Principal Investigator Resources
OSPA – There is a new auto pop-up window in the grant spreadsheet template to plan for updated/minimum stipends, raises, and conference travel.
Also available, the fringe benefits website for postdoctoral scholars.
Stipend Levels - Please note: When the individual has obtained a Ph.D. that is one year or older, the Graduate College assumes that they have other relevant postdoctoral scholar/professional experience (as defined by National Institutes of Health (NIH)). If this is not the case, then the PI will need to provide justification for the lower amount.
Posting a Postdoctoral Scholar Position - Advertisements for postdoctoral scholar positions can either be posted independently by the PI or through the Human Resources Office. Include a short job description or summary that communicates the purpose, responsibilities, essential knowledge and skills, qualifications, interpersonal skills, and working environment and physical requirements for the position.
Interviewing - The knowledge and skills a postdoctoral scholar candidate brings are vitally important during the selection process. It is also worthwhile to ask about additional attributes during the selection process. The resources listed below may assist you as you interview postdoctoral scholars.
Hiring Info - You will need the following information for new Postdoctoral Scholars:
- Letter of Intent (LOI).
- The new postdoctoral scholar info sheet is to be completed after the LOI is signed.
- Proof of degree (for non-ISU Ph.D.). See Postdoctoral Policy website for more details and forms.
- Grant Agency Mentoring Plan Template
- National Science Foundation (NSF) Grants – All proposals include postdoctoral scholar mentoring plans
- NIH Grants – Requirement of Individual Development Plans in progress reports for postdoctoral scholars
- University of Wisconsin ICTR Mentees: Selection Resources
- Howard Hughes Medical Institute Article: Tell us something a postdoc said or did during an interview that made you sure he/she wasn't right for your lab.
- Discussion Points
- International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO)
- Departments Info - Guided Information for departments inviting New International Faculty, Staff, and Visitors
- Prospective Postdoctoral Scholar Information
- National Postdoc Association – Going in with Your Eyes Open
Postdoctoral Scholar Orientation - Encourage attendance to the orientation given by the Postdoctoral Office. Both PI and postdoctoral scholars will receive email invites. Orientations are given several times throughout the year.
Encourage attendance of the ISU Postdoc Association (PDA) general meetings. The PDA provides a professional setting with guest speakers, great peer connections and discussions at social gatherings.
Postdocs will receive a welcome email from the Postdoctoral Scholar Office and also from the ISU Postdoc Association.
Wellness and Community
- ISU WellBeing
- ISU – Employee Assistance Program - 24/7 benefits with a direct line to free confidential and professional help.
- University Resources
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program
- Ames Public Library
- Ames Main Street Cultural District
- Ames Chamber of Commerce
- Ames Park and Recreation
- Think Ames Events
- Main Street Farmer’s Market
- North Grand Farmer’s Market
- Iowa Public Radio
- Ames Public Library
Communication and Mentoring
Utilize the ISU Postdoctoral Scholar Experience Outline (listed below) as a communication tool to discuss with your PI/Mentor your scientific, educational and professional goals, expectations, etc.
Professional Standards and Mutual Respect – Consider using the AAMC compact. It serves both as a pledge and a reminder to mentors and their postdoctoral scholars that their conduct in fulfilling their commitments to one another should reflect the highest professional standards and mutual respect. Compact listed in Resources.
Postdocs and PIs will receive an E-Newsletter from the PDO once a month during the academic year.
Maintain open communication with the postdoctoral scholar and include a periodic review of mutual expectations.
Discuss meeting set-ups: (group, sub-group, one-on-one) that are held to discuss research progress. Comment on: format, frequency and duration.
Encourage the postdoctoral scholar to seek additional mentors.
Cultural/Global Differences - If you are not familiar with a particular culture, it is of great importance to demonstrate willingness to communicate with and to understand each postdoctoral scholar as a unique individual.
Family Responsibilities - Both women and men may face challenging family issues. The PI should be alert to postdocs who need extra support when having a child, raising a child alone, returning to school after child-rearing, caring for an elderly parent, etc. Bridge Funding – Arrival of New Child, Employee Assistance Program
- ISU Postdoctoral Scholar Experience Outline
- National Postdoc Association – Core Competencies Checklist
- Compact between PI/Mentor and Postdoctoral Scholar – AAMC
- University of Wisconsin ICTR Mentors: Selection and Resources
- University of Minnesota – Free, Self-paced Online Mentoring Faculty
- Burroughs Wellcome Fund and Howard Hughes Institute - Making the right moves: a practical guide for new faculty and postdocs
- Content Collection: Mentoring Advice American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Mentoring International Postdocs Video Series Office of Research Integrity
- How to Be Proactive in Your Mentoring Relationships - National Postdoc Association
- Mentor Standards – Gladstone Institutes
- Recovering From Postdoctoral Scholar Mistakes – Science Magazine
- Lessons Learned
- Conflict Management
- Ombuds Office - A service on campus that is professional, confidential, independent, and neutral resource available to informally work through work-place challenges with colleagues or supervisors, or policies and procedures.