Settling In

You've done a lot of the practical things you needed to do to get established, but don't just bury your head in your research. Keep exploring and taking advantage of your resources, and always bear your future goals in mind as you go along. The postdoc is a bridge, not a destination.

Months 2 – 6

  • Attend Postdoc Orientation (if you haven't already). Here you'll get an overview of resources, meet other new postdocs, and jumpstart your career planning process with a mini-workshop.
  • Get acquainted with your career services. Whether you anticipate a career in academia or industry, or you're not sure yet what you want to do, it's in your best interest to take advantage of career planning resources throughout your postdoc years at UCSF.
  • Put yourself "out there" with UCSF Profiles: As a postdoc, a UCSF profile page is automatically created for you. Enhance your profile to show off your talents, exprience, and publications; then use the tool to find collaborators and other useful contacts. 
  • Update or create your LinkedIn profile to reflect your current position.
  • Join UCSF Connect, a network for the whole UCSF community, including alumni. 
  • Find out how to get the most from your mentor. You have an important role to play in being mentored successfully. 
  • Start Building your Community. Get involved and get out of the lab. 

Six Months to One Year

  • Meet with your PI to discuss the past year and plan next steps. Use your IDP in this meeting to track progress.
  • Responsible Conduct of Research training is required by the NIH and some other funders. UCSF offers an RCR course for postdocs early in each calendar year. Now is a good time to consider when you should plan to take it.
  • Are you still sequestering yourself in the lab? Consider joining (or starting) a Postdoc Interest Group (PDIG), or getting involved in other postdoc and campus groups.
  • One mentor is not enough. Our Office of Career and Professional Development believes postdocs need five(!) types of mentors. They even offer a workshop about it.
  • If your PI is going to reappoint you, the appointment must be for two years, although there are some circumstances under which this may not be true. You should receive a reappointment letter no later than 30 days prior to the end date of your current appointment. (See details in article 2 of the bargaining agreement.)

Have you been here a year already? Happy anniversary! If you're like most postdocs, you're now entering the core period of your training. >>

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