Self-Mentorship & Working with Your Mentor

Tools for Working with your Mentor

Great Mentoring in Graduate School: A Quick-Start Guide for Proteges

How to Get the Mentoring You Want: A Guide for Graduate Students

Compact Between Postdoctoral Appointees and Their Mentors

Tips for Self-Mentorship

  • Develop a mentoring network. Although your advisor’s role is very important in your research, he or she is not the only person who should be mentoring you. Look in your department and beyond for those who can help support you in your academic and professional goals.
    • “It is uncommon that a student will find a single individual or advisor who has all these attributes. In many instances, students can benefit from having multiple mentors (Higgins, 2000) given that different mentors can provide guidance on different topics.”  – Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century
  • Look at your disciplinary resources. Many departments and colleges have well-developed mentorship resources and can help you reach out to mentors in your field. Not sure where to start? Discuss your career path with your degree program’s Director of Graduate Studies

Self-Mentorship Tools

National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity

Graduate Students

The National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity for Graduate Students & Postdocs offers a plethora of developmental and informational programs designed to help you move smoothly through graduate school and into the job market. These programs include webinars, dissertation and article success resources, workshops, and much more. The U has an institutional membership to this service, so many of these offerings are free.

Career Development
“Planning Your Scientific Journey” Online Course

If you’re a graduate student or postdoc in Biology, iBiology is a great resource. Explore your options for careers in biology, improve your professional skills, navigate your training and learn what is happening in the biomedical workforce. Even if you’re not in the biological sciences, you will benefit from iBiology’s online course titled “Planning Your Scientific Journey” which discusses how to best set yourself up for academic and professional success.

Making the Right Moves eBook from Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Focused on the postdoc experience but helpful for all future-minded scientists, Making the Right Moves helps walk you through the planning necessary for a successful career. Based on workshops co-sponsored by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and HHMI, this book is a collection of practical advice and experiences from seasoned biomedical investigators and includes chapters on laboratory leadership, getting funded, project management,

Individual Development Plan

You have put a lot of time and effort into pursuing your PhD degree.  Now it’s time to focus on how to leverage your expertise into a satisfying and productive career.   An individual development plan (IDP) helps you explore career possibilities and set goals to follow the career path that fits you best.

myIDP provides:

  • Exercises to help you examine your skills, interests, and values
  • A list of 20 scientific career paths with a prediction of which ones best fit your skills and interests
  • A tool for setting strategic goals for the coming year, with optional reminders to keep you on track
  • Articles and resources to guide you through the process

NRMN Career Development Webinars

The National Research Mentoring Network has a wide range of webinars covering many different mentorship topics, including graduate applications, development of NIH grants, and many others. These webinars are thoughtful and practical and provide key reflections from experts in research.


ImaginePhD is a free online career exploration and planning tool for PhD students and postdoctoral scholars in the humanities and social sciences.

Humanities and social sciences PhD students and their mentors have long recognized the need for more resources to help bridge the knowledge gap between doctoral education and the realm of career possibilities. ImaginePhD is designed to meet this need by allowing users to:

  • assess their career-related skills, interests, and values
  • explore careers paths appropriate to their disciplines
  • create self-defined goals
  • map out next steps for career and professional development success