Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Individual Development Plan for Postdocs


The Individual Development Plan is a communication tool between the mentor and the postdoc. The IDP helps the postdoc and mentor set clear expectations and identify milestones to help the trainee achieve specific research objectives in the areas of publications, presentations, and science. The IDP supports the mentee, through a self-reflective process, in developing long-term goals, identifying career specific skills, and implementing a course of action to achieve the desired goals of the lab. The expected results of the IDP are improved communication skills, better time management, increased productivity, and a more transparent mentor-postdoc relationship. Moreover, the measurable goals outlined in the IDP can be used by the mentor when completing NIH and NRSA grants, see Notice, NOT-OD-14-113.

The IDP should be reviewed and discussed annually with all new and re-appointments.

Postdocs can develop their IDP by visiting,

Detailed information about Baylor's Individual Development Plan Process can be accessed on-line.


IDP Process


Step 1 – Self Assessment. The postdoc initiates the IDP process by performing a self-assessment to identify current scientific skills and knowledge, general interests, and personal values using the MyIDP Self-Assessment Tool.

Postdoctoral appointees should complete the self-assessment prior to their Baylor appointment. If the IDP has not been completed prior to the appointment, it should be completed within the first two weeks of their appointment with Baylor College of Medicine.

Step 2 – Design the Plan. The mentor and the trainee set goals to further develop the scientific skills and knowledge that are needed to conduct scientific research in the lab and thereby acquiring proficiency in the core competencies.

Step 3 – Implementing the Plan. Step 3 is to ensure that sufficient progress is being made in the lab and expectations are being met. The postdoc is responsible for putting the plan into action by developing a strategy to implement the agreed upon strategy between the faculty mentor and mentee. The postdoc is required to track and provide frequent, periodic updates regarding progress toward achieving each goal. Progress reporting should be provided writing and followed-up with a meeting. These meetings can happen at scheduled times throughout the postdoc’s annual appointment or as necessary, at least three times over a 12-month period.

Access Baylor's Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences' Individual Development Plan Process on-line.