Individual Development Plan

An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a student-generated document that helps lay the foundation for clear and effective communication with mentors. It also helps graduate students plan and achieve goals related to graduate school milestones and career plans. 
The IDP framework is designed to be flexible. Students can start the process using one of the following free online tools:

Imagine PhD

ImaginePhD- A career exploration and planning tool for PhD students and postdoctoral scholars in the humanities and social sciences

myIDP

myIDP- A career exploration and planning tool for PhD students and postdoctoral scholars seeking scientific career paths

ChemIDP

ChemIDP- A career exploration and planning tool for PhD students and postdoctoral scholars in the chemical sciences

Students can also use these tools or the University of Iowa IDP Sample Library to create an IDP that reflects their own current goals and interests. 
Once the IDP document is created, student can share IDPs with mentors for discussion, brainstorming, and feedback. IDP meetings are intended to be generative and are not intended to be an annual review of student accomplishments. What are the benefits of an IDP?

  • Help students identify their own skill development and needs within and outside of their graduate program.
  • Help graduate students transition fully into their role as an independent researcher and scholar
  • Create clear lines of communication between mentor and mentee
  • Create a mechanism for accountability to help students in accomplishing their goals
  • Develop a comprehensive plan to help students achieve academic and professional goals

The Graduate College can help support your faculty and students with implementing IDPs in graduate programs. Please contact Assistant Dean Jennifer Teitle to learn more about support for individual or group faculty learning about IDPs or IDP training for PhD students or postdoctoral scholars.