Individual Development Plans

What is an IDP? An Individual Development Plans (IDP) is a dynamic document that identifies career goals, sets a path and helps postdoc manage their career development plans.  IDPs have long been used in the business world and because their effectiveness has been proven, they are increasingly used by universities to promote and support postdoctoral training. 

Who is in charge of making an IDP?  It’s important to understand that you, as the postdoctoral scholar, are in the driver seat regarding the IDP process. That’s because an effective IDP needs to follow your goals, priorities and chosen career path.  Mentors can help identify strengths and opportunities for growth, provide advice and guide you based on their own experiences. However,  ultimately, you are in charge of creating a specific plan to actively develop the necessary skills to achieve your goals.

How do you make an IDP? We provide you with a basic IDP template. You can also opt to use the IDP form offered by AAAS. You are welcome to modify the template as needed. It’s recommended that once you develop an initial draft of the IDP, you meet with your mentors to discuss and solicit feedback. This should be done at least once a year.  For new postdocs, more frequent “check ins” during the first year are useful to ensure that a stronger foundation is established to enhance your postdoctoral experience.

Have any questions about IDPs? Email [email protected]