Individual Development Plan

An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is an essential tool to help postdoctoral trainees:

  • assess current skills, interests, and strengths;
  • make a plan for developing skills to meet academic and professional goals; and
  • communicate with supervisors, advisors, and mentors about evolving goals and related skills.


Is it required?

Since 2014 the university has recommended the use of IDPs for all postdoctoral researchers and graduate students, and required their use for all postdoctoral researchers and graduate students supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. This requirement came in response to a NIH notice issued in summer 2013. Read the full policy.


Online Resources to Help You Create Your IDP

You can find templates, videos and other resources on the IDP website, including tips for discussing your IDP with your mentor.


Individual Advice on Creating Your IDP

Request a confidential individual career advising session to learn how to define achievable goals, identify resources, and develop strategies for implementing and sustaining an IDP. Alternatively, attend a campus workshop on creating an IDP tailored to graduate students and postdocs.


Contact for Questions

Email Imogen Hurley (, Director, Office of Postdoctoral Studies if you have any questions about developing your IDP.

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