Program Advising & Mentorship
Student Advisory Committee (SAC)
Incoming PiN students are each assigned to a member of the Student Advisory Committee, a small group of faculty committed to guiding students through the program from matriculation through graduation. Students are matched with a SAC advisor with whom they have no other professional contact in order to ensure that the advising relationship is not influenced by the advisor's interests. SAC advisors follow their students throughout their PhD and take a holistic approach to advising on course selection, rotations, choosing a lab, research projects, dissertation research, career development, and anything of concern to their students.
While a student may meet with their SAC advisor at any time, PiN formally schedules individual advising meetings at specific intervals. First-year students meet with SAC advisors in August, December, and May. Second-year students meet with SAC advisors in September and January. Third-year students (and above) meet with SAC advisors annually in June, July, or August, depending on their advisor’s schedule.
Students are encouraged to help set the agenda for these meetings. Students might, for example, want to discuss issues relating to their DAC, their advisor, their ideas for postdoctoral research, or alternative post-graduation options. Students are asked to complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP) survey each year, which can help guide advising discussions about progress to degree and career options.
Dissertation Advisory Committee (DAC)
Peer & Alumni Mentorship
All first-year PiN students are paired with a more senior peer mentor within the program. PiN peer mentors undergo training in culturally aware mentorship, mental health first aid, Title IX, and accessing student resources across the University. Peer mentors meet with their mentees once a month in the first year and organize regular themed group "hang-outs" around topics like making the most of your rotations, choosing a lab, time management, and work-life balance in grad school.