Individual Development Plans

An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a detailed description of your career plans and professional goals that is used to guide your choice of professional development activities. Generally, you will begin by assessing your skills, values, and interests and use what you learn to create a specific plan for developing your professional skills and positioning yourself for the career of your choice. IDPs are an excellent communication tool to help mentors and mentees work together to identify specific areas for improvement and discuss long-term goals.

Please visit the links below for more information and a few examples that you can use or modify as needed:

NIH IDP guidelines: Beginning on October 1, 2014, NIH will require descriptions of institutional use of IDPs for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in all Annual Progress Reports. Follow the links below for more information.

myIDP: A tool on the Science Careers website that offers skills, interests, and values assessments, a repository of career information, and goal setting tools and instruction. This tool also includes an option for printing or emailing a certificate of completion to help institutions track IDP completion among trainees. Highly recommended!

Science Careers: A suite of myIDP articles are available to guide trainees through the IDP and career planning process. Search for “myIDP.”

Article: Putting PhDs to Work: Career Planning for Today’s Scientist

The IDP form used in the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at NC State University.

The IDP form used by the Pharmacological Sciences Training Program.

The IDP form for grad students and postdocs developed by Vanderbilt University’s Office of Biomedical Research Education and Training

Additional Faculty Resources

Please visit the Faculty Resources section of the Office of Graduate Education website for boilerplate documents and other resources.

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