Personal Career Development Plans (CDP)



What is your path to a successful PhD time?

What is a CDP?: The requirements for EScoDNA CDPs listed below is based on the criteria stated in the EScoDNA Grant Agreement (Annex I: “Description of Work”). The criteria of the EScoDNA CDPs is more like a short-term PhD studies plan than a long-term career plan. In general, it is an assessment made by the individual ESR, as a plan for developing academic and professional skills wanted by the individual ESR. The ESR is supposed to complete this CDP through communication with supervisors, advisors, mentors etc.

The process of preparing the EScoDNA CDP will, however, hopefully also help clarify the more long-term career goals of the ESR as wells as general expectations with their advisor, mentor, and/or PI which in turn may lead to efficient communication, better planning, and more successful outcomes.

What should be included in the CDP?:

  • Supervision/mentoring:
    • Who is your main supervisor, daily supervisor, mentor inside and outside the EScoDNA (both official and unofficial)?
    • How and how often do you receive scientific guidance? (group meetings/seminars, weekly talks etc.)
  • Training:
    • Including participation in courses both internally and externally, training in complementary skills, summer schools, workshops, centre meetings ect.
  • Description of the individual research project plan:
    • Describtion of the scientific goals, methodology, collaborating partners etc.
  • Secondments/short term visits plan (strive to have at least 6 months of secondment in total)
  • Publication schedule:
    • Proposal for attendance and possible presentations (talks and/or posters)  at external conferences, workshops etc.
    • Draft for planned publications (peer reviewed papers, public outreach like presentation for high school students, public scientific paper etc.)
  • Career guidance:
    • Who do you turn to for career guidance?
      • Senior scientists, contacts in private companies, self-assessment tools (myIDP – see below) etc.

Min 2 pages required – Deadline 31 May 2015! – send by email to Lise (

Suggestion for how to schedule the preparation of the CDP:

  1. The ESR make a draft for the CDP
    1. Start as soon as possible for your own sake, so that you will get the most out of your PhD time!
  2. The ESR and supervisor discuss the draft
  3. The ESR revises the CDP
  4. The ESR and researcher (other than supervisor) discuss the draft
  5. The ESR revises the CDP
  6. Supervisor approval

See also Lise’s presentation at the EScoDNA Summer School 2014 in Oxford.

Future career planning

myIDP (my Individual Development Plan) is an interactive web based career planning tool created by Science Careers. It is created to help graduate students and postdocs in the sciences define and pursue their career goals. When you have made your assessment of your skills, interests and values it fits and matches your answers with 20 career categories (60 career paths).

This is just an offer for you who does not already know this tool. There is no requirement for you try this!