INDIVIDUAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANS
The University of Wisconsin-Madison requires all graduate students and postdoctoral researchers supported by NIH funding to utilize Individual Development Plans (IDPs) to set academic and career goals and facilitate conversations with their mentors. Additionally, the University recommends that all graduate students and postdoctoral researchers utilize IDPs, regardless of funding source.
The University offers a collection of resources and tools to support mentees, mentors, and PIs in implementing IDPs. These include a UW-Madison IDP template, workshops for mentees (both face-to-face and online videos), peer learning groups for mentees, as well as guidelines for mentors. More information can be found here: http://grad.wisc.edu/pd/idp.
IDP activity for NIH-funded graduate students and postdoctoral researchers is tracked in the University’s IDP reporting system, a tool that maintains mentee privacy yet allows mentors and PIs to monitor IDP-related activity.
All of the trainees supported by this training grant have created IDPs and most have indicated they are beneficial in helping them to set goals and assess progress toward those goals. Trainees are encouraged to re-evaluate their IDPs on a regular basis and to discuss them with mentors and other trainers in the program.