The success of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers is significantly enhanced by established mentoring relationships with faculty. An instrument that can assist both faculty and protégés with developing a formal structure to the mentoring process is the Individual Development Plan (IDP). IDPs provide a structure for the identification and achievement of career goals.
A report made by a Working Group of the Advisory Committee to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director recommended “a call for IDPs for all NIH-supported graduate students and/or postdoctoral researchers.” Therefore, NIH annual progress reports received on/after October 1, 2014 must include a section to describe how individual development plans (IDPs) are used to identify and promote career goals of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers associated with the award. The revised policy is being implemented to better prepare students and postdocs to participate successfully in evolving research and a research-related economy.
As such, the University of Tennessee Graduate School and the Office of Research & Engagement have partnered to sponsor an IDP program on campus to assist NIH-funded graduate students and postdoctoral researchers with the implementation of IDPs. To find out more about this program, visit ORE’s IDP page or contact the Graduate School.