Individual Development Plans (IDPs) for Graduate Students provide a written framework for identifying professional development needs in pursuit of career goals. IDPs create an opportunity for the graduate student and faculty mentors to openly discuss career goals and alternatives while working together to create a plan to achieve those goals.
The IDP can be particularly helpful for creating and accomplishing both long and short term goals. To receive the maximum benefit from the IDP process, it is essential that both the graduate student and the faculty mentor(s) participate fully in the process.
Most graduate students work with a primary mentor. For the IDP process, it is recommended that all graduate students identify another faculty member to serve as a secondary mentor to provide additional guidance.
Before starting to create the IDP, graduate students should conduct a thorough self-assessment of their skills and interests. Below are three free resources, recommended to help guide you through the self-assessment process.
myIDP at ScienceCareers (most helpful for graduate students in the sciences)
myIDP offers users the following:
National Association of Graduate-Professional Students: Resources
The NAGPS provides a link to a variety of resources that may be of interest as you progress through various stages of your graduate education:
National Postdoctoral Association: 6 Core Competencies and Competency Checklist
The NPA has created a Postdoctoral Core Competencies Toolkit to provide guidance to postdocs seeking to develop a diverse professional skillset. The NPA has determined 6 Core competencies for postdocs to consider for training and development:
As a tool to assist postdocs with their self-assessment, the Office of Research encourages postdocs to assess their core competencies through the NPA Core Competencies Self-Assessment Checklist.
This document is a roadmap to achieving your career goals. It is a flexible document which may be revised and updated frequently. The goal is to identify current strengths and skill sets, as well as areas to be further developed to work towards career goals. It is helpful to break larger projects into smaller projects for inclusion in the IDP.
In order to for the IDP to be helpful in your career development, you must work to bring the IDP to life through learning new skills and strengthening areas of your background identified in your IDP. The IDP can be revised as circumstances change and should be reviewed with your mentors as needed.
Please dowload this word document and use it to complete your IDP to share with your mentor(s).
The Graduate School provides guidance for a broad array of professional development opportunities as well as assistance for simply navigating the process of achieving your degree from admission to convocation.
The Center for Teaching Excellence offers frequent seminars on current topics in teaching, as well as a monthly Focus on Learning, Innovation and Pedagogy (FLIP) discussion group.
The NAGPS sponsors an annual conference and provides a variety of benefits and resources to graduate and professional students.
The GSA is the student government voice of graduate students at the UofSC. Opportunities for involvement and information on a wide array of happenings on campus are available through this group.
The USC Postdoctoral Association offers monthly professional development seminars, as well as networking opportunities.