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An IDP is a tool to identify professional goals, reflect on past accomplishments, assess skills relative to career goals, and plan actions for academic progress to achieve short- and long-term career objectives. An IDP is an ideal way to facilitate communication with mentors. Creating, implementing and reassessing goals are an integral part of the IDP process.

To get started, check out the suggested career exploration tools and IDP templates:

ImaginePhD:(Humanities and Social Sciences)

  • Self-assessments for interests, skills, and values
  • Explore job families, planning tools, links to resources, sample application materials


  • Includes links to career options, values and skills assessments and setting SMART goals.
  • Some sections are applicable regardless of discipline while some aspects address specific needs of students in the sciences.

IDP template from UNC’s Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

IDP template from University of Minnesota