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INTRODUCING myIDP: AN INTERACTIVE, ONLINE CAREER PLANNING TOOL FOR SCIENTISTS
Created by on 09/10/2012

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), in collaboration with the University of California San Francisco, the Medical College of Wisconsin, the American Association for the Advances of Science (AAAS), and Science Careers, has released myIDP, the first and only online tool to help scientists prepare their own individual development plan. Created with support from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, myIDP helps graduate students and postdocs in the sciences develop a step-by-step plan for reaching their career goals.
 
FASEB recognizes the challenges that early career scientists face, particularly in the current economic environment. “The tools and resources provided through myIDP will be valuable to all research trainees, whether they are pursuing a tenure track position in academia, a research career in industry, or other career paths for which scientists are well-suited,” said FASEB President Judith S. Bond, PhD. 
 
This new tool is based on the Individual Development Plan (IDP) for Postdoctoral Fellows, a four step career planning framework developed by FASEB in 2002 and subsequently endorsed by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the National Postdoctoral Association. myIDP provides trainees with exercises to guide them through the process of assessing their career skills, interests, and values; an extensive list of resources for each of 20 common scientific career paths; and guidance on exploring career options and setting professional development goals. The application also allows users to sign up for automated reminders to help them meet their goal deadlines. A series of articles providing a more in depth explanation of each component of myIDP will be published in Science Careers and linked to the relevant pages of the web module. The first article in the series is available here.
 
FASEB is proud to have played a role in developing this important resource. “As a community, we must do more to help our trainees prepare for a broader range of scientific careers,” said Bond. “It is our hope that training institutions and faculty advisors will encourage their graduate students and postdocs to use myIDP and that it will help trainees communicate with their mentors about their career plans.”
 
The coauthors of myIDP are Philip S. Clifford, PhD (Associate Dean, Medical College of Wisconsin Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences), Cynthia N. Fuhrmann, PhD (formerly of University of California San Francisco and now Assistant Dean of Career and Professional Development, University of Massachusetts Medical School), Jennifer A. Hobin, PhD (Director of Science Policy, FASEB), and Bill Lindstaedt, MS (Director, Office of Career and Professional Development, UCSF). Architecture for the website was developed by the AAAS Information Technology team.

 


 

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