Developing the skills necessary to succeed in a scientific field requires deliberate attention to self-evaluation, seeking collegial advice, setting realistic goals and reflecting regularly on areas of future development. One never outgrows the need for becoming better in your chosen field. For this reason, the Department supports career planning for graduate students, professional research staff and faculty members through processes that help to capitalize on strengths and find ways to improve in professional areas identified by each individual.
To support professional development, faculty members are encouraged to follow the process outlined in the Individual Faculty Career Development Plan, which begins with a self-assessment of strengths, guides goal-setting with a colleague mentor and integrates the intended outcomes with effort allocation. Support for the mentoring of early career faculty members is also derived from an NCRR/NIGMS Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant, which provides a vibrant seminar series and regular internal and external scientific review of research progress of those faculty members involved in the program. In addition to career planning, each member of the Faculty undergoes a rigorous annual performance evaluation by the Chair. Pre-tenure faculty members receive two thorough evaluations of professional development towards tenure and promotion by the Department Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee. The SOM Office of Professional Development, the Office of Medical Education and the Faculty Leadership Academy provide important programs designed to improve specific skill sets essential to academic scientists.
The development of teaching skills has recently been enhanced by a course offered in the Department (MICR 805 Teaching in Higher Education) and by the work of the Academy of Medical Education.