Career Development

In order to more fully transition to a highly successful independent scholar and researcher, it has become increasingly important for postdocs to pursue more comprehensive training programs that offer additional career development opportunities.

Consistent with current NIH and NSF expectations, the Graduate College requires that each postdoc, regardless of funding source, collaborate with his/her faculty advisor to draft an Individual Development Plan that will serve as an outline setting a variety of goals and benchmarks for you to achieve.

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.

This plan should be periodically reviewed (at least annually) by you and your mentor, and it should be updated to reflect goals met and new goals to be achieved. The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) provides excellent resources in this regard – see Developing a Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan (external link).

The Graduate College also offers professional development opportunities and services for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. These seminars and workshops have covered a variety of topics, such as external funding, inclusive classrooms, time management, work-life balance, and writing productivity. This series continues to grow, and we encourage attendees to offer ideas for new seminars.

NIH, NSF, and some USDA funding are requiring faculty investigators to certify that postdoctoral scholars receive training in the responsible conduct of research. For a description of requirements and course options, please see our Responsible Conduct of Research page.

Again, we encourage you to contribute ideas for career development programming.