University of Southern California USC



A critical aspect of a postdoctoral scholar’s success is finding a mentor who is supportive of the scholar’s career goals, shares similar research interests, and is capable, if the scholar does not have external funding, of supporting the scholar through a research project or training grant.  Developing a mentoring plan and an Individual Development Plan, can help postdoctoral scholars keep their personal and professional goals in sight as they work with their mentors.  Postdoctoral scholars and their mentors are encouraged to begin the process of discussing career and training goals early on, to ensure that the scholar will receive the best possible results from their period in training at USC, and will be prepared and confident when they enter the workforce.


The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is part of the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs.  In addition, Postdoctoral Affairs works in partnership with the USC Center for Excellence in Research, the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching, the USC Career Center, and the USC Postdoctoral Association to provide a well-rounded mentoring experience.

Faculty with whom USC postdoctoral scholars work provide substantial support for postdoctoral researchers with the firm aspiration of significantly advancing cutting-edge research through the training of a new generation of innovative scientists.  USC postdocs develop their intellectual perspectives, collaborative skills, and use of new research tools and technology in the context of an integrated research enterprise.  Postdoctoral scholars are expected to work closely with their advisors to conceive, develop and implement innovative research programs that result in significant contributions to advancing knowledge in their fields.



NPA’s Developing a Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan and NPA’s Mentoring Resources

NPA’s Resources on Mentoring International Postdocs

The Individual Development Plan

MentorNet: e-Mentoring for diversity in engineering and science