Forms, Forms, Forms

The Immunology Graduate Program has several forms that are used throughout your graduate school career that can help to ensure that you are progressing through the Program efficiently and to help identify training needs, aspirations and career goals.  Each of these 5 forms fulfills a slightly different purpose, and it can be confusing.  Here is a primer to help sort out the various evaluation forms and when to use them.

Individual Development Plans (IDPs): IDPs are meant to be filled out by the student individually and are used to help you self-identify areas of skill development, mentoring needs and career aspirations.  The information collected from the IDP can be very useful to facilitate discussion at the yearly dissertation advisory committee meeting, especially around the area of career development.  The IDP is to help you decide for yourself what you would like to do in the future.  It is likely to change during the course of graduate school and should be updated yearly at a minimum.  If you are comfortable sharing this information, it can help guide your committee to design a training plan that best meets your career goals.  An excellent resource is the Science/AAAS IDP site as well.  Create your IDP at   A sample IDP is attached below.  IDP.pdf

Mentoring Agreement:  This is an agreement entered into by the mentor and the student (preferably at the end of the first year or beginning of the second year when students select a dissertation advisor.  The goal is to codify the expectations of the mentor for the student and the student for the mentor.  It will prompt you to discuss such things as frequency of meetings, format for keeping laboratory notes, vacation policies etc.  It is also useful for allowing the student and the mentor to provide feedback to each other about how the relationship is progressing.  Thus, it should be updated at least yearly in a formal one on one meeting between the mentor and student.  Students and mentors should consider attending a Rackham MORE mentoring workshop together (  to initiate this agreement.  A sample mentoring agreement is below and here.

Semester Evaluations:  These forms are filled out by the mentor and then discussed with the student at the end of Fall or Winter semester, or at the end of a rotation.  In the first  year, the form goes to PIBS.  In the second year and up it comes to the Immunology graduate program.  These forms allow the mentor to give the student feedback regarding their progress towards their rotation objectives or dissertation project.  The student must sign the evaluation to indicate that they have seen it.  Primarily these are used by the graduate program to keep record of student's general progress and to record grades of satisfactory or unsatisfactory for the semester.  A sample semester evaluation is below for both pre-candidates and degree candidates.  Lab Semester evaluation pre-candidate.doc or Lab semester evaluation Candidate.doc

Dissertation Advisory Committee Meeting form:  This form is used in the dissertation advisory committee meeting which should be held twice yearly, but is mandatory at least yearly.  It offers a written evaluation of the students progress towards their dissertation project, should codify the milestones for the up coming  year and should be signed by all the committee members, plus the student and the mentor.  It is turned in to the Immunology program after the meeting.  Dissertation committee meetings should include time at the end to discuss whether or not the student has the permission of the committee to begin the dissertation writing process, when the committee will next meet, and importantly, what the candidate's career goals are and how the committee can help the student achieve those goals.  The IDP can provide insight for this discussion.  A sample dissertation advisory form is below.    IMM dissertation committee meeting progress report (2).docx

Yearly Progress Report:  This form is optional.  It is a good way to summarize the activities of the year and goals for the next year and you may find it useful as a template to fill out prior to your yearly meeting with the Program Director.  You may find this form is useful to record aspects of your IDP and mentoring agreement that you want to formalize or record or give to your dissertation committee.  Please see the yearly evaluation form below.  IMM annual progress report_June 2016.docx

Fellows Advisory Committee Form:  Post-doctoral fellows are encouraged to create research advisory committees.  This is mandated for post-doctoral fellows supported by the Immunology T32, and committees are recommended to meet twice yearly.  The following form found below can help guide productive discussions about research and career planning goals. Fellows Progress Report.docx

Postdoc Self Assessment Survey:  This self-survey from the National Postdoctoral Association may help you identify core competencies you want to work on.