Individual Development Plan

To initiate or update your IDP, go to

Current NIH grant guidelines encourage funded institutions to implement Individual Development Plans (IDPs) for all PhD and postdoctoral trainees in the biomedical sciences.  The IDP is a web-based tool that assists PhD and postdoctoral trainees to identify and pursue more broad-based career goals in academia and beyond.  In our evolving economy, PhD trainees are increasingly choosing non-traditional career paths, and this tool assists trainees to realize their own personal career objectives and initiate deliberate career planning throughout their training experience. 

At Loyola, IPBS PhD students are introduced to the IDP during the first weeks of class, in an interactive session where they are assisted to create a login and establish baseline skills and interests.  In the course of their training, as students and postdocs continually acquire new skills, their career paths are likely to develop and change.  Students are encouraged to revisit their IDP at least once a year (for example, around the time of annual evaluations with their Graduate Program Directors and/or research mentors), where they can periodically update their profiles, and access resources to better inform them of diverse career paths they may be suited for.  

In order to reinforce regular self-assessment via the IDP, students are exposed to a variety of career paths in a monthly Career Seminar Series sponsored by the Graduate Student Council, many of which are presented by alumni of our own graduate programs.  Students have the opportunity to learn about a variety of science careers and to engage in interactive discussions with speakers.  Many of these interactions lead to productive networking towards future career placement.    

Our graduate program also includes the Leadership in Science Honors program that promotes active engagement with the IDP, being one of the requirements of this elective Honors Program.


The Individual Development Plan was authored by:

Cynthia N. Fuhrmann, PhD (UCSF)           Jennifer A. Hobin, PhD (FASEB) 
Bill Lindstaedt, MS (UCSF)                        Philip S. Clifford, PhD (MCW)