2013: NIH has posted a Notice in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts announcing that NIH encourages grantees to develop an institutional policy requiring an Individual Development Plan (IDP) for every graduate student and postdoctoral fellow supported by any NIH grant, regardless of the type of NIH grant that is used for support. IDPs are a useful tool to help graduate students and postdocs identify their career goals and what they need to accomplish to achieve those goals. The IDP process also can facilitate communication between faculty mentors and their trainees. To begin this process please go to the following sites developed by FASEB:
a) A free, online resources on the Science website, called myIDP . This tool is written specifically for scientists to help them understand their skills, values and interests and how those align with potential career choices.
b) A model IDP, developed by FASEB, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, at: http://www.faseb.org/portals/0/pdfs/opa/idp.pdf
October 27, 2014: As of Oct. 1, 2014, the NIH is requiring that annual RPPRs for all NIH awards supporting graduate students or postdoctoral fellows must include a description on the use of Individual Development Plans (IDPs). The NIH requirement can be viewed here: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-14-113.html
Actual IDPs should not be included. Instead, grantees will report on whether they use IDPs for all the graduate students and postdoctoral researchers included in Section D. list of Participants. The use of IDPs as well as the manner in which IDPs are used is expected to be determined by the awardee institution, but the RPPR will include a brief description of how and whether IDPs are used to help manage the career development of students and postdocs associated with that award.
With the help of faculty and students, and with the approval of the WCGS Executive Committee, the graduate school recently formulated an IDP for use by all of our students. We plan to roll this out as part of the next annual student review process (May-June 2015) as a form within our LEARN student information system.
Until that time, as a graduate student funded by the NIH, We encourage you to complete an IDP before the next RPPR is due for your grant funding. To help facilitate that, we have attached the WCGS IDP as a fillable PDF document (note that in the future this form will exist in LEARN). As an alternative, if you prefer, you might consider using the online MyIDP system this time http://myidp.sciencecareers.org. We are not mandating that you use any particular IDP form at this time.