Individual Development Plans for PhDs

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:


Career Strategy Essentials with the Office of Career Strategy (GSAS and Postdocs, Fall 2022)

Join OCS this fall for a series of career strategy workshops designed to help you navigate your career journey! We will introduce the many OCS resources at your disposal and cover essential skills like crafting a resume, building your professional …

By Jacob Gonzalez
Jacob Gonzalez Senior Associate Director, Graduate and Postdoctoral Career Services
Read more »

Matthew Ellis wins 2nd Prize at NAGS 3-Minute Thesis Competition

The Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools hosted their 2022 3-Minute Thesis Competition on April 28th. This competition brought together participants from 31 institutions to present their thesis research live in just three minutes. Yale Ph.D. student Matthew Ellis, Department of …

By Jacob Gonzalez
Jacob Gonzalez Senior Associate Director, Graduate and Postdoctoral Career Services
Read more »

Yale 2022 3-Minute Thesis Competition Winners Announced!

The 3-Minute Thesis Competition challenges Ph.D. students to describe their thesis work clearly and engagingly in just 3 minutes! On April 14th we invited the Yale community to cheer on this year’s 11 finalists in this live-streamed celebration of Ph.D. …

By Jacob Gonzalez
Jacob Gonzalez Senior Associate Director, Graduate and Postdoctoral Career Services
Read more »

Yale 2021 3-Minute Thesis Competition Winners Announced!

Life in the virtual space became quite normalized in 2020.  And while this trend continued into 2021, new challenges awaited many of us.  One such challenge awaited Yale’s 2021 3-Minute Thesis Competition competitors, where this year’s entire event would be …

By Brian Frenette
Brian Frenette Senior Associate Director
Read more »

McDougal Career Fellows

Apply to be a 2021-22 McDougal Career Fellow today!

The Office of Career Strategy is currently accepting applications for our 2021-22 McDougal Career Fellows!  This is a fantastic opportunity to deepen various professional skills, investigate various employment opportunities and industries, …

By Yale Office of Career Strategy
Yale Office of Career Strategy
Read more »

Career Resources

Community Spotlights

CONTACT & LOCATION

Phone
(203) 432-0803
Address

55 Whitney Avenue, 3rd Fl.
New Haven, CT 06510

SERVICE HOURS

Academic Year Summer Hours
M 8:30am - 5pm 8:30am - 4:30pm
T 8:30am - 5pm 8:30am - 4:30pm
W 8:30am - 5pm 8:30am - 4:30pm
TH 8:30am - 5pm 8:30am - 4:30pm
F 8:30am - 5pm 8:30am - 4:30pm

The office is closed weekends, holidays, and recess days.