Helping Supervisors Help International Postdocs

Coming to the United States to do a postdoc presents a variety of unexpected challenges, such as getting a credit card and navigating unfamiliar social customs. Supervising these postdocs can pose its own challenges. Being new to American culture, they often have expectations, ideas, and knowledge gaps that supervisors do not understand. This can lead to misunderstandings and frustrations that interfere with good working and social relationships and, ultimately, effectiveness in the lab.

To help supervisors better grasp and help resolve such difficulties, “Mentoring International Post Docs,” a set of six brief video vignettes and an accompanying discussion guide, explores a range of typical incidents. The resource was prepared by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and presented by the Office of Research Integrity of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is available free online.

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