Current Students

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 recommended 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. 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 2022 should take the assessment by August 30, 2023. Upon completion, you will receive a certificate. Please save this certificate and upload it in the Rutgers Canvas course site for IDP.

Second year Ph.D. students are required to meet their mentor and track director towards the end of their second year. 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.
  2. Schedule a meeting with your mentor.
  3. Upload the signed and completed IDP and your CV in the Rutgers Canvas course site for IDP

*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.

Third year Ph.D. students, log back into your myIDP, re-take the evaluation. Save the certificate of completion and upload it in Rutgers Canvas course site for IDP. 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 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 meeting with your mentor. Discuss the milestones achieved and create an action plan with your adviser.
  2. Schedule an annual thesis committee meeting.
  3. Upload the signed and completed IDP and your CV in Rutgers Canvas course site for IDP

Ph.D. students in the fifth year and beyond are recommended to schedule a 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 before the end of the academic year.

Rutgers IDP resources

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




Rutgers is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to direct suggestions, comments, or complaints concerning any accessibility issues with Rutgers websites to or complete the Report Accessibility Barrier / Provide Feedback form.