Individual Development Plans (IDP)

NIH grant guidelines encourage instiutions and programs to document a structured Individual Development Plan (IDP) for all NIH-supported graduate students and post-docs. Your IDP will be a customized roadmap for your training and goals and will help you take ownership of your graduate school education. Your IDP will enable you to:

  • define short, medium, and long term professional goals
  • identify areas that need development and extra resources for success
  • establish clear expectations and steps
  • obtain support from your PI/advisor when you need it most
  • create an action plan for your professional development
  • strengthen your relationship with your PI/advisor, other faculty mentors, and your scientific community

All graduate students and faculty mentors are encouraged to use the following IDP templates. Each template is tailored to your stage of progression through graduate school. Completion may take a few hours or days and will require some self-reflection on your part. Be honest and thoughtful. These may seem too daunting to a first timer in the lab. If so, then the Quick Start Plan may be for you until you get a semester of experience or comfortable with completing a full form. These IDP templates are interactive PDFs; depending on your system, you may need to download the file onto your computer and open the file in an appropriate Adobe program.

Want more information? Need more guidance? Science Careers MyIDP will provide you with articles and resources to guide you through the process..