Postdoc Career Development and Annual Review Process

(revised 01/23/2020)

The objectives of the annual career development and evaluation process for Harvard Chan School postdoctoral fellows are as follows:

  1. To clarify both the mentor’s and the postdoctoral fellow’s expectations for the fellowship
  2. To identify scientific and professional goals for the coming year
  3. To ensure that postdoctoral fellows receive regular and substantive feedback on their progress and career trajectory

Completion of the evaluation process by postdoctoral fellows and their mentors will be required in order to process a fellow’s reappointment; thus, all fellows appointed by Harvard Chan School, paid or unpaid, will take part.  Postdoctoral fellows who participate in a performance evaluation at another Harvard University affiliate or program need not participate in this process if they submit verification that an appropriate form of evaluation has taken place.

Below is an outline of the procedures that will be followed to implement the evaluation process.

Year 1 – Postdoc Career Development Plan

  • Within 30 days of arrival at Harvard Chan School, the Office of Faculty Affairs (OFA) will send all new postdocs an email message describing the career development and annual review process and links to the relevant forms (career development plan, annual review form).  The postdoc will be asked to complete the career development form within 60 days.  (The annual review form is not intended to be used at the beginning of a postdoc appointment.  A link to this form is sent to new postdocs for informational purposes and may provide guidance in developing their career development plan.)
  • The new postdoc will complete the career development plan outlining her/his goals for the coming year.  The plan will be discussed with the postdoc’s mentor, revised if necessary, and approved by both the postdoc and mentor.
  • The completed plan will be submitted to OFA.

Year 2 (and subsequent years) – Postdoc Annual Progress Review Form

  • During the spring of each year, all postdocs who have been at Harvard Chan School for six months or longer will receive an email message from OFA reminding them of the career development and review process and asking them to complete a postdoc annual progress review form that encompasses their activities during the previous year, plans for activities in the next year, and feedback from their mentor.  Postdoc mentors will also receive the message as their participation in the review process is needed.
  • The postdoc will complete the review form and then meet with her/his mentor to discuss it as well as to solicit feedback and suggestions from the mentor.
  • The completed forms will be submitted to OFA.
  • OFA will review the annual progress review form, and file it in the postdoc’s personnel file.  If a form indicates that the postdoc is not meeting expectations in a number of areas, OFA will follow up as appropriate and provide additional support, if needed.