STEM Master’s Individual Development Plans as an Essential Tool in Workforce Development

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Tampa, Florida

To participate in this survey, please follow this link.  

This workshop is funded by The National Science Foundation (NSF GRANT: Award Abstract#1940221,#1939341) through a collaborative grant to the National Professional Science Master’s Association(NPSMA) (P.I. Deborah Silver, Rutgers University) and the Council of Graduate Schools (P.I. Hironao Okahana).While Individual Development Plans (IDPs) are prevalent in PhD and Postdoctoral programs, they are not at all common in science master's programs. The short time frames to completion and the intensifying workforce development aspects of STEM master's degrees present distinctive conditions that mandate the creation of specialized IDPs for students in these programs.The project consists of two parts: 1) An initial, short, survey about the use of IDPs in M.S. programs and 2) A workshop to develop M.S. IDP templates. The workshop will beheld on November 10, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. The workshop will be open to those interested in helping develop IDP’s for master’s degrees.

If you are a Master’s STEM Program Director, please fill out the IDP survey. The survey takes about ten minutes to complete and can be accessed with this link.

Background: The project responds to recommendations of the National Academies report on Graduate Education for the 21st Century and growing interest among master's programs to use IDPs to encourage the acquisition of transferrable skills and career exploration for STEM master's degree students. This will be the first convening on this topic. The project builds on a framework for master's degree programs produced by the Council of Graduate Schools that will be used to provide a roadmap for IDP content. Workshop participants will use the survey results to formulate a template that could be adopted by STEM master's programs. The workshop will be held in conjunction with the 2021 meeting of the National Professional Science Master's Association ( ) and will include topics on experiential learning, transferrable skills, and workforce development.

Draft Conference Agenda:

To download a detailed flyer for the event, click here.

*****Events will be held November 2021 at the Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore. The Conference and Workshop programs will be available in Spring 2021. More information about the conference will be posted here:

Grant Organizing Committee Members:       

  • Professor Deborah Silver, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and Vice President for Member Benefits, NPSMA.  Executive Director of the PSM Programs at Rutgers University. 
  • Professor (Emerita) Linda Strausbaugh, Genetics and Genomics, the University of Connecticut, and current Executive Board Member and Vice President for Publications, NPSMA, (and former Executive Director of NPSMA).  Founding director of the UCONN PSM in Applied Genomics.
  • Dr. Hironao Okahana, Associate Vice President for Research and Policy Analysis, Council of Graduate Schools
  • Robert Augustine, Senior Vice President, Council of Graduate Schools and an author on CGS reports on “The Master’s Landscape Reshaping Master’s Admissions” and “The Alignment Framework for the Master’s Degree”.
  • Rick Davis, President, Davis Development Group LLC; member NPSMA Workforce Advisory Council; Formerly Vice President at Kellogg Company (2009-2018)
  • Professor Cynthia Fuhrman, Assistant Dean of Career and Professional Development in the Graduate School and Director of the Center for Biomedical Career Development at the University of Massachusetts Medical School; Co-developer and Co-author of myIDP
  • Michael Teitelbaum, Senior Research Associate, Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School; Formerly Vice President, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Co-Chair of the PSM National Office Steering Committee

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. (#1940221,#1939341). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Logo: National Professional Science Master's Association       

            Logo: NSF


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