Individual Development Plan (IDPs)
Graduate students in the Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at New Jersey Medical School are required to complete Individual Development Plans (IDPs).  The purpose of the Rutgers IDP is two-fold.  1) IDPs provide a structure to systematically identify training needs and competencies, establish tangible research goals, and take stock of annual progress.  Thus, IDPs help trainees stay on track with their research, paper and grant writing, and skill development. 2) IDPs help educate trainees as to various career options, define career goals, and create an annual plan to attain those career goals. In both of these areas, IDPs can serve as a tool to facilitate communication between trainees and their mentors. Moreover, educational research has shown that IDPs increase productivity.

Finally, NIH guidelines require that all NIH annual progress reports must include a section to describe how IDPs are used to identify and promote the career goals of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers associated with the award. Thus, these resources are also available to postdoctoral fellows at Rutgers University.

The development, implementation, and revision of IDPs require a series of steps to be conducted by the trainee and then discussed with the mentor, including the formation of an IDP committee consisting of the trainee, the PI, and a representative of the graduate school. In the first year of training, the Rutgers IDP document must be read in its entirety and the AAAS IDPcompleted.  At the end of the second year of training, the Rutgers IDP document must be completed followed by a meeting of the IDP committee. For postdoctoral fellows, this meeting will include a professional from the projected career of interest.   At the end of the third year, the AAAS IDP must be revised.  At the end of the fourth year of training, the Rutgers IDP document must be completed again along with a meeting of the IDP committee, which for graduate students also now includes a professional from the projected career of interest.  The trainee is welcome to have additional meetings as desired.  Finally, every year, the trainee must submit a current CV.  These documents and the completion of the requirements are monitored through a Rutgers Sakai site.  The Rutgers IDP document is based on the UCSF IDP as well as the Kellogg School of Science and Technology at the Scripps Research Institute IDP and the AAAS IDP.

Rutgers IDP resources

To view the Rutgers IDP document, click here

To enter the Rutgers IDP Sakai Site for instructions on completing and uploading your documents, click here

To access the recommended template for a CV, click here

Science Careers IDP

This website was developed in collaboration between AAAS/Science and the Borroughs Wellcome Fund. An individual development plan (IDP) helps you explore career possibilities and set goals to follow the career path that fits you best. There is no charge to use the site and you can return as often as you like to access the resources.
Click here for my IDP website