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The ASPET Mentoring Network: Coaching for Career Development is a program designed to supplement the training that graduate students and postdoctoral trainees receive through their university programs. The ASPET Mentoring Network will focus on developing skills needed to succeed scientifically, professionally, and psychologically, including discussions about experiences and pressures faced by groups that are underrepresented in the sciences. As a professional development experience, the program uses a coaching model to help participants develop success skills for a variety of careers, including but not limited to academia, industry, government, and policy.

Graduate students and postdoctoral scientists accepted into the 2024-2025 program will attend several events in association with ASPET 2024 in Arlington, VA. These will include training, guided discussions, and an informal reception on Wednesday, May 15, and an interactive program on Thursday morning, May 16. During this time, trainees will meet the coaches and other trainees and become part of a six-person coaching group. Each trainee will also meet individually with their coach during ASPET 2024 and participate in virtual group meetings throughout the year, typically held as monthly conference calls or webinars. Group events will be tailored to the specific needs of each coaching group but may focus on work/life balance, interview skills, job searches, networking, grant writing, and other topics frequently identified as important to growth as a professional.


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Who is eligible?

Graduate students and postdoctoral scientists who are members of ASPET in good standing are eligible to apply. Graduate students must have advanced to candidacy at the time of application. Postdoctoral scientists must be no more than 5 years past receipt of their terminal degree at the time of application. If you’re not a member, it’s easy to join! Membership applications must be received by the Mentoring Network program application deadline. Those selected to participate must maintain their membership in good standing during the program. All applicants must be residents of the United States, Canada, or Mexico.

What is required to participate?

You must attend and participate in all Mentoring Network programming during ASPET 2024 and be an active participant with your coaching group for the year following. We are not able to accept participants who cannot attend ASPET 2024 in person or who are only available for a portion of the programming. Please note that the program will begin ahead of the official start of ASPET 2024. Participants should be available between 2 PM and 7 PM local time on Wednesday, May 15 and between 8 AM and 12 PM on Thursday, May 16. Participants are required to be registered attendees at ASPET 2024. Because in-person attendance is required, a limited number of travel awards will be available through the Mentoring Network to help defray travel expenses for those with significant financial need who do not have other support. You will be able to indicate your interest in one of these special travel awards during the application process. We also strongly encourage applications to the ASPET travel awards.

What do previous participants think of the program?
Our group instantly connected with each other, and it was amazing to see how much we all had in common. We support each other and plan monthly goals, which motivates us to achieve them. Most importantly, sharing each other’s experiences helps us gain valuable insights.

- Suleman Hussain, graduate student, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

One memorable feature of the ASPET Mentoring Network is that it provides an open forum in which to discuss the ways our lives fit in and around science. Even though our discussions have been adeptly facilitated by established pharmacologists as mentors, of value to me has been the opportunity to interact with and learn from my peers. Despite many of us being in different pharmacology-focused fields, it is these relationships that will be most valuable as we all transition towards becoming independent scientists. I recommend participating in this program enthusiastically and without reservation.

- Cam McCarthy, postdoctoral scientist, Augusta University

ASPET’s mentoring network is a valuable platform, not only to pursue career guidance from well-established scientists but also to develop scientific collaborations with peers. I am finding my dedicated coaching group very helpful for designing my outlook towards future opportunities and challenges. I am really happy to have become part of this excellent program.

- Amreen Mughal, graduate student, North Dakota State University

Participating in the ASPET Mentoring Network has significantly expanded my network in the ASPET community and has provided me with wonderful mentors and fellow mentees that support each other both professionally and personally. I’ve enjoyed hearing stories and getting career advice from a diverse group of people who are at different stages of their careers with varied experiences.

- Sophia Kaska, graduate student, Michigan State University

Seeking sincere mentorship from experts in the field is crucial for achieving success. ASPET’S Mentoring Network program has provided me a unique lifelong opportunity to cultivate a strong mentor-mentee relationship and seek guidance on anything and everything for successful professional development. Moreover, the program has brought together trainees who face similar challenges during early scientific careers, which allows us to network with each other, along with mentors and find common solutions to any challenges we face.

- Naeem Patil, postdoctoral scientist, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

When is the deadline?

Applications are due by 11:59 PM EST Friday, December 15, 2023.

Program contact

For more information contact: Catherine L. Fry, PhD at 


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