National Postdoctoral Association

Providing a national voice and seeking positive change for postdoctoral scholars

Search NPA

MyNPA Login


Social Links

Visit our LinkedIn Profile Like us on Facebook

Special Interest Portals

NPA ADVANCE Clearinghouse - Educational Opportunities for Postdoctoral Supervisors Print Email


About NPA ADVANCE Summit on Gender and the Postdoctorate Presentations and Articles
Data on Postdocs and Gender Clearinghouse on Promising Practices Contact Us


Potential Interventions to Aid in Retaining Postdoc Women

A clearinghouse of promising practices

<< Prev | Table of Contents | Next >>


C. PROGRAMS: EDUCATIONAL opportunities for postdoctoral supervisors

1. Mentoring training for postdoctoral advisors, including information on gender schemas (the implicit framework and biases we have about the relative gender roles; see [1]) and resources for “just in time” information.


  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Consortium of Harvard Affiliated Offices for Faculty Development and Diversity offers an Annual Mentoring course for faculty mentors. Course materials for each course are archived online. It also offers continuing education credits. 
  • is based at University of Wisconsin-Madison and offers a series of resources, including multi-disciplinary curricula, for research mentor training programs.


2. Raise awareness among postdoctoral supervisors of issues involved with parental leave for postdocs and any existing policies. A critical part of this is fostering the establishment of clear communication with postdocs and finding ways to avoid negative consequences for taking leave.



3. Provide training to postdoctoral supervisors on performance evaluations, such as including information on avoiding evaluation bias and gender schemas [2].


  • Tools like Georgia Institute of Technology’s ADEPT online tool could be adapted to educate both postdocs and their evaluators on ways to avoid bias. This tool focuses specifically on promotion and tenure scenarios, involving the learner in the evaluation process itself through case studies, but a mixture of tenure review and postdoc assessment case studies would make it pertinent to postdocs interested in becoming faculty.


4. Workshops/education on the job market, targeting postdocs and postdoc supervisors and mentors, in order to foster better understanding of career alternatives to PI track to better match skills and interests as well as avoid any "crisis of expectations" with academic job market



5. Develop “how to” brochure/information for letter of recommendation writers.These should be shared with both postdocs and faculty.


<< Prev | Table of Contents | Next >>


[1][2] Valian, V. 1998. Why so slow? The advancement of women. Cambridge: MIT Press.



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0819994. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


National Postdoctoral Association * 1200 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 956 * Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202.326.6424 * Fax: 202.371.9849