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OPA NSF Proposal Development Aid: Mentoring Postdoctoral Scholars

last updated 10/31/13

NSF Proposal Development Aid: Mentoring Postdoctoral Scholars

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has recently announced the requirement for inclusion of a postdoctoral scholar training plan effective for proposals submitted on or after 1/5/09. Beginning April 6, 2009, each proposal that requests funding to support postdoctoral researchers must include, as a supplementary document, a description of the mentoring activities that will be provided for such individuals. In no more than one page, the mentoring plan must describe the mentoring that will be provided to all postdoctoral researchers supported by the project, irrespective of whether they reside at the submitting organization, any subawardee organization, or at any organization participating in a simultaneously submitted collaborative project.

The new section will be assessed in the merit review as part of the broader impacts criteria, and proposals that include a postdoctoral scholar but do not address postdoctoral scholar mentoring as a supplementary document will be returned without review. NSF will also require that annual reports and the final report for research grants that include funding to support postdoctoral scholars include a description of the mentoring activities provided to such researchers. Further information as well as a proposal development aid is available from the OPA website at: http://www.tgs.northwestern.edu/postdocaffairs/faculty/mentoring/


Institutional Statement and Resources on Postdoctoral Training and Mentoring

Northwestern University values the contribution of its postdoctoral scholars to the research enterprise and recognizes the importance of creating a supportive postdoctoral training environment. Toward that goal, numerous opportunities for mentorship and professional development are offered, through the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) or through other campus offices that provide broad training in the skills necessary to ensure the future career success of postdoctoral scholars.

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) serves as a dedicated resource regarding postdoctoral training for the more than 650 postdoctoral scholars training at Northwestern, as well as the faculty members providing training and supporting administrative staff. The OPA strengthens the postdoctoral experience by clarifying and/or establishing University policies, processes and guidelines that are associated with the recruiting, appointing, training, mentoring and professional advancement of postdoctoral scholars training at Northwestern.


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