At UC Berkeley the Individual Development Plan (IDP) is defined as a private, dynamic, annual self-evaluation and career exploration tool for graduate students and postdocs. It is a written list of goals mapped to a timeline and includes goal setting for research projects, skills development, and career planning.

The IDP is to be written and developed by the trainee, and can serve as a framework for discussion between faculty mentor and trainee. The IDP is most meaningful if trainees (with support from their mentors) make full use of the IDP’s potential as a research agenda and career development tool, and update it annually to reflect accomplishments and changes in career and research objectives.

Learn more about Individual Development Planning.


Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs (VSPA) Program

The Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs (VSPA) Program was established to accommodate scholars with a Ph.D. or equivalent degree to pursue their research and professional interests on the Berkeley campus. The VSPA Program strives to, among other things, foster a robust postdoctoral community and enhance the postdoctoral experience at Berkeley; continue efforts to better understand the training and development environment offered to postdoctoral appointees; ensure that the educational needs and career interests of the postdoctoral scholars are being met; provide oversight and support of the Berkeley Postdoctoral Association, a campus professional society that fosters a professional network amongst the approximately 1200 postdoctoral appointees; and provide on-going training of campus staff and faculty who work with visiting researcher scholar and postdoctoral appointees.

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Career Center

the exterior of the Career Center

The Career Center has counselors specifically dedicated to helping graduate students.  Each year, over 2,500 Berkeley graduate students receive career planning guidance and employment-related assistance from the Career Center.

Graduate student services include:

  • Individual, confidential counseling
  • Workshops and presentations
  • Career fairs and employer info sessions
  • Email alerts
  • Job listings
  • On-campus recruiting

You can learn more from the Career Center website, visit in person 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday at 2440 Bancroft Way, or call 510-642-1716.

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