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Figuring out what kind of science career to pursue can be difficult, but an individual development plan (IDP) can help guide you through the process. myIDP is a free, Web-based career-planning tool that was created to help graduate students and postdocs in the sciences define and pursue their career goals. This index page contains a list of articles that will help you learn more about IDPs and show you how to get the most out of your IDP.

Create your IDP at

Editorial: Planning Career Paths for Ph.D.s
Jim Austin and Bruce Alberts
By turning introspection into a structured exercise, myIDP allows science trainees to translate a vague source of anxiety into a working plan.

You Need a Game Plan
Jennifer. A. Hobin, Cynthia. N. Fuhrmann, Bill Lindstaedt, and Philip S. Clifford
Introducing myIDP, the first comprehensive, online tool to help you choose and pursue a science career.

Credit: Hal Mayforth

myIDP: So You Think You Have Skills
Jennifer. A. Hobin, Cynthia. N. Fuhrmann, Bill Lindstaedt, and Philip S. Clifford
Figuring out what you know—and what you need to know—is essential in training for a science career.

myIDP: Interests
Bill Lindstaedt, Cynthia. N. Fuhrmann, Jennifer. A. Hobin, and Philip S. Clifford
It may sound obvious, but when choosing a career path, you need to think hard about what you like to do—and what you don't.

myIDP: What Do You Care About?
Bill Lindstaedt, Philip S. Clifford, Cynthia. N. Fuhrmann, and Jennifer. A. Hobin,
Analyzing your deeply held values is a crucial step in choosing a career in science.

Making Sense of Your Self-Assessment
Bill Lindstaedt, Cynthia. N. Fuhrmann, Jennifer. A. Hobin, and Philip S. Clifford
Once you've thought hard about your skills, interests, and values, it's time to narrow the range of career options you ought to consider.

Making Evidence-Based Career Decisions
Bill Lindstaedt, Cynthia. N. Fuhrmann, Jennifer. A. Hobin, and Philip S. Clifford
myIDP helps you cut through hearsay and conjecture and base your career choices on solid data and professional experience.

Opportunities Come Through People
Philip S. Clifford, Bill Lindstaedt, Jennifer A. Hobin, Cynthia N. Fuhrmann
The goal of networking is to form and strengthen the relationships that are essential to the optimal conduct of science.

Getting the Inside Scoop on Science Careers
Philip S. Clifford, Jennifer A. Hobin, Cynthia N. Fuhrmann, Bill Lindstaedt
An informational interview provides job-seeking scientists with an insider's view of a career path.

Narrowing the Choices: What Career Path is Right for You?
Cynthia N. Fuhrmann, Philip S. Clifford, Jennifer A. Hobin, Bill Lindstaedt
To get the best possible start on your career, do your research, make a decision, and see where it takes you.

Goal-Setting Strategies for Scientific and Career Success
Cynthia N. Fuhrmann, Jennifer A. Hobin, Philip S. Clifford, Bill Lindstaedt
myIDP helps structure the process of setting and pursuing short-term goals as you move toward the fulfillment of your career aspirations.

Getting the Mentoring You Need
Philip S. Clifford, Cynthia N. Fuhrmann, Bill Lindstaedt, Jennifer A. Hobin
Early-career scientists should assemble a team of mentors to help them develop a variety of skills.

I Have a Plan … Now What?
Jennifer A. Hobin, Steven K. Wendell, Darlene F. Zellers, Philip S. Clifford, Bill Lindstaedt, Cynthia N. Fuhrmann
Now that you have a career plan, it's time to execute.


Cynthia N. Fuhrmann, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean, Career & Professional Development at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.

Jennifer A. Hobin, Ph.D.
Director of Science Policy, American Association for Cancer Research in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Bill Lindstaedt, M.S.
Director, Office of Career and Professional Development at the University of California, San Francisco.

Philip S. Clifford, Ph.D.
Associate dean for research in the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Steven K. Wendell
Director of the Center for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Career Development and assistant professor in the School of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

Darlene F. Zellers
Director of the Office of Academic Career Development, Health Sciences; director of the Center for Postdoctoral Affairs in the Health Sciences; and associate dean for postdoctoral affairs in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pennsylvania.