The reality of graduate and postdoctoral training today is very different from the environment into which many faculty, and even postdocs, entered when they began their academic careers. Many grad students and postdocs today know that they will not continue onto tenure-track positions.

We know that the changing realities of the biomedical workforce place faculty in a difficult position. Many mentors wish to support their trainees as they consider and explore their career options, but have limited time and tools to do so. We would like to understand the challenges, needs and concerns of UCSF faculty, and together with our faculty partners, we are building tools and resources to support them in their roles as mentors.

If you would like to help us in this endeavor, we invite you to contact us at [email protected], or to contact any of the MIND Principal Investigators for the project.

Faculty FAQs

How much time will be spent outside of lab?

92% of our MIND alumni reported that their participation in MIND either had no effect or improved their productivity in research (Cohorts 1-4, n=210).

For the catalytic course phase, MIND occurs on Saturdays and participation should not interfere with any weekday laboratory activities. For the peer-team phase, participants will meet for 2 hours twice a month. Informational interviews should be performed on participants' own time.

Is MIND an "alternative careers" program? Are you encouraging my trainees to leave academia?

No. MIND is a career exploration program, and is career neutral. In fact, the majority of our participants are considering careers within and outside of academia simultaneously. 

We encourage participants to gather information and speak to professionals in all of their careers of interest. In fact, our MIND alumni include newly minted tenure-track faculty members!

My trainees are already overburdened with multiple, demanding priorities. Is this program a good use of my trainees' time? 

Our data argue that YES, the MIND Program is a good use time for trainees. 

92% of MIND participants reported no change or improved productivity in their research program (years 2014-2018, n=210).

Moreover, 87% reported greater satisifaction with their training at UCSF as a result of their participation in MIND (years 2014-2018, n=209).

MIND alumni frequently tell us that they apply the skills that they gain in MIND (setting SMART goals is a frequent practice in their peer team meetings) to more efficiently plan and evaluate their research questions.

Do I have to pay for my trainees to participate in this program?

From 2013-2018, MIND was funded by the NIH BEST program, and is offered to eligible graduate students and postdocs at no cost to our faculty. After the grant period, MIND will continued to be offered to students and postdocs at no additional cost to their faculty mentors.

Does this affect international scholars differently than other trainees?

International scholars (students and postdocs) are equally eligible for the MIND program.

Does participation in the MIND Program qualify as time spent on career development activities for my trainees, as dictated by the NIH?

Yes, the MIND program qualifies as allowable time spent on career development for NIH funded trainees.