Individual Development Plan

Individual Development Plans (IDPs) are designed to help students reflect on what they want to get out of their graduate education, think of short-term and long-term goals, and explore their interests and career paths.  It is a living planning document and should be modified as needed.  The IDP is a tool to help identify goals, opportunities, and potential hurdles and discuss these with a student's advisor.

An IDP is a useful tool to help a graduate student and advisor:

  • Reflect and develop a strategy for graduate education
  • Manage their expectations and maintain a positive working relationship
  • Minimize misunderstandings and conflicts

IDP Templates

IDPs are living documents, and there are many examples available for students and advisors. Some example templates that may be used are below:

  • Michigan Tech IDP - this IDP was developed at Michigan Tech1 for all graduate students completing a dissertation, thesis, or report as part of their degree requirements. 
  • MyIDP - a web-based career-planning tool for scientists at the doctoral level.
  • ChemIDP - a career planning tool developed by ACS for chemical scientists.
  • ImaginePhD - an online career exploration and planning tool designed for postdocs and graduate students in the humanities and social sciences.

1. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1305678. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

IDP Presentations

Planning Your Career using an IDP

Dr. Joerg Schlatterer and Dr. Corrie Kuniyoshi from ACS presented at Michigan Tech on November 7, 2018. This presentation is most useful for students using an IDP.

Individual Development Plan Assisted Mentoring

Dr. Corrie Kuniyoshi and Dr. Joerg Schlatterer from ACS presented at Michigan Tech on November 7, 2018. This video is most appropriate for faculty mentoring students using an IDP. The audio quality is variable.

 Career Development Events