The Office of Research & Economic Development aims to foster success among postdoctoral
scholars today that will enhance their professional endeavors tomorrow. We strive
to enhance, support, and promote postdoctoral training at the LSU and help to prepare
postdoctoral scholars for successful research careers. There are many opportunities
to take advantage of here at LSU while making your own contributions to the University’s
mission of teaching, research, and public service.
Individual Development Plan
The Office of Research & Economic Development (ORED) highly recommends all postdoctoral scholars to complete and discuss an Individual Development Plan
(IDP) with their faculty mentor on an annual basis in addition to performance evaluation
conducted for all LSU Employees by the LSU Human Resources Management Department.
These plans are particularly important for postdoctoral scholars supported by NIH
and NSF funds.
The IDP plan encourages a mentor-mentee mutual consideration and evaluation of progress
achieved during the postdoctoral tenure period and ensuring that defined goals and
action plans are in place for a successful postdoctoral training at LSU.
IDP forms are to be filled by postdoctoral researchers and mentors at least once per
year to discuss all aspects of research and professional development of the postdoctoral
researcher. An online verification form needs to be filled by both mentor and mentee
to verify that the meeting has taken place. Only the date of the meeting is recorded; the IDP and discussions between the mentor and mentee remain private. A copy of the IDP plan may be kept at the home department of the postdoctoral researcher.
This procedure complies with NIH policy and the National Academies' recommendations, as noted above.
To alleviate potential duplication of effort by LSU faculty mentors, LSU faculty may
choose to add appropriate developmental goals and plans during the annual performance
reviews of postdocs in Workday.
Expectations for Postdoctoral Scholars
All Postdoc appointments are contingent upon the Postdoc’s satisfactory work performance,
research (or other work) progress, the availability of funding and programmatic needs.
All Postdocs, in all disciplines, schools, colleges and centers across the University,
must meet the following expectations at all times during their appointment:
- Conscientious and satisfactory performance of assigned duties;
- Adherence to all LSU personal and professional ethical standards and satisfactory
laboratory and/or professional practice, if applicable (including but not limited
to the receipt of required training on and compliance with all University standards
and federal regulations as they relate to responsible conduct in research, conflicts
of interest, confidentiality, privacy and human subjects research, animal care and
use, laboratory safety, and the use of radioisotopes);
- Open and timely discussions with the Advisor regarding all aspects of mentored activities
(including regular discussions about research (or other work) progress; distribution
of reagents or materials; status of any publications, reports or other written drafts;
and prompt, advance discussion of any private or public disclosure of findings, techniques
or potentially patentable or copyrightable discoveries derived from the Postdoc’s
- Collegial conduct towards his or her Mentor, coworkers, staff and other individuals
with whom the Postdoc interacts;
- Compliance with all University policies and procedures, including the requirements
set forth in this Policy.
Expectations of Advisors
Advisors are responsible for providing advice, guidance and assistance to their assigned
Postdocs regarding not only their specific research or scholarship goals, but also
the Postdoc’s overall educational experience and future career development goals.
Mentors should regularly meet with their assigned Postdocs throughout their appointments,
and clearly and consistently communicate the goals, objectives and expectations of
their Postdocs and their assigned tasks and projects. Mentors should encourage Postdocs
to present their work in national and international conferences and publish the results
of their research or scholarship in a timely fashion, if applicable. They should also
help Postdocs acquire and enhance their knowledge and technical skills based on their
current and future needs. Finally, to help provide necessary feedback, Mentors are
required to provide a written performance evaluation of their assigned Postdocs each
year to the LSU PAC.
The Advisor and the Department (or center or other unit) should maintain a departmental
file for each Postdoc which, at a minimum, should contain copies of the Postdoc’s
appointment letter, COE, Individual Development Plan (IDP), annual evaluations, and
records of the amount and type of leave taken, as well any renewal letters, changes
to terms of appointment, or requests for extension of maximum term of appointment,
if any. From time to time, the PAC may conduct departmental audits to ensure that
Postdoc files are appropriately maintained.
Annual Performance Evaluation and IDPs
Feedback and constructive criticism are important for a Postdoc’s personal and professional
growth. Therefore, at the beginning of appointment, each Postdoc will prepare an IDP
that identifies his or her professional development needs and career objectives. IDPs
also serve as a communication tool between the Postdoc and his or her Advisor. A form
IDP will be provided by the Postdoctoral Advisory Council (PAC). Subsequent years
of appointment will require an IDP plan to be filled at the beginning of each year
A written evaluation of each Postdoc’s work performance will also be performed on
an annual basis (based on appointment year) using the Annual Evaluation Form available
on the ORED website or a similar format. Annual evaluations should be completed no
later than thirty (30) days before the anniversary of the Postdoc’s appointment date.
The Advisor will complete the evaluation form (or a similar document) and discuss
it with the Postdoc during a meeting held between the Advisor and the Postdoc. The
Advisor and Postdoc should review the evaluation together and then both sign the form.
Once the annual performance evaluation is complete and signed by both parties, a copy
should be placed in the Postdoc’s departmental file.
LSU Postdoctoral Society
The LSU Postdoctoral Society is a student-run organization to provide networking and
resources for postdoctoral students.
LSU Postdoctoral Society
If you have a question or need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Janna
Oetting, Ph.D., Associate Vice President of Research & Economic Development (firstname.lastname@example.org).