Individual Development Plans (IDPs) are career exploration and planning tools used by postdoctoral fellows and graduate students around the world to help them achieve success in their careers within or outside of academia.
Postdoctoral fellows with a written career path plan submit 23% more papers to peer-reviewed journals and 30% more first-authored papers. (Source)
What are the tools?
Concordia recommends two different IDP tools, depending on the field of study. STEM researchers benefit most from myIDP, while ImaginePhD is best suited for Humanities and Social Sciences. Both tools are online and free.
How do they work?
The tools begin with a self-assessment based on career-related skills, interests and values, followed by career exploration and setting relevant goals. The tools recommend areas or skills that may be weak or lacking, and provide a framework for implementing the plan and tracking progress over time. The tools are designed so that researchers can share their progress with their supervisors and mentors, facilitating communications and providing an overview of progress toward the specified goals.
What support is available for these tools?
Both tools include help features and other resources. In addition, GradProSkills will be offering free IDP workshops scheduled to begin in October 2019.
Commonly asked questions
Is an IDP mandatory? No, but it is recommended.
Do I have to pay for it? No, both tools are free.
How do I access it? Online.
Do I have to share my IDP with my supervisor/mentor? No, unless you choose to.
“We don’t necessarily need a clear, crisp, sharp idea of vision. A hazy one, a sense of vague direction may sometimes be better as we are then more likely to explore along the journey and make serendipitous discoveries.” -Pablo Picasso