Promoting Productive Postdoc Conversations: Mentoring Dialogue toolkits for Postdocs and Mentors

October 2023


UNM Mentoring Institute

Event Type

Round Table

Abstract: Mentoring relationships impact postdoctoral scholars’ ability to be independent, resilient, and productive professionals, well-informed to make career decisions. However, 40% of postdoctoral scholars are not satisfied with the mentoring they receive (2018 national survey), and many report anxiety in having conversations with their mentors and/or are fearful of conflicts. We propose to integrate Productive Postdoc Conversation frameworks in our Postdoc Academy content, to help initiate productive conversations on the topics covered in our MOOCs.

Our dialogue framework, informed by our research and other studies, aims to improve postdoctoral scholar/mentor relationships. The framework helps both parties relate the content of the Postdoc Academy 6- and 7-week MOOCs to their mentoring context with evidence-based introduction videos, and learn about peers’ experiences and strategies from recorded interviews. Self-reflection prompts encourage mentors to empathically listen, while postdoctoral scholars are empowered to lead productive discussions with mentors and maintain conversations in the future.