For Current & Incoming Postdocs: Mentoring

Communication between postdocs and their mentors is an integral part of the postdoctoral training experience at Memorial Sloan Kettering. A successful relationship between you and your mentor should include regular conversations about both the progress of your research projects and your career development. We are committed to fostering the highest quality mentoring for all of our postdoctoral trainees. 

To start off on the right foot, we recommend that at the outset of your training you and your mentor have a candid conversation about shared expectations. We also recommend that you read the Compact Between Postdoctoral Appointees and Their Mentors, developed by the Association of American Medical Colleges. This document provides useful guidance for building a strong postdoctoral/mentor relationship.

At Memorial Sloan Kettering, we believe the relationship between a postdoc and his or her mentor is so important that we require an annual meeting between you and your mentor prior to the renewal of your appointment. We believe that this policy contributes significantly to maintaining a productive and supportive environment for our trainees.

The objectives of the annual meeting are to review the progress of your research project, to discuss your career goals, and to evaluate your progress toward developing the skills and accomplishments necessary to achieve those goals. 

There is no required format for the meeting, but you may decide to create a development plan that identifies your professional development needs and career objectives. You may choose to develop a written plan or simply use an outline as a guide for the conversation with your mentor.

Each year, a list of suggested topics and the required form will be sent to both you and your mentor well in advance of the anniversary of your appointment. It is your mentor’s responsibility to schedule time to meet with you.

We require that when submitting a reappointment or termination form to the Office of Academic Administration, a form signed by both the mentor and trainee indicating that the meeting has occurred is included.

Postdoctoral Research Advisors

At the request of our Research Fellow Advisory Council, a group of individuals has been appointed to serve as general advisors for all postdoctoral researchers. These experienced members of the research community are available to provide you with guidance on academic and career development issues, as well as matters relating to policies and procedures of the Sloan Kettering Institute and Memorial Hospital research laboratories.

  • Andrew Koff, a-koff@ski.mskcc.org, PhD, a Member in the Molecular Biology Program, and Danwei Huangu, huangfud@mskcc.org, PhD, an Assistant Member in the Developmental Biology Program, are available to meet with fellows to provide unbiased, informal, and supportive guidance.
  • Linda Stevenson, stevensl@mskcc.org, Director of Sloan Kettering Institute Administration, and Denise Cruz, cruzd@mskcc.org, Administrator of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, are happy to field questions and provide information on policies and procedures, and to meet with fellows to address concerns.

Please do not hesitate to contact these individuals by e-mail. All communications are strictly confidential.