UCSF

Student-Run Initiatives

Peer Mentorship Program
Alumni Mentorship Program
Alumni Seminar Series

Peer Mentorship Program

Current Biophysics graduate students established a framework for a formalized Biophysics graduate student support network in 2021. This program exists to support the development of personal, academic, and career goals for early career scientists through intentional relationship building of mentorship networks prior to throughout graduate school. Peer mentorship groups are composed of 3-6 students across class years. Each group decides their own preferred meeting time, frequency, and format. Monthly reminders are provided by email with a suggested conversation topic. We hope that this program fosters the following:

  • An opportunity for observational learning

  • Sharing experiences, challenges, and triumphs with peers

  • Encouraging asking for help often, early, and effectively

  • Establishing independence, individuality, and allow for evolving self-determined success metrics

  • Strengthening the climate within the program through student-only interactions

  • Providing a forum for students to be empowered to actively help one another achieve their goals

  • Solidifying the strength of the Biophysics program and maintain strong involvement from current and former trainees

  • Normalizing having a mentorship network or set of mentors rather than relying on just one individual at any given time

Alumni Mentorship Program

In addition to peer mentorship groups current graduate students also established a 1-on-1 Alumni Mentorship partner program. This branch of the mentorship program seeks to connect current students with former Biophysics graduate students to further expand and enhance the support network. We hope that this program fosters the following:
  • Promoting career development throughout graduate school

  • Extending student networks to provide outside perspectives and advice

  • Allowing alumni to share their experience at UCSF and in their career following UCSF

  • Developing an individual set of near and long term goals and a plan for achieving self-determined milestones

  • Solidifying the strength of the Biophysics program and maintain strong involvement from current and former trainees
  • Normalizing having a mentorship network or set of mentors rather than relying on just one individual at any given time
 
Current Mentorship Leadership Group: Lakshmi Miller-Vedam, Stephanie Wankowicz, Daphne Chen, and Nicole Flowers (as Biophysics Leadership Liaison).
 
If you are interested in being involved as a peer mentorship group member, alumni mentor, alumni mentee, a member of the Mentorship Leadership Group, or an alumni liaison please reach out to Nicole Flowers.

EXTERNAL RESOURCES ON MENTORSHIP:

UCSF OCPD mentorship courses

UCSF Mentoring guide

Making the Right Moves: A Practical Guide to Scientific Management for Postdocs and New Faculty, Second Edition

Form Your Own Peer Mentoring Group: A How-To Guide for Scientists

Learning how to be resilient and accept constructive criticism

Possible benefits of matching students based on affinity or cross-affinity groups

iBiology videos on mentorship

Alumni Seminar Series

The Biophysics Alumni Forum is a student-run seminar series that brings program graduates from diverse trajectories back to campus to engage with current students. The Forum hosts quarterly events, and focuses on exposing current students to the breadth of paths possible with a Ph.D. from UCSF Biophysics. The first meeting will take place in March 2022, with Dr. Christian Cunningham '09 speaking on his experiences in academia and industry. Alumni Forum events involve a seminar from the alumni guest, a moderated Q&A, and a lunch with students.