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Career Development

The Office of Career Development is here to serve all current GSBS students and alumni! We take an educated, individualized approach to serving our stakeholders and strategically developing and implementing new programs and resources that support the training of our students and prepare them for the next steps in their career.

For general inquiries please contact [email protected]

Current Students

A graduate degree in the biomedical sciences offers you a wealth of opportunities, both inside the lab and outside. In order to best prepare you for the next steps of your journey, the Office of Career Development offers a variety of services.

Career Advising

The GSBS Office of Career Development offers individual career advising appointments to discuss a wide range of career-related topics to help you prepare for your transition after graduate school. We meet you wherever you are in your career planning. Whether you are just exploring your options or ready to plan your exit out of graduate school, we are here to facilitate your transition to the next step in your career or training.

 Make your career advising appointment on Calendly

Topics you can discuss during your career advising appointment include:

  • Preparing application documents including CV, cover letter, and resume
  • Professional communication skills such as interviewing, negotiation, and networking
  • Exploring career options in academia, industry, government, etc.
  • Developing a personalized strategy for conducting a job or postdoc search
  • Creating an individual development plan for goal-setting, skill development, and career planning
  • Integrating an internship into your graduate career
  • Discussing plans and exploring resources for applying to external fellowships
  • Applying to graduate school and preparing your application (current GSBS MS students)

 An important component in the job search is the creation of the curriculum vitae (CV), resume, and cover letter. We have a wealth of resources available on Canvas, and  the Office of Career Development is happy to help you craft and revise these documents. If you have a document in need of review, email it to [email protected]. Please allow about two business days for review.

GSBS Individual Development Plan (IDP)

  • Overview

    The IDP is a planning tool designed to help students identify scientific progress, determine professional development needs, and meet career-planning objectives. The GSBS IDP was designed for GSBS students and includes reflection on graduate training expectations, self-assessment and goal-setting exercises, and follow-up discussions with a research advisor and the Office of Career Development. Collectively, this process is designed to aid students in setting short-term training and professional development goals that enhance career readiness for students upon graduation.

    The GSBS IDP is an annual academic milestone requirement for all GSBS PhD students.

    Goals of the IDP:

    • cultivates a sense of ownership over training, career planning and professional development
    • allows for reflection and self-evaluation on training progress and career-readiness
    • identifies areas for improving performance and developing new skills
    • facilitates communication and transparent expectations between the student and research mentor

    To learn more about how the GSBS IDP process, see this one page summary.

    Feedback from the GSBS community is critical in ensuring this is a useful tool for our community. Please click here to answer a brief survey about your IDP experience:

    Questions about the IDP process: Contact [email protected]

  • IDP Form

    Use the GSBS IDP guide and worksheet that correlates to your specific stage of training:

    First year: Guide and Worksheet (Word Document)

    Second year: Guide and Worksheet (Word Document)

    Third year: Guide and Worksheet (Word Document)

    Fourth year and beyond: Guide and Worksheet (Word Document)

  • For Graduate Students

    GSBS expects that all PhD students will complete their IDPs on an annual basis. Students will complete a training year-specific form that guides them through self-reflection and assessment, goal-setting, and a facilitated discussion of training and career-related goals. The first IDP is completed during GSBS orientation with the Office of Career Development. In subsequent years, GSBS students will review their IDP from the previous year, reflect on progress, and revise their IDPs using the recommended form. Students are expected to complete and discuss their IDPs with their research mentors (or another faculty member) on an annual basis. In year 3, all GSBS students will be required to complete their IDP and participate in a confidential one-on-one career advising meeting with the Office of Career Development.

  • For Mentors

    An IDP enables both students and their mentors to best chart a path for an individual student’s development needs.  Importantly, it recognizes that we are all unique and have a different mix of strengths, developmental goals, and career ambitions. Therefore, this process is highly tailored to help graduate students:

    • assess their skills, interests and values;
    • determine a plan for meeting academic and professional goals; and
    • communicate with their mentor(s) about evolving goals and related skills.

    The mentor’s responsibility

    It is the responsibility of the graduate student to engage in the IDP process.  However, having conversations with a mentor or mentoring team is an essential step in implementing and completing the IDP process.

    While it is up to the graduate student to develop IDPs, it is also important for you to encourage them to interact with you regarding the IDP. They may choose to share certain parts of the IDP with you and keep other parts (such as the skills assessment, or personal goals) private.

    Questions about the process?

    Contact [email protected]

  • For Principal Investigators and Program Directors of NIH Grants

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) encourages institutions to assist graduate students in achieving their career goals within the biomedical research workforce through the use of Individual Development Plans (IDPs)- see (NOT-OD-114-13?). Institutions are encouraged to implement IDP policies and to report on their use in all progress reports submitted on/after October 1, 2014, using the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR). NIH Investigators of training grant should include information to document that IDPs are used to help manage the training for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in their grant applications and progress report. Additionally, it is encouraged to use IDPs with all trainees that are recipients of NIH funding mechanisms.

    There is no requirement to use a specific IDP format. Any IDP tool, for example, Science Careers myIDP, may be used. The GSBS recommends using the GSBS IDP, which integrates Science Careers myIDP and standard GSBS academic milestones.

    It is important to note that actual IDPs do not need to be reported to the NIH, but rather NIH Investigators should outline current practices that document that IDPs are used to help manage the training for those individuals.

Internship Navigation

If you would like to learn more about a particular field before completing your degree, an internship is a great way. GSBS students who are interested in completing an internship are encouraged to review the Internship Policy. Students who are seeking to pursue an internship, to make an internship advising appointment on Calendly and review the internship policy. Visit the GSBS Office of Career Development LinkedIn page for a variety of internship and fellowship opportunities. Additional internship resources are available on the UTHealth Houston Career Development Canvas site.


The MD Anderson UTHealth Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences offers a wealth of opportunities for professional development and career enhancement. These include a workshops and seminars hosted by the Office of Career Development, different programs and departments, and student groups. Additionally, students have access to a myriad of events offered through organizations within the Texas Medical Center and both host institutions.

All events are available on the LEAD calendar


The Office of Career Development has a variety of resources available to students on the UTHealth Houston Canvas Career Development page. These include specific articles and topical resources on career explorations, job search tools, templates for cover letters, resumes, and CVs, as well as helpful articles for job searching. The library of resources is growing rapidly. Note: this resource is on the UTHealth Houston Canvas page. 

The Career Development office regularly offers an elective course, GS21 1191, that provides students in depth information about the career search process. 

If you are interested in finding a full-time job, fellowship, postdoc, or internship, please visit our Career Development LinkedIn page, which has timely job positions for roles across the country and globe. You are able to search for roles using different keywords, such as “internship” or by location, like “California.” An active LinkedIn account is required.