made aware of the problem and generally is given a chance to rectify their conduct or performance.

With the exception of cases where the postdoc's conduct endangers the safety or research of those around them or otherwise merits immediate dismissal, the PI should write a formal letter to the postdoc outlining the ways in which they are not meeting expectations, listing explicit steps required to resolve the problem, and setting a deadline by which performance should show significant improvement. This letter should be cc'd to the appropriate dean's office and delivered to the postdoc in hard copy.

If the performance issue is not resolved by the deadline provided, the PI should contact the appropriate dean's office to discuss whether early termination of the postdoc's employment is appropriate.


If funding for a postdoctoral appointee is unlikely to be renewed or is likely to be exhausted soon, the PI must inform the postdoc as early as possible, but no less than one month before the funding runs out.