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Mentoring and Career Development Resources

Mentoring and Career Development Resources cover

ACTRI KL2 awardee Jona Hattangadi-Gluth, MD, (left) mentors ACTRI TL1 trainee Kathryn Tringale on Tringale’s project, “Quantitative Neuroimaging and Neurocognitive Assessment to Measure Radiation Effects on Memory and Executive Functioning in Brain Tumor Patients.” Hattangadi-Gluth is a radiation oncologist specializing in the treatment of brain tumors at UC San Diego. Tringale is a medical student at UC San Diego.

Effective mentoring is a critical component of translational research. Below are mentorship and career development resources at UC San Diego and other organizations.

Completing an Individual Development Plan (IDP) is an important early step in career development, and can help initiate successful mentorship. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced that any NIH-funded graduate student and postdoctoral scholar should have an IDP. New UC San Diego guidelines encourage all graduate students and postdocs, regardless of funding mechanism, to complete IDPs. Junior faculty and research staff may also create an individual development plan to facilitate career development.

UC San Diego Standard IDP Form

In addition, creating a formalized Mentor Compact clarifies roles and expectations from the start of a mentorship. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) created a mentor compact template for postdoctoral researchers to use with their mentors. With AAMC's permission, we have broadened the scope to create a form that can be used by others as well. Access the modified mentor compact. Document may be further modified to suit your mentorship needs.

Mentor Resources at UC San Diego

For Faculty:

For general information about UC San Diego's faculty mentoring program, including roles and responsibilities of mentors and mentees, please visit Academic Affairs.

UC San Diego Health Sciences National Center of Leadership in Academic Medicine (NCLAM) is a unique UC San Diego faculty development program created to support junior Health Sciences faculty through the initial years of adjustment after they choose academic careers. Provided by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences, NCLAM brings together a group of junior faculty for a seven-month program that includes faculty development workshops, a junior/senior mentoring relationship based on a professional development contract, academic strategic career planning, and individual academic performance counseling sessions. The program emphasizes an understanding of the UC San Diego Health Sciences educational mission, as well as the research and clinical practice environment.

The UC San Diego Clinical Research Enhancement through Supplemental Training (CREST) and Master of Advanced Studies in Clinical Research (MAS) programs offer broad-based curricula encompassing major areas of clinical research. There are now several opportunities for faculty involvement as trainees, mentors, lecturers, project or dataset advisors, or directors of learning modules. For more information, please contact Maureen Eijsermans.

For Postdoctoral Researchers:

UC San Diego Office of Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholar Affairs provides an overview of the Individual Development Plan and other mentoring resources.

For Research Staff:

Career Connection is a free, comprehensive career development program for UC San Diego staff. It provides information and tools to assist you in achieving greater job satisfaction, current job enhancement, and lateral or upward career mobility. All UC San Diego staff employees, retirees and individuals on lay-off status are eligible to join Career Connection.

The UC San Diego Health Science Research Compliance Program offers Research Coordinator and Administrator Training (RCAT) for all UC San Diego research staff. The program consists of monthly training sessions in which research staff will have an opportunity to network with their peers, learn about current research issues, and how to effectively conduct research at UC San Diego. The program is designed to provide research staff with the necessary foundation to conduct research at UC San Diego from the receipt of protocol through study closure. Please contact the UC San Diego Health Science Research Compliance Program for more information.

For Students:

The NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education has published a guide to selecting a research mentor.  

The Faculty Mentor Program is a two-quarter program that helps UC San Diego undergraduates find research positions with faculty mentors. Students receive two quarters of independent study credit, attend training sessions on topics such as how to present at an academic conference and how to write a research paper, and present at the annual FMP Research Symposium. All majors and disciplines are welcome. For information, please contact program coordinator Jessica Davis at

For NIH Training Grant Directors and Applicants:

The UC San Diego ACTRI Education, Training, and Career Development Program provides consultations regarding incorporating mentoring into your training grants and proposals. Please contact the UC San Diego ACTRI Education, Training, and Career Development Program for more information.

Additional External Mentoring Resources

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has several mentoring resources. The first, Entering Mentoring: A Seminar to Train a New Generation of Scientists, is geared toward mentors who wish to improve their skills. In addition, Resources for Each Phase of the Mentoring Relationship, has links  to information for both mentors and mentees.

UCSF's Clinical and Translational Science Institute has a Mentor Development Program seminar. Course materials for various aspects of mentorship are available free to the public.