The MIND Program: Connecting UCSF Postdocs and Students with Bay Area Professionals

UCSF is piloting an experimental new program that hopes to build better bridges between Ph.D. students and postdocs, and the various organizations and companies that could benefit from a talented, driven, highly-trained workforce. This new program is the UCSF Motivating INformed Decisions (MIND) program, and they are looking for Ph.D. level professionals working in the Bay Area who are willing to devote a bit of their time to meet with a few UCSF trainees for brief one-on-one informational interviews to help them navigate the non-academic workforce.

UCSF has always been at the forefront of biomedical research, training the nation’s best and brightest to take up the call to advance health worldwide. Historically, this has been synonymous with training the next generation of basic biomedical researchers, but the number of PhDs who obtain tenure-track faculty positions now represents a shrinking minority. Current programs do not expose trainees to the wide range of possible careers that are available to them. The MIND program, supported by an NIH Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) award, will connect UCSF trainees with PhD professionals (MIND partners) who are willing to share the stories of their professional experience and career paths.

The MIND program is designed to offer huge returns on the small commitments that MIND partners make, through a unique resource called MINDbank. MIND partners agree to share some basic information about their jobs, and to meet with one or more UCSF trainees for informational interviews. This data is entered into MINDbank, and will form the foundation for a curated knowledgebase of biomedical career information. In the coming years, the data in MINDbank will be aggregated and anonymized and made publicly available so that trainees nationwide can benefit from the experience and expertise that MIND partners have to offer.

If you or your company is interested in learning more about the MIND program, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Silva, MIND program manager, More information is available at The commitment you make is small, but provides you with the opportunity to become part of a nationwide effort to change the landscape of biomedical training.