MSTP Student Mentoring and Career Development

The University of Minnesota MSTP provides extensive and continuous mentoring and advising for students throughout all phases of the program. We encourage the development of a network of mentors and provide activities that allow students to establish this network. Our mentoring and advising activities include the following:

  • Students in the first year of the program meet with the MSTP Director throughout the year in order to facilitate a smooth and successful transition to the rigors of MSTP training. Steering Committee members are also selected to serve as research advisors for first year students so that students can learn more about research opportunities in specific areas of interest.
  • All MSTP students have a Medical School faculty advisor who is a physician scientist. This advisor works with the students throughout Medical School training and is part of the MSTP leadership team.
  • Students submit an annual written progress report and meet one-on-one at least once a year with the MSTP Director.
  • As part of the annual written progress report, students develop and continually refine a career development plan. Students identify short- and long-term career objectives and implement strategies for acquiring and/or strengthening specific skills essential for reaching career objectives.
  • Students meet at least once with the entire MSTP leadership team and selected Steering Committee members during key checkpoints in the program. These checkpoints minimally include:
      • Selection of a PhD thesis advisor and graduate program (middle of Year 2 of Medical School)
      • Development of Years 3 and 4 Medical School clerkship schedule (9-12 months prior to return to Medical School)
      • 6 to 9 months prior to thesis defense
      • Preparation and submission of residency application (end of Year 3/beginning of Year 4 of Medical School)
      • Prior to submission of residency match lists (Year 4 of Medical School)
  • In addition to regular mentoring provided by the student’s PhD advisor, students meet at least once a year with their thesis committee during the graduate phase. Written reports are provided by the thesis committee chair and submitted to the student’s graduate program as well as to the MSTP. The student’s PhD advisor also provides an annual written evaluation to the MSTP.
  • The MSTP Clinical Continuity and Mentoring Program provides an opportunity for MSTP students to establish strong mentoring relationships with several clinical faculty members.
  • The Clinical/Basic Science Seminar introduces MSTP students to a clinical research community just prior to returning to Medical School following completion of the PhD. This seminar allows students to broaden their professional network and identify additional faculty who will serve as part of the student’s professional network.