Individual Development Plan

The Individual Developmental Plan (IDP) as a Tool for Professional Development and Career Planning.


 The IDP is a popular and effective tool in professional development and career planning.  NIH and other federal agencies require the IDP for pre-doctoral fellows and train grant recipients, and will be required of all doctoral students in the Ayala School of Biological Sciences starting fall 2015.

All doctoral students in the Ayala School of Biological Sciences are required to complete an individual development plan (IDP) and in consultation with their thesis advisor.  The IDP will be presented at the first thesis committee, and updated annually for presentation at all future thesis committee meetings.

The IDP plan should describe the student’s career goals, desired training, and specific milestones associated with professional development and academic training (fellowship applications, technical workshops, meeting presentations, pedagogical training, development of communication skills, etc.).  Students should be encouraged to incorporate professional development activities offered by the GPS-Biomed program and the UCI Graduate Division.

During the final year of graduate study, doctoral students will present a detailed plan for post-graduate career development and employment to the thesis committee at a meeting approximately one year in advance of degree completion.  This will include a formal presentation of the student’s plans for professional employment after graduation, including a timeline for application for jobs, submission of fellowships, etc.

Resources for the development of an IDP are available through “myIDP” at the AAAS and the UCI Graduate Division.  My IDP is an interactive web site that leads a student through career goals with skill and professional assessment tools.

AAAS resources:  myIDP program developed by AAAS (


UCI Graduate Division web page on Mentoring (