Recommendations for Writing a Mentorship Plan

Most federal agencies now require a mentorship plan in proposals that include support for a postdoc. Agency requirements vary, and so do training expectations among specific disciplines, so each PI will need to craft a plan that addresses these specific requirements and expectations. However, the programs and policies of OSU's Office of Postdoctoral Programs are likely to go a long way to meeting these needs. We recommend that PIs include the following in their mentorship plans:

  1. Provide a link to the website of the Office of Postdoctoral Programs (OPP) and/or copy key information from this site; explain that training in a wide variety of professional development topics is offered to postdocs by the OPP, the Graduate School, the OSU Library, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Office of Career Services.
  2. Provide a link to the website of the OSU Postdoctoral Association (OPA) and/or copy key information from this site; explain that the OPA provides support FOR postdocs BY postdocs through social networking, peer counseling, and organizing events to assist with career development.
  3. Provide a link to OSU's web support for developing an Individualized Development Plan (IDP) and/or copy key information from this site; point out that this plan supports development of the Core Competencies for Postdocs that have been established by the National Postdoctoral Association.  Note that the core competencies include all or nearly all of the training expectations defined by funding agencies.  You might also point out that the IDP for each postdoc is created after a self-assessment by the postdoc of his/her current competencies and career aspirations. 

We have prepared two examples of a NSF-specific post-doc mentoring plans.

We have also prepared a template mentoring plan specifically tailored to the OSU Postdoctoral Scholar category.

Feel free to contact  Dorthe Wildenschild, Director of the OPP, if you have questions or would like assistance in developing a mentorship plan for a proposal.

Tips on Budgeting for a Postdoctoral Scholar

Stipends: Postdoctoral scholars are paid stipends rather than salaries. See our Stipends and Benefits page for current information about recommendations and policies concerning stipends. 

Scholar overhead (OPE): The Current OPE Rates Table provided by the Research Office includes overhead rates for Postdoctoral Scholars. Please note, the table is currently out of date. In 2016 the cost for Health Insurance for a Postdoctoral Scholar is $331.52 per month, plus $6/month for half of an administrative fee (the postdoc pays the other half of this fee). In addition to health insurance, your budget should include 10% of the postdoc's stipend for Social Security, SAIF, Medicare and Unemployment. The Student Health Center has a webpage with up to date information about health insurance for postdoctoral scholars. Additional coverage can be purchased by the Postdoc Scholar to cover dependents.

Scholar support: It is recommended that you include funds in your budget to support travel by your postdoc to professional meetings.