Individual Development Plan (IDP)

The IDP  is designed to help students define and pursue their career goals through personal reflection and discussions with their IDP advisor. The goal of the IDP is to provoke self-reflection on what your strengths and weaknesses are, what you wish to get out of your graduate education, and where you want that education to lead you. 


Privacy of your IDP


The IDP is designed for your benefit and we want to ensure that you are as straightforward and honest in your answers.  Therefore, besides your initial IDP form in your G1 year, sharing your IDP form with your IDP advisor is completely optional. The Immunology program will not be keeping any records of your individual IDP content, only whether or not you have met the IDP requirements. 


Selecting your IDP Advisor


In the spring semester of your G2 year, you will be required to choose your IDP advisor, who will remain with you throughout the rest of your graduate education.  We ask that you choose someone different from your dissertation advisor and who is not a member of  your DAC.  The purpose is to find a completely unbiased mentor who will assist you with making the best decisions for your own professional growth and career aspirations. Click here to see a list of IDP advisors.


G-1 Requirements

Initial Meeting- During orientation week, in a student's G1 year, you will be asked to fill out the G1 IDP form and submit it to the Program Head, Drs. Shiv Pillai and Associate Director, Wendy Garrett, during your individual advisory meetings.

Winter & Spring Advisory Meetings - Individual IDP meetings to be setup in December and again in May by the program, no forms are necessary


G-2 Requirements

Fall Advisory Meeting- in September, individual IDP meeting will be set up by the program with the Program Head and Associate Director, you must complete the student annual report and IDP form prior to this meeting.  It is up to you whether you wish to share these.

Spring Advisory Meetings - Before your spring IDP advisory meeting, you must select who your IDP advisor will be throughout the rest of your graduate career and arrange an initial meeting in January.  From this point on, it is your responsibility to arrange your IDP meetings annually and complete the steps below.


G-3 and Above Steps

1  Complete IDP form by May 31st


2  Set up a meeting between June - August with your IDP Advisor


3   Share (optional) your IDP with your IDP advisor


4 Meet and discuss your IDP plan 


5  Complete the IDP Reporting Page, confirming you have met your IDP requirement


List of IDP Advisors

Click here to view a list of IDP advisors.


IDP Forms

Click here


IDP Resources

Still unsure about how to use your IDP? Check out our resources page to learn more

© 2016 President and Fellows
of Harvard College