Postgraduate training is a period of growth toward your independent career. The Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a questionnaire designed to help you reflect on your goals, make plans to help achieve those goals and to address challenges that arise along the way. It can also be used as a tool to facilitate discussion among you and your mentors. It is based on a similar initiative that was first applied at Stanford University.


The four parts of the Individual Development Plan: 

A. Step back and self assess!

You are guided through a series of questions that will help you reflect on your personal progress. You can use your answers to guide discussions with your supervisors or mentors and to design your yearly action plan (Part D).


B. Progress of your Project

This section of the IDP is for early and late stage PhD students. The aim is to get a structured overview of the progress of your project to ensure that you are making the most of your PhD while considering important factors such as funding. It is important that the communication with your supervisor is good and that you are making Progress.


C. Supervisor Feedback

Honest and open discussions between student and supervisor are an important part of PhD training. Fruitful feedback can help students to develop their skills and improve. This section of the IDP is to be  completed by your supervisor(s) to help you get constructive feedback and involve them in your action plan (Part D).

D. Action Plan

Building an action plan for the next year can help you to focus, manage your time and achieve your goals in a more structured manner. We suggest you use this section of the IDP as a skeleton for your action plan that you can develop together with your mentor(s).


Here you can download your own Individual Development Plan.

This questionnaire was designed by Stanford University’s BioSci Careers and adapted for the Berlin Life Science community by the Career Development Initiative.