School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Individual Development Plan (IDP)

Individual Development Plans (IDPs) are tools for self-evaluation and goal setting. In training of postdoctoral fellows, IDPs can be an effective mechanism to determine the current status of postdoctoral training and to chart a plan for continued training in relation to self-identified career directions and goals.  IDPs provide information for the postdoctoral fellow. Importantly, IDPs also provide information for mentors of postdoctoral fellows.  Therefore, IDPs can be an effective means to frame discussions between the postdoctoral fellow and their mentor leading to mutually agreed upon training priorities and activities.

Download the SGPS IDP Form*
*Save to your desktop, complete the form, then save your work

Postdoctoral fellows at RFUMS are expected to receive training and become proficient in the following core competencies, established by the National Postdoctoral Association:

                        •Discipline-specific Conceptual Knowledge

                        • Research Skill Development

                        • Communication Skills

                        • Professionalism

                        • Leadership and Management Skills

                        • Responsible Conduct of Research

Importantly, the postdoctoral fellow, mentor, and institution share in the responsibility of ensuring that postdoctoral fellows meet these competencies by the end of their training period.  As such, each participate has a significant role in postdoctoral development.  Definition of the roles of the postdoctoral fellow and mentor can be facilitated by self-assessment followed by discussion with the mentor to develop a plan to meet these competencies.  Several steps have been put forth by the National Postdoctoral Association to assist postdoctoral fellows and their mentors in generation of plans to meet postdoctoral competencies.  These steps are:


Postdoctoral Fellow



Conduct Self-Assessment

Become familiar with available career opportunities


Write IDP, share with mentor, revise

Review IDP, help revise


Survey career opportunities with mentor

Discuss career opportunities with postdoc


Implement plan, revise IDP annually

Establish regular review process, help revise IDP annually


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