To assist PhD graduate students to achieve their career goals, the School of Graduate Studies in the Heath Sciences has a policy that mandates all PhD graduate students develop and use an Individual Development Plan (IDP). All graduate students will review their IDP with their research mentor and program director at least once per year during one or both of the twice-annual student progression review meetings.
The IDP is a useful tool designed to assist the graduate student with:
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.
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.
The annual review of the IDP will take place during at least one of the twice-annual Graduate Student Research and Career Progress Review meetings between the graduate student, program director, and research mentor (the latter: for post-candidacy students). The date of this IDP review will be noted on the last page of the Individual Student Progress Report form. This form can be found on the "Forms" page of the SGSHS website and in the "Student Progression Plan."
Upon completion of the Student Progress meeting and the review of the IDP, a signature page at the end of the Individual Student Progress Report form is to be signed by all participants. The completed and signed Individual Student Progress Report Form for each student enrolled in the program is to be provided to SGSHS by June 1 each year.
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:
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 organized a seminar and workshop with Dr. Phil Clifford, co-developer of myIDP. Dr. Clifford's lecture is currently available for additional viewing at:
The School of Graduate Studies in the Heath Sciences will organize a workshop annually for all first-year graduate students to educate them on the use of IDP and the myIDP website.