Recently, NIH required that all research trainees supported by NIH funds use Individualized Development Plans (IDPs) to guide their progress and productivity. IDPs are important because they enable trainees to set goals and objectives, and to report milestones related to their research, training, and career progression. Importantly, IDPs also facilitate communication between mentees and their mentors. We recently developed an online IDP, the Customized Career Development Platform (CCDP), that not only enables goal setting and tracking of career milestones but also facilitates mentor-mentee interactions as well as oversight by the research program administrators. These interactions are crucial in helping the trainee stay on track during the training period. Our current goal is to evaluate the effectiveness of the CCDP among programs that support NIH-funded clinical and translational science trainees across the US with the overall objective of sharing an evidence-based platform across NIH training programs and beyond.
The Customized Career Development Platform (CCDP) is for scholars to interactively plan their career success with their mentoring team. We propose a cluster randomized trial to test the effectiveness of the CCDP compared to a paper-based Individualized Development Plan (IDP). We hypothesize that the CCDP will lead to higher productivity as measured by the number of career goals achieved, publications, grants submitted and funded as well as higher satisfaction compared to those scholars who use a paper-based IDP.