Whether you intend to pursue a faculty career or seek opportunities outside academia, you should complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP). An IDP is not a performance evaluation or a one-time activity. Rather, it is a tool to help you grow personally and professionally, and serves as a springboard for discussion with your PI. It should be developed in partnership with your PI, and involve preparation and continuous communication between you and your PI. (The following includes templates adapted from documents created at Stanford University):
Developing your IDP in 5 basic steps
- Pre-Plan: You and your PI prepare independently for your meeting.
- Prepare IDP - Complete your IDP, using the Initial Meeting Template.
- Meet with PI to Discuss your IDP: Items for discussion include your strengths, areas for improvement, interests, goals, and organizational requirements.
- Implement IDP: Pursue the plan identified in your IDP.
- Review: Every year, and preferably every six months, review your IDP with your PI and adjust as needed, using the Annual Template.
Please note: While your PI and you work together to develop your IDP, you are ultimately responsible for taking the initiative for your professional development.
- Additional resource clarifying expectations and responsibilities by both postdocs and their faculty mentors:
- Compact Between Postdoctoral Appointees and Their Mentors.