Individual Development Plan (IDP)

What is an IDP? Benefits of an IDP
An IDP is a tool that allows you to reflect on your training objectives,  your progress towards them and to set goals for the future. The IDP helps you develop a concise training plan tailored to support your specific career goals. It can help you consider the resources and mentoring necessary to achieve your career goals. It also provides a framework for conversations with mentors, helping clarify expectations, receive feedback and advice.

BioMed Division Requirements

The Division of Biology & Medicine of Brown University requires:

  • All incoming, matriculating students to complete and submit an IDP to both the Graduate Program Directors and the Office of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (OGPS) by the end of their first semester;
  • All postdoctoral trainees to complete and submit an IDP to both their mentor and the OGPS at the time of their initial appointment, or upon their next re-appointment;
  • All graduate students and postdoctoral trainees to submit an updated IDP to the Graduate Program Directors or mentors, respectively, as well as the OGPS, every 4 years, if not sooner.

Please click here to view the full IDP Policy

Individual Development Plan Instructions

In order to achieve compliance with the IDP Policy, please follow these 3 steps:

  1. Download a copy of the IDP Template. It is a Word document in which you can record your responses, save the file, and then add and change things as your projects and career plans evolve.
  2. When you have entered all the information you wish to include in your IDP, share it with your mentor and/or the Graduate Program Director and spend some time discussing your achievements and goals together. Refine your plan based on your discussion.
  3. Complete your IDP by uploading your completed document to the IDP Submission Form


An ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a unique, persistent researcher identifier that more and more publications require.  To find out more information about ORCID or to register for an ID, please go to the Brown University Library Site.  We encourage all Brown Graduate Students and Postdocs to register for an ORCID.

Individual Development Plan Policy

Individual Development Plan Template

Individual Development Plan Submission Form*

*Please note that the IDP Submission Form questions are all required, but if something does not apply to you, you may enter "not applicable".