IDP and Faculty Mentor FAQs
I know that my trainee needs an IDP. How can I help them get started?
You can begin by discussing the purpose of an IDP and asking if they have received a template from their graduate program, department, or one of the online resources listed above. Encourage them to utilize the template that best suits their needs, and ask them to begin to complete an IDP and/or a skills, interest, or values assessment before your next meeting. You can also refer them to the information on IDPs for postdoctoral trainees included on this website.
How can I help my trainee with their IDP?
You are one of the most important links in a trainee’s development process. You can help them explore career options, set goals and expectations for their training, and connect them with campus resources like the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs that can help them with their personal and professional development at Northwestern. Faculty mentors are also an excellent source of feedback about ways to improve and gather more skills and expertise.
Where can I find information on IDPs from an NIH Institute/Center?
My trainee has completed an IDP. What comes next?
It is a good idea to revisit and revise a trainee’s IDP every six to twelve months and discuss how the trainee is making progress toward their professional goals. This time frame is short enough to keep your trainee focused on short-term goals while also taking the necessary steps to reach more long-term goals as well.
My trainee has asked me for advice on a partially completed IDP. What should I do?
Schedule a time to review and discuss their IDP. You can assist them with setting goals and advise on the process of identifying achieving their career and professional development objectives. If they need additional information or support, you can always connect them with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.