Individual Development Plan

The Graduate College strongly recommends that you work with your faculty advisor and Director of Graduate Studies to draft an Individual Development Plan (IDP). The IDP serves as an outline, setting a variety of goals and benchmarks for you to achieve. The IDP is a tool designed to open communication and define expectations between you and your mentor.

You and your advisor should review the plan periodically (at least annually), and you should update your plan to reflect goals met and new goals to be achieved.

Here are instructions for developing an Individual Development Plan. You creating your own IDP by using this Graduate College form or by visiting this website.

What are the benefits of an IDP?

  • Help you transition fully from graduate student to successful scholar and researcher
  • Assess your skills and interests
  • Identify your professional development needs
  • Identify specific skills you need, especially those that lie outside your research project
  • Develop a comprehensive plan to achieve your academic and professional goals
  • Create a collaborative goal-setting process with your research mentor(s)

Who should complete an IDP?

IDPs benefit all graduate students, not just those in the sciences. IDPs are consistent with current NIH and NSF expectations. The linked forms above are templates; you can modify the form to best fit your discipline.

IDP info for graduate programs

The Graduate College encourages graduate programs to implement an IDP process, and we are happy to collaborate with you to revise the IDP forms for your discipline area. As you revise the template, please be sure to retain key elements. In particular, all IDPs should include substantive input by the student’s research advisor—this dialogue is essential.

Looking for an additional resource? Visit My IDP—Science Careers.

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