Individual Development Plan Form: UC San Diego IDP Form_Updated February 2014
*This is UC San Diego’s sample IDP Form. For other IDP Forms, you can refer to the UC San Diego IDP Webpage at

An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a dynamic document that identifies and outlines career goals and is a tool to manage career development throughout graduate training. This document is created by the student in partnership with their faculty mentor and any additional mentors (NOTE: Additional mentors do not need to be part of the student’s guidance or dissertation committee). Mentors can help identify what the trainee excels at, provide advice and guide the trainee with their own experiences. However, it is the responsibility of the trainee to decide a career path and create the specific plan to actively develop the necessary skills to achieve their goals.

Effective October 1, 2014, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) now requires IDPs for all NIH-funded graduate students and postdocs. It is expected that this will also become a requirement for many other agencies. Therefore, it is in the best interest of all JDP students to complete an IDP regardless of their funding source.

Timeline for Completion: The IDP should be completed by all incoming students at the beginning of the academic year and updated every year to reflect changes in career/research objectives. This document does not need to be submitted to the JDP but should be kept and updated by the student. The student’s faculty mentor will be expected to report each year (in mid-June) through the Online Annual Evaluation if the IDP has been completed/updated by the student.

STUDENTS – PLEASE NOTE: This document is for YOUR benefit.  Please do not treat this as merely a requirement but as an opportunity for you to really think about your long-term career goals, what skill sets you have and may still need, and a way for you to begin building short-term goals to help get you there!  We encourage you to capitalize on this resource for your own benefit to help maximize your graduate training.  Remember, you DO NOT need to turn this document in to anyone – this is for you to keep and update with the help and guidance of your mentor(s).

Helpful Resources:

UC San Diego IDP Resources Webpage

Individual Development Plan presentation

Comprehensive Skills Analysis worksheet