Welcome to your Individual Development Plan (IDP)

The National Postdoc Association (NPA) has classified six core competencies for Ph.D. scholars. The IDP process is aimed towards helping you identify, build and strengthen these core competencies.

1. Discipline-specific conceptual knowledge

2. Research skill development

3. Communication skills

4. Professionalism

5. Leadership and management skills

6. Responsible conduct of research

In 2012, American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) created the myIDP. This is an online self-assessment tool that helps Ph.D. students and Post-doctoral fellows evaluate their skills, values and interests. After taking this online self-assessment you should be able to introspect and start a discussion about your strengths, weaknesses, and career goals. The ultimate goal is to help Ph.D. students and Post-doctoral fellows identify a good career fit.

Masters students in the biomedical scholars track are recomended to create a myIDP account and take the evaluation. Scroll down to the end of this page, for useful videos on how to analyze and apply the results from this self-assessment.

MD/PhD students in the second year of their Ph.D. research should complete the MD/PhD IDP and meet with their mentor and Dr. Padmini Salgame, by August 30, 2019. First year MD/PhD students can complete the above MD/PhD IDP or the AAAS myIDP. If you plan on taking the AAAS myIDP, please go to the bottom of this page for informative videos on taking the myIDP and interpreting the results.

First year Ph.D. students should create a myIDP account and take the evaluation before the end of their academic year i.e. students who started the program in Fall 2018 should take the assesment by August 30, 2019. Upon completion, you will receive a certificate. Please save this certificate and upload it on Sakai under assignments for first years students. Scroll all the way to the bottom of this page for videos on myIDP.

Second year Ph.D. students are required to meet their mentor and track director before the end of their second year i.e. before August 30, 2019. A completed Rutgers IDP can be used to drive a discussion on career and project-specific development, training needs and goals. Ph.D. students should also use these meetings to (a) create a time line for achieving specific milestones in their thesis research (b) enroll in academic activities to improve technical writing and oral communication (c) discuss avenues to improve soft skills by engaging in the laboratory, department, and research societies. Ph.D. students should leave the IDP meeting with goal-driven actionable items. Next steps:

  1. Schedule a meeting with your track director, before August 30, 2019*
  2. Schedule a meetting with your mentor, before August 30, 2019*
  3. Upload the signed and completed IDP and your CV on Sakai

*You can schedule to meet with your thesis mentor and track director together or individually. If you are meeting them individually, the 2 meetings should occur within 1 month of each other. All of the above should be accomplished by the end of the academic year i.e. August 30, 2019. 

Third year Ph.D. students, log back into your myIDP, re-take the evaluation. Save the certificate of completion and upload it on Sakai under assignments for third years students. Self-assess whether you are on track with thesis research, paper and grant writing, as well as professional skill development with respect to the six core competencies mentioned above.

Fourth year Ph.D. students should schedule a meeting with Dr. Badheka before August 30, 2019 to discuss their achievements, career aspirations and future plans. Fourth year Ph.D. students are required to once again fill out the Rutgers IDP and use it to drive the discussion with their thesis mentor. Next steps:

  1. Schedule a meetting with your mentor, before August 30, 2019. Discuss the milestones achieved and create an action plan with your adviser.
  2. Shedule an annual thesis committee meeting.
  3. Upload the signed and completed IDP and your CV on Sakai.

Ph.D. students in the fifth year and beyond are recommeded to schedule in person 1:1 meeting with Dr. Badheka to follow-up on their career and professional development.

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. Additionally, the Rutgers School of Graduate Studies requires each Ph.D. student submit an annual IDP befrore the end of the academic year i.e. before August 30, 2019 for the first four years of their Ph.D. program.

Rutgers IDP resources

To view the Rutgers IDP document, click here. To view the Rutgers MD/PhD 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

myIDP videos created by co-creaters of myIDP, UCSF

Questions regarding IDP should be directed to

Doreen Badheka, Ph.D.

Program Director, Rutgers SGS

185 South Orange Avenue, Newark, NJ

Email: doreen.badheka@rutgers.edu