IDP Policy For Faculty & Staff

IDP: Individual Development Plan

The UF Office of the Provost’s Spring 2016 Policy on Ph.D. Programs document identified best practices for Ph.D. students at the University of Florida.

Within that document, the Individual Development Plan (IDP) policy states: “Departments shall create, implement, and monitor Individual Development Plans for degree completion and professional development experiences relevant to effective doctoral education in the particular field and preparation for employment, including a timeline for completion of these requirements and experiences.”

The UF Graduate School followed up with student resources to help guide students through their IDP journeys.


UF Ph.D. programs and their colleges ought to identify an IDP template that best suits their doctoral students.

The Graduate School has provided these generic templates downloadable as Microsoft Word documents, but they are not mandatory:

We based these templates on committee feedback from UF faculty, staff, and doctoral students from ten colleges, consulting different template models (myIPD, Standford University, and University of Wisconsin-Madison).

However, we encourage you to use a format that best dovetails with your doctoral students’ needs, your administrative processes to monitor your students’ progress, and any mentoring practices that best support your students.


Ph.D. students must meet with their advisor or mentor at least once a year. This meeting can take place as part of any existing practices, but review of the student’s IDP must be part of it to...

  • Help students to choose competencies to develop in the upcoming year or years.
  • Identify any needs for building skills or finding a team of mentors.

The IDP meeting is meant to be a collaborative effort between student and mentor, with a focus on planning the student’s long-term development.


UF’s SIS (Student Information System) will add an IDP milestone to new Ph.D. students’ records in September of their first year (for fall, spring, and summer as starting semesters).

The Graduate School is taking a proactive approach by sending scheduled automated email reminders to students and their mentors. However, ultimately it is up to each unit to monitor student progress and update this milestone accordingly.

In September of each academic year after a student’s first, IDP milestones will change to “Needs Review” — signaling to both student and Ph.D. program that it is time for yearly meeting and monitoring to meet the IDP requirement.

Monitoring and Milestone Update Timeline

Between September 15 and August 23 of each academic year, Ph.D. programs must report the date of a yearly IDP meeting.

Each September, SIS will create new IDP milestones for new Ph.D. students and update them for continuing students. Ph.D. programs must report the yearly IDP meeting date in SIS.

A student's first semester (fall, spring, or summer) will affect the IDP milestone updating timeline. For example:

  • A student starts Fall 2024. In September 2024, SIS creates the student's IDP milestone. You must update that milestone by August 23, 2025.
  • A student starts Spring 2025 or Summer 2025. In September 2025, SIS creates the student's IDP milestone. You must update that milestone by August 23, 2026.

For all your continuing students, you must update their IDP milestones by August 23 each year.

For helpful crib notes on how to update milestones in SIS, click here:

Associate deans, school directors, and department chairs will receive a yearly review of student participation, with the aim of reaching 100% engagement.

Updating IDP Templates

You can update an IDP template as often as is useful within a student’s Ph.D. program — so long as student and advisor meet at least once a year to discuss the contents of the IDP.

IDP Templates & Plans of Study

An IDP need not replace the plan of study. It can serve as a counterpart to the plan of study. Student and advisor can review both together at the same time. You can still outline and monitor formal academic requirements and milestones via a plan of study.