Our postdoctoral training program provides trainees the opportunity for high-quality mentored research, course work, seminars and workshops with experts in the areas of cognitive changes in aging, cognitive neuroscience of aging, personality and socio-emotional aging, and translational impact.
The program supports individuals with or without prior training in aging. For individuals with prior training, we strengthen their background in aging and to complement this background with training in a complementary area of their choosing. For individuals with less background in aging, we help them develop into top-flight aging researchers, including through additional foundational course work. Thus, postdoctoral fellows without a background in aging are required to take or audit our graduate-level Psychology of Aging course and one other relevant course.
All postdoctoral fellows will take a newly developed Project Building in Aging & Development course through which fellows will develop a research project in the form of an NIH or NSF grant proposal.
Each postdoctoral fellow is matched with a primary preceptor. The goal of the preceptor is to assist the postdoctoral fellow in the development of the fellow’s own program of research, not to carry out the preceptor’s research. Trainees are expected to develop research with at least two faculty members. Each postdoctoral trainee is also assigned a Career Development Committee made up of the primary preceptor and two other supervising faculty, with at least one drawn from the Affiliated Faculty to provide a cross-disciplinary perspective.
Postdoctoral fellows are expected to attend the weekly Aging & Development brownbag, the departmental colloquium, and at least one other research talk series. In addition, postdoctoral fellows are required to give at least one talk each year and are given feedback by the mentoring committee, with a particular focus on preparing them to give an effective job talk. Lastly, they are also encouraged (and funded) to present their research to at least one national or scientific meeting each year.
Postdoctoral fellow also have the option to participate in the Washington University Postdoc Peer mentoring program. This program pairs new postdoctoral trainees with more advanced trainees who have completed the program, and provides one-on-one support and guidance as they acclimate to the University, St. Louis, and their academic role.
Our postdoctoral program is highly successful: Of the 13 postdoctoral trainees who have completed training since 2010, 11 are in academia (8 Assistant Professor, 2 Associate Professor, 1 Research Assistant Professor) and 1 is conducting research in industry. Of the 11 in academia, 6 have obtained independent funding.