Postdoctoral Affairs

The Office of University Postdoctoral Affairs (OUPA) recognizes the important impact effective mentoring relationships can have on the postdoctoral training experience. University faculty members can find information about being a mentor to a postdoc scholar below.

Expectations of Mentors

  • Enable 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
  • Mentors should provide their postdoc(s) with an annual written performance evaluation that includes a summary of the postdoc's activities and accomplishments over the past year and can serve as both the basis for future recommendations and as a guide to improved performance
  • Consider consulting the AAMC Compact Between Postdoctoral Appointees and their Mentors for setting expectations at the start of the postdoctoral appointment
  • The AAMC ATORT resource provides additional guidance on establishing a supportive training environment

Mentoring Resources

The Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning provides resources to help build successful mentoring relationships for postdocs. In addition, the Individual Development Plan should provide regular opportunities for mentoring conversations to occur.

Performance & Conduct

When a postdoc'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 postdoc is not renewed or is likely to be exhausted, the PI should notify the postdoc as early as possible but not less than one month before the funding is exhausted.