Individual Development Plans

Creating an Individual Development Plan (IDP) allows you to set degree milestones, develop foundational skills and career planning goals, and take the steps necessary to complete them.

A nationwide study of 7,600 postdocs found that those who developed training plans with their advisors at the start of their appointments reported greater satisfaction and fewer conflicts with advisors, as well as more papers published.

IDP Tools & Resources

The following discipline-specific IDP resources integrate self-assessment into the planning process. Some funding agencies require trainees to complete an IDP and to discuss it with their mentor. Meet with a graduate career advisor to get advice on developing your plan, and initiating a conversation with your advisor.

Schedule an Appointment Resources to Talk With Your Advisor


Provides exercises to help you examine your skills, interests, and values and a list of 20 scientific career paths with a prediction of which ones best fit your skills and interests. Includes a tool for setting strategic goals for the coming year, with optional reminders to keep you on track and articles and resources to guide you through the process.



An IDP designed specifically for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in the chemical sciences. Through immersive, self-paced activities, users explore potential careers, determine specific skills needed for success, and develop plans to achieve professional goals. ChemIDP tracks user progress and input, providing tips and strategies to complete goals and guide career exploration.



A career exploration and planning tool for humanities and social sciences, ImaginePhD includes skills, interests, and values assessments, 16 job families that humanities and social science PhDs pursue, and 500+ career resources. The MyPlan section of ImaginePhD helps you develop a checklist or calendar plan, includes sample goals, and syncs to your Outlook or Apple Calendar.


American Psychological Association IDP

The American Psychological Association will guide you through the IDP process to customize your own plan of action and find the best job for you.



PHaSS-IDP is a free online career exploration and planning tool for graduate students, postdocs and early career professionals interested in public health and health related careers in the social sciences and some humanities. The PHaSS-IDP allows you to create and track SMART goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable/Action-oriented, Realistic/Relevant, and Time-bound as a framework for your Individual Development Plan.


Meet with an expert

Make a confidential appointment with a Graduate Career Advisor to explore next steps and prepare for your career.

Make an Appointment