Argonne National Laboratory

Initial Steps

Setting Research and Career Goals

Each new postdoc should fill out a Postdoctoral Initial Discussion Form with his or her advisor. This is an opportunity to define career objectives, discuss how this postdoctoral appointment and its related research focus can contribute to those objectives, and identify opportunities for professional development while at Argonne. Postdocs should also consider transferrable skills needed to make successful career transitions and core competencies they should develop as independent researchers.

Guidance on completing the Initial Discussion Form is available here.

The National Postdoctoral Association has identified 6 Core Competencies that Postdoctoral Researchers should build during theiri training. Argonne's Postdoctoral Program strives to provide resources and activities aimed at these competencies. Postdocs at Argonne are encouraged to evaluate their own confidence levels in the following skill sets and seek opportunities to develop or improve skills where needed:

  1. Discipline-specific conceptual knowledge
  2. Research skill development
  3. Communication skills
  4. Professionalism
  5. Leadership and management skills
  6. Responsible conduct of research

More detailed information about each competency and advise on where to focus efforts is available on the National Postdoctoral Association website.

Postdoctoral Initial Discussion Form

It is essential that postdoctoral appointees and supervisors get together within two months of the starting date and fill out the Postdoctoral Initial Discussion form (ANL-698). This discussion sets initial goals and clarifies expectations on both sides for a success and productive relationship. Once completed, it has to be reviewed and signed by the Division Director. This form is available in electronic format through the internal XINK system.

Visa Information

All visa/immigration-related questions should be directed to:

Karen Liptak
HR Administrator, Immigration
Phone: (630) 252-7652

Resources for New Postdocs