Individual Development Plan


Policy for IDPs

For a boiler plate document that can be used to describe the Individual Development Plans at Rutgers for graduate students, please click here.

In accordance with NIH guidelines, all graduate students in the biomedical programs of School of Graduate Studies at Rutgers are required to complete Individual Development Plans (IDPs).  The purpose of the Rutgers IDP is two-fold.  1) IDPs provide a structure to systematically identify training needs and competencies, establish tangible research goals, and take stock of annual progress.  Thus, IDPs help trainees stay on track with their research, paper and grant writing, and skill development. Moreover, educational research has shown that IDPs increase productivity. 2) IDPs help educate trainees as to various career options, define career goals, and create an annual plan to attain those career goals. The NIH Office of Management and Budget has stated that predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees have dual roles as trainees and employees and therefore must be engaged in both training and career development activities.  In both of these areas, IDPs can serve as a tool to facilitate communication between trainees and their mentors.
The development, implementation, and revision of IDPs require a series of steps to be conducted by the trainee and then discussed with the mentor, including the formation of an IDP committee consisting of the trainee, the PI, and a representative of the graduate school. In the first year of training, the Rutgers IDP document must be read in its entirety and the AAAS IDP completed.  At the end of the second year of training, the Rutgers IDP document must be completed followed by a meeting of the student, PI and graduate program director.  At the end of the third year, the AAAS IDP must be revised.  At the end of the fourth year of training, the Rutgers IDP document must be completed again along with a meeting of the IDP committee, which for graduate students also now includes a professional from the projected career of interest (SGS will arrange these meetings and notify the student of the date).  The trainee is welcome to have additional meetings as desired.  Finally, every year, the trainee must submit a current CV.  These documents and the completion of the requirements are monitored through a Rutgers Canvas site.  The Rutgers IDP document is based on the UCSF IDP as well as the Kellogg School of Science and Technology at the Scripps Research Institute IDP and the AAAS IDP.

Rutgers IDP resources

To view the Rutgers IDP document, click here

To enter the Rutgers IDP Canvas Site for instructions on completing and uploading your documents, click here

To access the recommended template for a CV, click here

Science Careers IDP

This website was developed in collaboration between AAAS/Science and the Borroughs Wellcome Fund. An individual development plan (IDP) helps you explore career possibilities and set goals to follow the career path that fits you best. There is no charge to use the site and you can return as often as you like to access the resources.
Click here for my IDP website


Clinical research management: clinical research project/trials manager or coordinator

Scientific/medical testing: testing specialist in an environmental, public health, genetics, or
forensic science setting, clinical diagnostician

Science education for non-scientists: education or public outreach specialist such as at a science
museum or scientific society

Support of science-related products: technical support specialist, product development scientist
or engineer

Drug/device approval and production:
regulatory affairs professional, quality control specialist

Sales and marketing of science-related products: medical science liaison, technical sales
representative, marketing specialist.

Public health related careers: public health program analyst or evaluator, epidemiologist,
biostatistician, medical informaticist

Science policy: public affairs/government affairs staff at scientific societies, foundations,
government entities, or think tanks

Research staff in a research-intensive institution: staff scientist or research in academia or
government, lab manager, director of a multi-user research facility in an academic institution

Science writing: science, medical or technical writer or journalist, science editor, science publisher

Research in industry: discovery or preclinical researcher, manager of a research team of facility

Combined research and teaching careers: faculty at a liberal arts college or university whose job
includes both research and major teaching responsibilities

Research administration: research administrator in private or public research institutions,
government or academia, including compliance officers, grants and contracts officers, dean or
director of research programs

Clinical practice: clinician such as genetics counselor, therapist, physician

Intellectual property: patent agent, patent attorney, technology transfer specialist

Science education for K-12 schools: classroom teacher, curriculum developer, science specialist

Teaching-intensive careers in academia: a primarily teaching faculty position in a research
university, liberal arts college, community college

Business of science: management consultant, business development professional in a biotech
company, venture capitalist, market researcher, investment analyst

Principal investigator in a research-intensive institution: independent researcher at a medical
school, private research institution, government lab or university with minimal teaching

Entrepreneurship: starting your own business


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