Individual Development Plan

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  • Individual Development Plan for Graduate Students

    To assist graduate students to achieve their career goals, the School of Graduate Studies in the Heath Sciences has a Policy that mandates all gradate students to develop and use an Individual Development Plan. 

    The Individual Development Plan (IDP) is an extremely useful tool designed to assist the graduate student with 1) identifying his/her professional goals and objectives; 2) assessing the graduate student's skill set relative to his/her career goals; and 3) developing a plan to acquire the skills and competencies needed to achieve short- and long-term career objectives. In addition to serving as a planning tool, an IDP also serves as a communication tool, allowing the graduate student to communicate research and career goals to mentors, including research advisors and graduate program directors.

    What is the IDP process?

    The development, implementation, and revision of IDPs require a series of steps to be conducted by graduate students and their mentors.  This is an interactive process and requires full participation of both students and mentors.

    1) Student Self Assessment; 2) Student: Write and share IDP - Mentor: Review IP and help revise; 3) Student: Implement plan and revise as needed - Mentor: establish regular progress review; 4) Student: Survey opportunities with mentor - Mentor: Discuss opportunities

    How does this relate to core competencies?

    There is broad agreement that core competencies provide an excellent way to evaluate career/professional development. Core competencies are primarily blends of skills and experiences that future employers and/or educational institutions will be seeking. Specifically, graduate training should aim to build competence in:

    What resources can I use?

    An excellent free online tool for developing an IDP is myIDP:

    This tool is written specifically for scientists to help them understand their skills, values and interests and how those align with potential career choices.

    The School of Graduate Studies in the Heath Sciences has organized a seminar and workshop on November 14th, 2013 with Dr. Phil Clifford, co-developer of myIDP. Attendance to the workshop is mandatory for all graduate students. His lecture will be available (iPod) for additional viewing after Nov. 14, 2013.

    Another model IDP, developed by FASEB, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, can be found at