The DPALM Faculty Mentor Program has been established to ensure effective, continuous professional development is taking place within the department. Faculty members will prepare an Individual Development Plan (IDP) and consult three faculty mentors biannually.
“The value of mentoring in professional development is well documented. It is important that all of our faculty participate either as mentees or mentors.” – Dr. Hunter, Distinguished Professor and Chairman
DPALM Faculty at the Assistant Professor level are required to participate as mentees. All other faculty are encouraged to also implement an IDP and establish a system of mentors as a means of optimizing their career development.
What is an IDP?
Simply put, an IDP is a tool for helping anyone identify and reach short- and long-term career goals. It is not considered a performance evaluation tool or a one-time activity. Many resources are available regarding IDPs. One of the most useful websites for those with postbaccalaureate training (e.g. Ph.D. and M.D.) is http://myidp.sciencecareers.org/; additional related information is at http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/about. The Federal Government also encourages the use of IDPs for all employees (see http://www.opm.gov/wiki/training/Individual-Development-Plans.ashx).
IDPs have become an important mechanism for enhancing professional development at all career levels (e.g. students, residents, fellows, employees and faculty), and have been adopted by the National Institutes of Health, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and many other organizations. The IDP process assists faculty with identifying professional goals and forming a plan to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to reach these goals. In addition to the personal benefits, the development of an IDP also provides an effective way to share the faculty member’s career goals with mentors and supervisors.
Mentoring is another important aspect of the DPALM Professional Development plan. Mentors may be individuals within or outside the department, and may be at higher or lower academic levels. They should provide experience and expertise, particularly in the areas for short- and long-term development that the faculty member has identified.
The recommended approach for IDP development and Mentoring is outlined below, and may be modified to suit the individual’s particular needs.
For further information or assistance regarding this program, please contact:
- Steven J. Norris, Ph.D., Vice Chair for Research; or
- Laura Newell, MBA, Educational Coordinator