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Individual Development Plans

Graduate Students   |   Postdocs

For Postdocs:

MyIDP, a free online tool from, leads postdocs through the IDP process from self-assessment to engaging mentors.  It helps scientists identify their skills and interests, clarify their career options, and set smart goals to identify, attain, and succeed in well-matched careers.

TSRI offers a short IDP template for postdocs that covers knowledge and skills, research productivity, professional goals, and supervisor support. This IDP form can be used at the beginning of a postdoctoral appointment and during annual reviews.  

AAMC Compact Between Postdoctoral Appointees and Their Mentors is intended to initiate discussions at the local and national levels about the postdoctoral appointee-mentor relationship.

ChemIDP, developed by American Chemical Society, is to help graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in the chemical sciences plan and prepare for rewarding careers.

The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) released a document and worksheet identifying the six Core Competencies for postdoctoral training. These competencies are "meant to serve primarily as: (1) a basis for self-evaluation by postdoctoral scholars and (2) a basis for developing training opportunities that can be evaluated by mentors, institutions, and other advisors."

NPA also has great suggestions on developing a postdoctoral mentoring plan.

The term "postdoctoral scholar" was defined by the NIH and NSF in January 2007. This definition emphasizes the importance of mentored training.

Also, see "Making the Most of Your Postdoc," an article that appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education July 15, 2010.