What is an Individual Development Plan (IDP)?

An individual development plan (IDP) is a personalized, interactive tool that you can use to identify and prioritize professional goals, and construct an actionable strategy to achieve them. Whether you are planning careers in academia or exploring non-academic positions, you will find IDPs to be a valuable device for managing their career and professional development while at Yale.  An IDP provides tools for you to:

  • Assess your skills, interests and values
  • Explore career options
  • Determine gaps in professional skills and create action plans to develop them
  • Set research and professional goals and track progress

Assessing the transferability of your research and skills will empower you with new perspectives on the value of your PhD work both within and outside of the academy.  IDP tools can also raise your productivity by helping you manage your time, direct your efforts more efficiently, and successfully meet PhD milestones and career development goals.  By achieving greater clarity of career goals earlier in their graduate career, you can position yourself to invest in professional development that will enhance your success in the job market, regardless of your intended career path.


Online IDP Tools

Free online IDP tools for PhD students and postdocs are available online.  Get started with the options below:

  • Versatile PhD (MyPlan) is for PhDs from all disciplines.
  • Imagine PhD is aimed at Humanities and Social Science PhDs but useful for anyone interested in non-STEM careers.  Developed by the Graduate Career Consortium.
  • MyIDP is for STEM PhDs and produced by AAAS.
  • ChemIDP has content relevant to all STEM PhDs, by the American Chemical Society.

Additional Resources from OCS

The Office of Career Strategy offers many resources to help GSAS students and Yale postdocs complete each stage of the IDP. Make progress by taking the following steps: