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Resources for Faculty at UMMS

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Are professional development activities allowed for trainees funded by federal research grants?

  • Yes. OMB 2 CFR 200 indicates “Uniform Guidance 200.400(f) requires the recognition of the dual role of all pre and post-doctoral staff, who are appointed to research positions with the intent that the research experience will further their training and support the development of skills critical to pursue careers as independent investigators or other related careers. Neither Pre-Docs or Post-Docs need to be specifically appointed in ‘training’ positions to require recognition of this dual role.”

Resources for addressing professional development in grants

  • Faculty Quick Guide to IDPs – Describes Individual Development Plans (IDPs) and UMMS institutional expectations for IDPs, and provides template language for IDP in Section B.4. of the NIH annual progress reports (RPPR)
  • For predoctoral fellowship applications:  Mary Ellen Lane, Associate Dean for Curriculum and Academic Affairs, provides overall guidance for predoctoral fellowship preparation, including template language describing curriculum, institutional resources, and GSBS professional development resources. In addition, cBCD staff are happy to meet by appointment to provide individual feedback on the professional development components of a student's fellowship application. 
  • For postdoctoral fellowship applications:  Anthony Imbalzano, Associate Dean of the Office for Postdoctoral Scholars, provides template language describing postdoctoral training and services, institutional resources, and GSBS professional development resources. In addition, cBCD staff are happy to meet by appointment to provide individual feedback on the professional development components of a postdoc's fellowship application. 
  • For training grant proposalsContact us to discuss ways our curricula, resources, and services can be included as an asset within your proposal.

What can I do to promote my mentee’s professional development?

As requested by our faculty, below are some suggestions collated from multiple sources, including mentors and mentees who have worked with IDP’s at UMMS and other institutions.

  • Provide constructive feedback to each trainee to help her/him assess both their strengths and areas for growth, in their research-related skills as well as in professional skills such as writing, presentation, interacting with colleagues, giving and receiving feedback. Be specific (examples are very informative). You can download a skills assessment form from myIDP to assist with this.
  • Help your trainee assess whether the short-term goals they set in their IDP are attainable and realistic. Goal-setting is a skill and it can take years of practice to set appropriate goals.
  • Communicate your openness and flexibility about career-related discussions. Some trainees may feel comfortable discussing these personal goals with their research advisor; others may prefer to consider options on their own. Regardless, encourage them to seek out resources to assist them with this process.
  • Encourage your trainee to be open to multiple career options. Trainees’ career interests and life circumstances can change. All careers are highly competitive—within academia and beyond. Early-career scientists should be ensuring that their professional record and career-related knowledge allow them to be competitive for more than one career path.
  • Encourage your trainee to seek additional mentorship on their career-related goals. Additional conversations with scientists in their careers of interest will help your trainee learn about the career, set realistic and appropriate goals, and build his/her professional network.
  • Encourage your trainee to attend conferences, workshops, and other professional development opportunities within their career paths of choice. The GSBS expects research advisors to fund student and postdoctoral attendance to conferences in the field of their current research group. Starting in 2015, students and postdocs can apply for Professional Development Scholarships to fund travel and fees for uniquely valuable opportunities outside of their current field. cBCD also hosts professional development opportunities on-campus.
  • Introduce your trainee to others in your professional network. Having a LinkedIn profile may help you keep in touch with scientists within and outside of academia.
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