Individual Development Plan (IDP)
The LSU Office of Research & Economic Development (ORED) highly recommends all postdoctoral scholars to complete and discuss an Individual Developmental Plan (IDP) with their faculty mentor on an annual basis in addition to performance evaluation conducted for all LSU Employees by the LSU Human Resources Management Department. These plans are particularly important for postdoctoral scholars supported by NIH and NSF funds.
LSU is committed to postdoctoral training and development. The IDP plan encourages a mentor-mentee mutual consideration and evaluation of progress achieved during the postdoctoral tenure period and ensuring that defined goals and action plans are in place for a successful postdoctoral training at LSU.
IDP forms are to be filled by postdoctoral researchers and mentors at least once per year to discuss all aspects of research and professional development of the postdoctoral researcher. An online verification form needs to be filled by both mentor and mentee to verify that the meeting has taken place. Only the date of the meeting is recorded; the IDP and discussions between the mentor and mentee remain private. A copy of the IDP plan may be kept at the home department of the postdoctoral researcher. This procedure complies with NIH policy and the National Academies' recommendations, as noted above.
To alleviate potential duplication of effort by LSU faculty mentors, LSU faculty may choose to add appropriate developmental goals and plans during the annual performance reviews of postdocs in Workday.
ORED will be organizing specific activities about mentoring postdoctoral researchers during the fall and spring semesters.
Forms & Documentation
Expectations for Postdoctoral Scholars
All Postdoc appointments are contingent upon the Postdoc’s satisfactory work performance, research (or other work) progress, the availability of funding and programmatic needs. All Postdocs, in all disciplines, schools, colleges and centers across the University, must meet the following expectations at all times during their appointment:
- Conscientious and satisfactory performance of assigned duties;
- Adherence to all LSU personal and professional ethical standards and satisfactory laboratory and/or professional practice, if applicable (including but not limited to the receipt of required training on and compliance with all University standards and federal regulations as they relate to responsible conduct in research, conflicts of interest, confidentiality, privacy and human subjects research, animal care and use, laboratory safety, and the use of radioisotopes);
- Open and timely discussions with the Advisor regarding all aspects of mentored activities (including regular discussions about research (or other work) progress; distribution of reagents or materials; status of any publications, reports or other written drafts; and prompt, advance discussion of any private or public disclosure of findings, techniques or potentially patentable or copyrightable discoveries derived from the Postdoc’s research);
- Collegial conduct towards his or her Mentor, coworkers, staff and other individuals with whom the Postdoc interacts;
- Compliance with all University policies and procedures, including the requirements set forth in this Policy.
Expectations of Advisors
Advisors are responsible for providing advice, guidance and assistance to their assigned Postdocs regarding not only their specific research or scholarship goals, but also the Postdoc’s overall educational experience and future career development goals. Mentors should regularly meet with their assigned Postdocs throughout their appointments, and clearly and consistently communicate the goals, objectives and expectations of their Postdocs and their assigned tasks and projects. Mentors should encourage Postdocs to present their work in national and international conferences and publish the results of their research or scholarship in a timely fashion, if applicable. They should also help Postdocs acquire and enhance their knowledge and technical skills based on their current and future needs. Finally, to help provide necessary feedback, Mentors are required to provide a written performance evaluation of their assigned Postdocs each year to the LSU PAC.
The Advisor and the Department (or center or other unit) should maintain a departmental file for each Postdoc which, at a minimum, should contain copies of the Postdoc’s appointment letter, COE, Individual Development Plan (IDP), annual evaluations, and records of the amount and type of leave taken, as well any renewal letters, changes to terms of appointment, or requests for extension of maximum term of appointment, if any. From time to time, the PAC may conduct departmental audits to ensure that Postdoc files are appropriately maintained.
Annual Performance Evaluation and Individual Development Plans (IDP)
Feedback and constructive criticism are important for a Postdoc’s personal and professional growth. Therefore, at the beginning of appointment, each Postdoc will prepare an Individual Development Plan (“IDP”) that identifies his or her professional development needs and career objectives. IDPs also serve as a communication tool between the Postdoc and his or her Advisor. A form IDP will be provided by the PAC. Subsequent years of appointment will require an IDP plan to be filled at the beginning of each year of appointment.
A written evaluation of each Postdoc’s work performance will also be performed on an annual basis (based on appointment year) using the Annual Evaluation Form available on the ORED website or a similar format. Annual evaluations should be completed no later than thirty (30) days before the anniversary of the Postdoc’s appointment date. The Advisor will complete the evaluation form (or a similar document) and discuss it with the Postdoc during a meeting held between the Advisor and the Postdoc. The Advisor and Postdoc should review the evaluation together and then both sign the form. Once the annual performance evaluation is complete and signed by both parties, a copy should be placed in the Postdoc’s departmental file.