Professional Development

Postdocs have a variety of professional options available to them once they’ve completed their training at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS). In addition to a number of workshops and seminars that have been developed for you on topics such as grant writing, entrepreneurship, and our annual Postdoc Symposium, we have compiled a list of external sources for professional development.


Every year the Postdoc office sponsors several professional development workshops and seminars on a wide range of topics including the commercialization of science, responsible research conduct, and grantsmanship.

New York Academy of Sciences

All first-year postdocs receive a complimentary membership to the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), which has extensive web-based and on-site professional development resources.


Teaching improvement and classroom-based opportunities.

The Future Leaders in Science Education and Communication Program is designed to develop and improve postdocs’ teaching and lay science communication skills at ISMMS. The program offers an 8-session course on teaching and communication followed by hands-on classroom teaching opportunities. The program addresses a need to adequately train postdoctoral fellows ('trainees') to become effective science communicators and science educators both in and outside the classroom

The program includes:
An introduction to classroom teaching elements and instruction principles
Evening class times to accommodate the postdoc schedule (8 classes total)
Instruction in public speaking
Emphasis on active learning methods to improve classic lecture-based teaching
Mentored teaching opportunities at the graduate or 5th grade levels
Supportive peer and mentor feedback
A certificate of completion and honorarium

To be eligible for the program, you must be a current postdoctoral fellow at ISMMS and submit a statement of commitment to the duration of the program. Over 20% of program trainees have obtained a promotion or accepted a new position in the first year of this program.

The course is offered twice a year; once in the spring and again in the fall. An application and instructions will be sent out on the Postdoc Listserv.

The course is supported by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, and the Postdoc Executive Committee. It was previously funded by generous support from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund 'Career Guidance for Trainees' Award in 2015-2016. 

Teacher Training

For postdocs who want to teach during their fellowship or develop and hone their teaching skills for a variety of purposes, New York City has a wealth of training options including over 100 colleges and community colleges.

  • The Mentoring in Neuroscience Discovery at Sinai advances neuroscience education in New York City schools. There are opportunities for single class visits and longitudinal programs.
  • Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards (IRACDA) combines traditional postdoctoral research with opportunities to develop teaching skills.
  • Citizen Science is an innovative program for all first-year students at Bard College. Through three weeks of intensive study during January intersession, students develop a core understanding of both the conduct and the content of science. The program recruits a new class of faculty, composed primarily of Postdoctoral Fellows, each year. It is an intensive short term effort that provides an excellent teaching opportunity. Stipend is provided.

Individual Development Plan

We strongly encourage postdoctoral fellows to take an early and active role in generating a concrete plan for their future, and Individual Development Plans (IDPs) can be of great assistance in this process. An excellent IDP has been generated by FASEB and AAAS. Ideally fellows will discuss their plans and steps they are taking toward achieving their goals with their PIs and other mentors.

Tech Development and Entrepreneurship Opportunities

SINAInnovations is a 3-day program that features leaders from a wide variety of scientific fields including Pharma and Biotech. In addition, attendees have access to venture capitalists, policy makers, and academic thought leaders, who teach innovation, as well as ISMMS faculty, who are themselves leading innovators. Attendance is required for graduate students, and postdocs are strongly urged to attend. Featured topics will contain important information about professional opportunities, so it will be worth your time.

InSite, founded in 1999, is a leadership development program made up of top graduate students from top schools. Its purpose is to create a community of people with common values to support innovation in industry across the country. Fellows are matched with high-potential companies in a variety of industries and meet with executives to identify and work on key projects.