Training plan discussed in accordance with trainee/faculty mentor interests and goals

Training Plan

With their faculty mentor, trainees develop an individualized development plan (IDP) that outlines the goals of the postdoctoral training, benchmarks and mechanisms for evaluation, and the expected duration.

Expectations of Trainees

Each trainee participates in a variety of seminars, classes, journal clubs, and meetings associated with the program. In addition to conducting research, trainees are required to attend the following Program activities:

  • Basics of Research Design (PHARM 5020)
  • Training in the responsible conduct of research
  • Addiction Journal Club
  • Chalk Talks
  • Director's Meetings
  • Community Outreach

While supported by the Training Program, trainees participate in the following activities:


The primary activity of trainees is interdisciplinary research conducted under the mentorship of one or more faculty mentors.


With approval of the mentor(s) and the course director, trainees can enroll in various courses offered by the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Addiction Seminar Series

Trainees attend weekly seminars and grand rounds in the departments of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Psychiatry.

Chalk Talk

Once per month trainees attend a two-hour Chalk Talk session where a mentor, visiting scientist, or guest lecturer makes an informal presentation on various topics including their research program and career path.

Journal Clubs

Depending on their research area, mentor, and interests, trainees attend and participate in one or more regularly scheduled journal clubs. All trainees attend the biweekly Addiction Journal Club.

Drug Abuse Meeting

Trainees attend and make a presentation at the Behavior, Biology & Chemistry: Translational Research in Addiction (BBC) meeting ( that is held annually in San Antonio.

Career Development Workshops

In addition to Chalk Talks, trainees attend a variety of workshops that provide career development training on a broad range of topics. The Training Program cosponsors an annual workshop (Pathways to Careers in Science) that is held in conjunction with the BBC meeting.

Grant Writing/Reviewing Workshops

Trainees participate in a monthly grant writing/reviewing workshop where grant applications, critiques of grants, and responses/revisions to critiques and grants are reviewed and discussed. While supported under this training program, trainees are expected to submit a grant application (e.g., F32).

Getting-a-Job Boot Camp

When trainees are completing their participation in the program and seeking outside employment, they will participate in a Getting-a-Job Boot Camp that includes mock interviews and preparation of a job talk. The goal of the Boot Camp is to help trainees improve presentation and interview skills specifically for obtaining an independent position.

Director's Meeting

Once per month trainees meet with the Program Director for informal discussion on a variety of topics related to the Program, their research, and career development.

Notification of Publications and Other Activities

While in the program, all trainees need to provide updates on all of the publications, presentations, awards, and other accomplishments that result from the Training Program. This information should be uploaded to the Trainee Activity Report, or sent to