Skip to Main Content

Individual Development Plans

Connect with SGPS

Graduate students generate Individual Development Plans that assist both students, postdocs, and their mentors in near and long-term goal setting, expectations for the graduate school or postdoc experience, and assessment for specific areas of professional development.


Individual Development Plans (IDPS) are tools for self-evaluation and goal setting. In training of graduate students and postdocs, IDPs can be an effective mechanism to determine the current status of and to chart a plan for continued training in relation to self-identified career directions and goals. IDPs provide information for the trainee, but importantly, IDPs also provide information for mentors. Therefore, IDPs can be an effective means to frame discussions between the trainee and their mentor leading to mutually agreed upon training priorities and activities. Read more about SGPS' competencies and our SGPS Student IDPs and Postdoctoral IDPs.

Online IDP

Developed by a team at, "The Individual Development Plan (IDP) concept is commonly used in industry to help employees define and pursue their career goals. In 2003, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) proposed an IDP framework for postdoctoral fellows in the sciences. Expanding on that framework, myIDP is a unique, web-based career-planning tool tailored to meet the needs of PhD students and postdocs in the sciences." Read more about this online version of the Individual Development Plan.