Individual Development Plan

An IDP provides you the opportunity to think about your training objectives, your progress towards them, and to set and/or refine goals for the future.

Much as the process of writing a research article or proposal focuses your work at the bench, the IDP can help you develop an efficient training plan tailored to support your specific career ambitions. The act of completing the IDP will help you define your goals in more specific terms for both the short and long term, and can motivate you to identify resources to help you meet those goals.

To gain the most benefit from the IDP you must think deeply about the questions and answer them openly. Sharing is therefore not a program requirement, nor will the IDP be kept on file by the Program. You are free to share as much or as little of the plan as you feel comfortable. However, the IDP process will be most effective if used to guide candid discussions with your mentor/advisor.

Program Requirements

Your completion of the IDP including the corresponding yearly training/career-planning meeting with your mentor is a requirement of the Virology program. We ask that you complete the IDP and hold your yearly planning meeting before the end of May each year.

For G1 students, the first Spring semester meeting with your program advisor that takes place in January can serve as this planning meeting.

For G2 and above students, documentation that the IDP has been completed and planning meeting held must be submitted to the Virology office before May 31st.


  1. Begin the appropriate IDP form (G1, G2, or G3 and above) at the start of the year. For more information about the process and its benefits see Mol Cell (2015) 58: 718-721 and
  2. Schedule a meeting with your program advisor or mentor. The meeting should be held in early Spring.
  3. Share the desired portion of your IDP with your program advisor or mentor ahead of your scheduled meeting.
  4. Meet with your program advisor or mentor and discuss your goals/plans before the end of Spring semester.
  5. Refine your action plan based on the discussion.
  6. For G2 and above students, submit the IDP Questionnaire to the Virology office confirming IDP completion, no later than May 31st.