A critical aspect of a postdoctoral scholar's success is finding a mentor who is supportive of the postdoctoral candidate's career goals and shares similar research interests.

Postdoctoral fellows benefit from a strong mentoring relationships. Quality supervision and mentoring extends beyond research skills and should include opportunities to teach, supervise and write. A supervisor’s mentorship should further a postdoctoral fellow’s career development and help with skills development to promote future success.

The Faculty of Medicine highly recommends developing a Mentoring plan with your postdoc to support the mentoring experience and maximize the opportunities for professional and career development. Information about mentoring plans developed by the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) can be used as a resource.

Postdocs can also reflect on what they need from their mentorship relationship with their supervisors. There are tips for how to build a strong working relationship with your supervisor.

Supervisors of postdocs need to be aware of, and respect, the Departmental, Faculty and University regulations, policies and procedures relevant to training, and ensure their implementation in a timely and efficient manner. In addition, supervisors of postdoctoral fellows must:

  • Be available to advise postdocs on research and career development. Training and mentorship should promote the development of research autonomy and  independence.
  • As appropriate, provide infrastructure, materials and equipment for data gathering and analysis.
  • Provide financial support throughout the tenure of the training period as mandated by Human Resources.
  • Ensure that the work environment is free from harassment, discrimination and conflict and  is safe (compliant with Health and Safety protocols).