Partner Frequently Asked Questions

MIND Partner FAQs:

Q. What commitment is expected of a MIND program partner?

Q. How do I sign up for the MIND program?

Q. How will my participation help?

Q. When will I be contacted by a trainee?

Q. How will I be contacted?

Q. What are the requirements or qualifications for becoming a MIND program partner?

Q. What is an informational interview?


What commitment is expected of a MIND program partner?

You control your level of commitment to the MIND program. At a minimum, MIND partners usually offer at least one informational interview to our MIND trainees. However, we hope that you will be so excited about the program, and will find your experiences with our trainees so enjoyable, that you will be inspired to offer more. When you register for UCSF Connect, you can indicate your level of participation with our trainees, from mentoring to offering informational interviews. We are also looking for partners interested in working with us to develop job shadows. Job shadows involve a half-day visit to your workplace, and offer an invaluable opportunity for trainees to experience a job. If this is something that would interest you, just let us know!


How do I sign up for the MIND program?

It’s easy!

Step 1: Create an account with UCSF Connect.

Step 2: Once your UCSF Connect account have been approved, request to join the MIND Program group (under the "Groups" tab).

Step 3: Begin networking with the UCSF Community!

Need assistance? Use this step-by-step guide, or contact us!


How will my participation help?

Through informational interviews and/or job shadows, you will be providing a UCSF student or postdoc with valuable insight that is needed to make informed decisions about career paths. However, each career exposure experience you generously provide will benefit far more than just one person.

The trainee will share what they learn from you with others in the MIND program. The trainee you meet will take the information from their interview with you to a small group of their peers, thus benefitting at least 5 additional people right away.

The information you provide to us and to our trainees, will be added to our MINDbank database to highlight the career diversity of biomedical PhDs nationwide. Basic information about your job, including the skills that are needed to do your job well, and the tasks that you do on a regular basis, are provided by you to share with our MIND participants, and will be augmented with the information you share with the trainees in the interviews. As our partner community grows, so does the power to feature the variety of careers that PhD-level professionals pursue.

The data that we collect from you will improve the UCSF-developed myIDP at Science Careers. The myIDP is one of the most widely used tools for creating an Individual Development Plan (IDP), and has come into broader use with the NIH’s recent announcement of support for an institutional policy requiring an IDP for every graduate student and postdoc supported by any NIH grant. IDPs serves as frameworks that help trainees discuss and define their career and professional development goals with their mentors. By informing us of the skills and tasks that are required for your job, you will help the myIDP remain relevant and effective in guiding biomedical trainees through a rapidly evolving workforce.


When will I be contacted by a trainee?

Participants undertake the career exploration phase of the MIND program between the months of January thru June, but a trainee may request a meeting at any time. It is possible you won’t be contacted at all, but even if this is the case your contribution to MINDbank will have already played an instrumental role in the success of the MIND program.


How will I be contacted?

Current and previous MIND program participants (UCSF students and postdocs) use UCSF Connect to find MIND partners working in careers that interest them. When a trainee is interested in meeting with you, they will send you a direct message within the UCSF Connect platform. The trainee will arrange a meeting that suits your schedule (by email or phone, depending on your preference). You may also choose to connect with MIND participants directly as well by searching within the MIND Program group.


What are the requirements or qualifications for becoming a MIND program partner?

MIND program partners must have a Ph.D. in the life sciences, and be willing to engage with the MIND program. We do not require a CV or resume.


What is an informational interview?

The "informational interview" is a brief meeting that is offered to someone who is interested in learning more about your job or career. Informational interviews may lead to contacts that ultimately help land a job, but they are not direct inquiries about job opportunities. Informational interviews allow trainees to research a career or employer that is of interest, and to confirm whether it would be a good fit. They are typically 45-60min long, preferably in person, but may be done via phone/video.