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Panoramic photo of South Building on UNCʼs campus, Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill

Establishing clear expectations and setting goals with a clear plan for achieving them are critical to a productive postdoctoral experience. Therefore, at the beginning of the appointment, each postdoc prepares an Individual Development Plan (“IDP”) that identifies their career objectives and professional development needs. The following resources can be used to develop an IDP:

My IDP (STEM fields)

Created by Science Careers, myIDP helps you explore career possibilities and set goals to follow the career path that fits you best. Accessed online, myIDP can be used independently or with the assistance of a OPA career counselor. It provides:

  • Exercises to help you examine your skills, interests, and values
  • A list of 20 scientific career paths with a prediction of which ones best fit your skills and interests
  • A tool for setting strategic goals for the coming year, with optional reminders to keep you on track
  • Articles and resources to guide you through the process

Imagine PhD (Humanities and Social Sciences)

ImaginePhD is a free, online career exploration and planning tool for postdocs and graduate students in the humanities and social sciences. Imagine PhD users can:

  • Assess their career-related skills, interests, and values.
  • Explore careers paths appropriate to their disciplines.
  • Map out steps for career and professional development.

Developed by experts from over 50 universities, Imagine PhD offers a unique platform that teaches PhDs about popular job sectors, search strategies, and how to transfer skills across settings.

Downloadable Template (all disciplines)

Adapted and used with permission from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)’s Science Policy Committee this simple and easy-to-use template can be used by postdocs across all disciplines.

To learn more about these assessments, please contact Dara Wilson-Grant, Associate Director and Career Counselor at 919-843-2340 or