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 school  Postdocs should then refer to their plan on a regular basis throughout the year and revise it annually.

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 his/her 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 his/her 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.

Currently we are providing three IDP templates. Postdocs can choose any of the three or utilize another IDP template that might better serve their needs. IDP options include:

UW Office of Postdoc Affairs IDP (Info and link under IDP heading)

NYC Ascent IDP

Stanford University Postdoc IDP

Science Careers IDP