Planning for your future

Office of Scientific Career Development

Planning for your future

As a graduate student or postdoc, you will eventually be leaving the Center to move forward in your career. How do you know that you are ready to move on? Do you know what you want to move on to? This section contains resources to help you plan for your future and get the tools you need to succeed in the path that you choose.

Individual Development Plans

  • Individual Development Plans (IDPs) help you map out what skills, training, and other activities you need to do to get the career you want and be successful in it. The NIH encourages all graduate students and postdocs to develop their own IDP with the assistance of their mentor(s). The Office of Scientific Career Development will offer quarterly workshops about resources that can assist you with developing and executing your IDP. In addition, the Office Director can review your IDP with you to make sure you are using all of the resources available for you to be successful in your job hunt and your career.

Sharepoint IDP Upload Site

  • All Hutch postdocs are encouraged to upload their IDP to the IDP Sharepoint Site as it will automatically send you annual reminders to update your IDP and will be documented evidence that you have completed an IDP for grant proposals. You will need to have your e-mail address added to the site before you have permission to access it. Contact Karen Peterson to have your e-mail address added to the site. Your IDP will be confidential and only you and Karen Peterson can access it.
  • Sharepoint IDP Upload Site

Resources to help you develop and achieve your goals in your IDP

OSCD/SPAC Professional Development Workshops

  • SPAC and OSCD offer three major professional development tracks for careers in academia, industry, and research-related careers.  There are also many external resources listed on the the linked page.

Career Counseling with the Director of the Office of Scientific Career Development

  • Karen Peterson has been counseling scientists for over 10 years, and can help with figuring out what you want to do, review your CV/resume and coverletter, and connect you with people who have already transitioned on to their next step so you can learn how others made a successful transition.

Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Tools

  • These resources include booklets on Managing Career Transitions, Communicating Science, and Lab Management


  • You have put a lot of time and effort into pursuing your PhD degree.  Now it's time to focus on how to leverage your expertise into a satisfying and productive career.   An individual development plan (IDP) helps you explore career possibilities and set goals to follow the career path that fits you best.

Nature Guide to Life Science Careers

  • The Guide to Life Science Careers helps you to explore and choose what career is best for you. Starting with an assessment of who you are and how you work best, this guide takes you on a journey that extends from a survey of possible careers through the steps necessary to get there. Interviews with professionals about how they chose their career paths are included so you can learn how others became successful and understand the positive and negative aspects of various career choices. Although intended for undergraduates, it also contains useful information for graduate students and postdocs.

ASCB Career Resources

  • Includes career resources and publications from the American Society for Cell Biology.

AAAS Science Careers Forum

  • A science careers discussion board moderated by Dave Jensen