individual development plans

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What is an Individual Development Plan (IDP)?

An IDP is an essential planning tool used to map out academic and professional development throughout graduate school and postdoctoral training.

An IDP helps graduate students and postdoctoral scholars:

  • Assess current skills and strengths related to academic and professional career goals
  • Make a plan for developing skills to achieve current and future professional goals
  • Foster communicate with advisors and mentors about goals, related skills, and professional development

Why is an IDP Important?

A thoughtfully completed IDP can serve as a proactive and effective planning and communication tool. The IDP process guides graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to reflect on their career goals in light of their current situation, and define specific actions to achieve goals. An IDP allows graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to identify their professional goals and to communicate these goals to their faculty advisor/mentor.

Individual Development Plan Tools

Sciences and Engineering:

myIDP Website: http://myidp.sciencecareers.org/

idp

  • The myIDP website allows you to create a free online IDP profile including: exercises to help you examine your skills, interests, and values; 20 scientific career paths aligning to your skills and interests; tools for setting strategic goals; and resources to guide you through the process.

Social Sciences/Humanities:

The University of Wisconsin-Madison IDP Template:https://grad.wisc.edu/pd/idp/

  • The University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School template allows you to assess your current skills and strengths, make a plan for developing skills to meet academic and professional goals, and communicate these goals with your advisor/mentor.