Individual Development Plan

An Individual Development Plan, or IDP, helps students be intentional about setting goals and planning for a career while in graduate school. It also supports students in assessing their values and individual skill sets relative to career goals and documenting progress in acquiring both the depth of research and breadth of other skills sought by employers. For a brief narrated slide show introducing IDPs, click here (opens website of the Graduate School, UW-Madison).

IDP Resources

How to prepare your IDP

IDP Template (DOC) - University of Pittsburgh

Graduate Student Skills (DOC)

Humanities and Social Sciences
ImaginePhD is a free online career exploration and planning tool that the user can customize. It was developed by experts from over 50 universities under the auspices of the Graduate Career Consortium. This career exploration and planning tool is designed specifically for PhD students and postdoctoral scholars in humanities and social sciences preparing for careers in the academy, non-profit, government, or industry and business. On ImaginePhD, students are able to assess career-related skills, interests, and values, explore career paths appropriate to their discipline, create self-defined goals, and map out the next steps for their career. The website also curates general resources of strategies, tips, and guidelines for developing job search documents and navigating job application processes. The tool has already been  adopted by several hundred thousand graduate students, as well as postdocs, faculty, and other mentors of graduate students across the U.S.A. and around the globe.

Set Up a Free ImaginePhD Account: ImaginePhD is free to use. You can create a free account on their website.

Natural Sciences 
A well-established interactive website, myIDP (AAAS), is designed as a career-planning tool for doctoral students and postdocs in the sciences. A four-step process involves self-assessment, career exploration, goals, and implementation.