Taking the time to plan your career path will help you use your postdoctoral training period more efficiently and effectively. Furthermore, completing your IDP will help you to familiarize yourself with career planning tools that are common among academic and non-academic employers.

Your IDP will help you to:

  • Identify or refine your long- and short-term career goals;
  • Identify additional skills that you need to have, and resources for improving them;
  • Make and implement a plan for meeting your goals;
  • Initiate regular discussions with your mentor(s) about your career path and performance;
  • Track your accomplishments and progress toward your career goals;
  • Create mentoring and/or training plans when you apply for external funding.

Discussing your IDP with your mentor should be part of your annual review process, in which you seek constructive feedback on your performance in the prior year and create a plan of action for the upcoming year. The IDP template offered by the OPA includes guidelines on creating an IDP, either through the provided template or through another resource, such as MyIDP.

Individual Development Plan for Postdocs
Enable all features for a fillable template

Guidelines for Postdocs Guidelines for Mentors