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Getting Started

1. Create a profile


Signing up will take only a couple of minutes. This will allow you access to My CAFFE Plan where you can create an individual development plan that you can share with your advisor/mentor. You can select events from the calendar to add to My CAFFE Plan and also enter your academic goals to create a comprehensive plan for your professional development.  


Click here for a tutorial

2. Take a self-assessment

This second step is essential to create your individual development plan. The self-assessment will help graduate students and postdocs to gauge their skills, strengths and areas that need further development. Take a realistic look at their current abilities. This is a critical part of career planning.

my IDP is an external assessment tool.  This is a comprehensive, highly recommended web-based assessment available on the Science Careers website. We recommend this assessment explicitly for those in the STEM fields and in several areas of the Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences.  While many features are geared towards individuals in the STEM fields, there are many components that are relevant to all students and postdocs. This assessment takes about 45 minutes to complete.

As an alternative to myIDP, the CAFFE Career Assessment is a professional development assessment tool that connects previous preparation and career goals to the main categories of CAFFE. This assessment should take about 15 minutes to complete.

For the discipline-specific component of a comprehensive individual development plan, we suggest using the CAFFE Mentoring Plan, which is an adaptation of a template used at the University of Michigan for student and faculty mentoring.


Click here for a tutorial

3. Create My CAFFE Plan

CAFFE provides a way for you and your advisor to select the appropriate professional development events that optimize your preparation for an academic career. This selection is based on the outcome of the self-assessment and a discussion of your professional goals with your mentor.

Use the Events calendar to identify seminars, workshops and other activities that fit your professional goals. Most events are repeated every academic year, thus allowing for multi-year planning. When you are logged in to CAFFE, you can save selected events that will be added automatically to My CAFFE Plan.


Click here for a tutorial

4. Generate a comprehensive individual development plan

CAFFE endorses the practice of Parallel Mentoring, which refers to concurrent attention to professional development and to the demands of discipline-specific programs.  You and your advisor working together can use this approach to generate a comprehensive individual development plan that can be reviewed periodically.  The complete IDP is generated by adding to the selected CAFFE events of My CAFFE Plan the pertinent activities of your discipline-specific program.

Start now and sign up to begin to create your plan. You can share My CAFFE Plan and any notes with your advisor/mentor as you move towards your career goals.


Click here for a tutorial



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