Self assessment can be used to help postdocs understand their own abilities, determine career possibilities, and set professional development objectives. The individual development plan (IDP) is one such tool that be used to assess career options and set short-term and long-term goals. IDPs can also be a valuable communication tool between postdocs and mentors when it comes to discussing goals. Postdocs are strongly encouraged to fill out an IDP and review it with their mentor annually.
Information About the IDP Process
- Individual Development Plan for Postdoctoral Fellows (PDF) (from FASEB)
- Postdoctoral Career Development and Assessment Process (developed by the University of Pittsburgh)
- You Need a Game Plan (first article in a series of articles from ScienceCareers about myIDP)
myIDP is a free, web-based tool that was created by AAAS and Science Careers to help scientists explore career possibilities and set goals to follow the career path that fits best. This tool provides the following:
- Exercises to help you examine your skills, interests, and values.
- A list of 20 scientific career paths with a prediction of which ones best fit your skills and interests.
- A tool for setting strategic goals for the coming year, with optional reminders to keep you on track.
- Articles and resources to guide you through the process.
National Postdoctoral Association Resources
- Career Assessment/Goal Setting Resources (from the Medical College of Wisconsin Graduate School Career Center)