An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is an essential tool to help you:

  • Consider your training and professional development from a broad perspective.
  • Pause and reflect on goals that can get lost amidst daily research activities.
  • Set clear short-, mid- and long-term training and development goals.
  • Establish clear expectations/steps.
  • Facilitate self-reflection and fruitful discussions.
  • Create a written action plan for your individual goals and career of choice.
  • Identify and use resources to help you achieve your goals.

We strongly recommend all postdocs create an IDP within three months of joining the Allen School.  You should then refer back to your plan on a regular basis throughout the year and make annual revisions.

Postdocs can choose to share their IDP with their PIs. However, in many cases an IDP could include plans that lead a postdoc away from their current research area or career path. If this is the case, it is understandable that the postdoc would not want to share this information with their PI and there is no requirement or obligation to do so.  However, we expect the PIs to ask about the current status of your IDPs and urge you to complete or update them regularly.

IDP creation resources

A wealth of information and resources to support creating an IDP can be found on the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs website.  Guidance for a computer science-specific IDP is available on the PhD and Postdoc Career Development website. A variety of IDP templates are available, including some designed specifically for scholars pursuing careers in CS or STEM.  Postdocs are encouraged to utilize a template that best serves their needs.