Postdoctoral Fellowships for Academic Diversity

Penn Provost’s
Postdoctoral Fellowships

CHOP Postdoctoral
Fellowships for Academic Diversity

Applications for 2023-2024 are now open

We are currently accepting applications for 2023-2024 fellowships.  The deadline is November 16.
Meet our current and former postdocs here.

Program Description

The Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowships and CHOP’s Postdoctoral Fellowships are competitive programs intended to increase the diversity of the academic research community at the University of Pennsylvania and  Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). While the Penn and CHOP programs have a common application form, they are independently funded and have separate review processes.

Both organizations seek to attract promising researchers and educators from different backgrounds, races, ethnic groups, and other diverse populations whose life experiences, research experiences and employment backgrounds will contribute significantly to their academic missions.

Fellowships are available for postdoctoral training in all areas of study at either Penn or CHOP. STEM applications are encouraged. Successful candidates will receive mentored scholarly and research training as well as courses and workshops to enhance their research success skills and prepare them for a faculty position in a major university.


  • Candidates must be US citizens or permanent residents
  • Graduate students from Penn and other institutions who have completed, or will complete their requirements for Ph.D. by the Fellowship start date
  • Postdoctoral scholars from other institutions who have completed their doctoral degree within the last two years
  • Professional applicants (M.D., D.M.D., V.M.D., J.D., etc.) within a year of completing their post-degree professional training
  • Postdocs, residents and fellows who currently have a position at Penn or CHOP are ineligible for this program

For additional information on the CHOP diversity fellowship program, click here


Penn’s Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowships – Consistent with the University’s postdoc policy, appointments are for one year. Renewals to the second and third year of the program are made annually and will be based on satisfactory performance and mutual agreement between the fellow and the postdoc’s primary mentor. Annual reports on the postdoc’s progress are required.

CHOP Fellowships – Initial appointments to this postdoctoral fellowship are for 1 year. Extension to the second and third years of the program are contingent on completion of the CHOP Postdoctoral Fellow Annual Review Form and mutual agreement between the fellow and the postdoc’s primary mentor.


Fellows starting in July 2023 will receive a stipend of $57,000 a year in year 1 with $2,000 increases in years 2 & 3.   Additionally, the fellow will receive annual allowances for travel ($2,000) and research ($4,000), and a one-time relocation expense of up to $5,000. The University and CHOP also provide a medical, vision, dental and life insurance benefits package.

Successful candidates will receive highly mentored scholarly and research training as well as courses and workshops to enhance their research skills and prepare them for faculty positions in a major university.

The program is designed to provide postdocs with time to focus on research and publishing activities that will enhance their career prospects for either a faculty appointment in an academic institution or an appointment in other sectors of the economy such as industry, government or nonprofit organizations.

Start dates will be arranged in consultation with the faculty mentor and will begin as early as July 2023.

Program Funding

While the Penn and CHOP programs have a common application form, they are independently funded and have separate review processes.

For details about program funding please contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. The CHOP fellowship is funded by the Research Institute and the Primary Faculty Mentor.

Faculty who are interested in being mentors may contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Research for further information regarding the Penn fellowship or the CHOP Office of Academic Training and Outreach Programs for further information regarding the CHOP fellowship.

Mentors for both Penn and CHOP are required to submit an annual report describing the postdocs accomplishments.

Important Note: faculty who are contacted by applicants to serve as mentors should refer to the section below on the responsibilities associated with mentoring.

Application Procedure

  1. Online application form, which includes
    • Education history
    • Teaching history (if applicable)
    • A curriculum vitae, including publications, awards, honors, current and pending funding, if any. CV document should be titled: last name_first name_CV eg: Smith_Jane_CV.pdf
    • A personal statement, no longer than three pages, single-spaced with one-inch margins. Must address all of the following elements in the following order:
      • Review your previous research accomplishments
      • Outline your proposed research plan and future research goals
      • Describe your commitment to pursuing an academic career
      • Detail your academic, employment and life experiences that would bring new perspectives to the University community and your chosen field
      • Personal statement document should be titled: last name_first name_Personal statement eg: Smith_Jane_Personal_Statement.pdf
  2. Three letters of reference from people acquainted with your work including one letter from your thesis advisor
  3. A letter from a Penn/CHOP faculty member with compatible research interests who you have contacted and who has agreed to act as a mentor for the duration of the fellowship.

Important: Prior to beginning your application, you should alert your 3 references (including thesis advisor) and Penn/CHOP mentor that they will receive an email request for their reference and/or mentor letters.

Email will be sent from:
Subject line of email will be:  YOUR NAME Fellowship Support Letter for Penn/CHOP

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

If you have any questions about the Penn program please contact Marta Bartholomew, Director of Research Programs and Communications, Office of the Vice Provost for Research.

If you have any questions about the CHOP program please contact Paulette McRae, PhD, Office of Academic Training and Outreach Programs, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Roles and Responsibilities

Mentor Responsibilities:

  • Prior to writing the letter the proposed mentor should meet or engage with applicants to determine compatible research interests and agree to act as his/her mentor
  • The letter included in the applicant’s submission should provide details on the postdoc’s research project, research goals and your plans for mentoring.
  • In consultation with the postdoctoral fellow, develop an Individual Mentorship Plan (IDP) shortly after the fellow’s arrival on campus.
    • IDP should define expectations for scholarly work to be completed
    • IDP should include a timeline for implementation of the fellow’s proposed goals or plan
  • Schedule meetings to review IDP and review fellow’s accomplishments
  • Serve as a bridge to the fellow’s host department/colleagues
  • Facilitate professional development opportunities for the fellow
  • Serve as a professional resource to the fellow
  • Applicants may send mentors to this direct page with instructions.

Department Responsibilities:

  • Provide adequate work space
  • On-board the fellow and assist in establishing a Penn presence (ID card, email address, etc)
  • Provide the fellow with information about departmental meetings, colloquia, seminars, other events and important matters
  • Provide contact info for administrative people in the department
  • Provide information about department business and administrative practices
  • Provide Information about stipends and benefits.
  • Administer the fellow’s research and professional travel funds

Postdoctoral Fellow’s Responsibilities:

  • Reside in the Philadelphia area unless the fellow’s research program is of a global nature
  • Establish a presence in the department. Attend and participate in department meetings, seminars, and conferences
  • Focus on research resulting in publications or other products such as patents
  • Participate in scheduled professional programming
  • In consultation with faculty mentor, complete an IDP shortly after arriving on campus
    • Identify research short-term and long-term goals
  • Schedule meetings with mentor to review the IDP. Document research and professional accomplishments
    • Suggested template for Life or Biomedical Sciences: Download template
    • Suggested IDP template for Social Sciences and Humanities: Visit Imagine website
  • Network with other fellows in the program and on campus
  • Submit a copy of an IDP to the Office of the Vice Provost for Research annually
  • Note: As per the University’s postdoc policy, Fellowships are for one year are renewed annually based on satisfactory performance and mutual agreement between mentor and fellow.

Post Doc Events

Friday, September 23
4:00pm – 6:00pm
NPAW Closing Reception
LGBT Center, Goodhand Room (3907 Spruce Street) 

Friday, September 23
1:00pm – 4:00pm
Postdoc Writing Workshop (virtual)
Contact for zoom link and information

Wednesday, September 21
11:30am – 12:30pm
Penn and CHOP hybrid workshop: Combating Imposter Syndrome

Monday, September 19
2:00pm – 4:00pm
Penn and CHOP Ice Cream Social
Biomedical Research Building (BRB) – 14th floor faculty lounge

Friday, September 16
Penn and CHOP Postdoctoral Fellows Welcome (Back) Lunch
College Hall, Room 205

Thursday, February 24
Transitioning to Faculty Life- What I Wish I Had Known
Led by: Laura Perna – Vice Provost for Faculty and GSE Centennial Presidential Professor of Education
Panelists: David Grazian: Professor of Sociology and Communication
Jasmine Johnson: Assistant Professor of African Studies
Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw: Class of 1940 Bicentennial Term Associate Professor
Dagmawi Woubshet : Ahuja Family Presidential Associate Professor of English

Thursday, February 17
Setting Boundaries around DEI Service and Mentorship
Led by: Donita Brady PhD Assistant Dean for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity

Thursday, November 11
Social Media and Networking
Led by: Matt Griffin, Director of New Media Communications

Thursday, November 4
BPP Virtual Responsible Conduct of Research
Virtual via Zoom | Register HERE
Topic: Collaborations and team scienceCo-Leaders: George Demiris, PhD, FACMI & Matthew D. McHugh, PhD, JD, MPH, RN, CRNP, FAAN

October 4 – October 27
Fall 2021 ESL Course: Strategically Speaking: Building Fluency for Confident Communication
Instructed by Language ConnectED, an intensive hybrid course designed to address the unique needs of BPP postdocs who are non-native speakers of English. The course will run from October 4 through October 27 every Monday (online) and Wednesday (in- person). Course fee for BPP postdocs: $400. Complete online Interest Form HERE by Friday, September 17.
Contact Donna Crawley with questions.

Fridays: October 8th, 2021 – June 24th, 2022
1:00-4:00 pm
Provost’s Postdocs Writing Workshops
Virtual via Zoom
Led by: Meg Guliford
The Friday writing workshops occur every other Friday afternoon from October to June.  This is a time of focused attention on writing or projects that need extra time. It is also a great way to collaborate nd share ideas with other postdocs.

Monday, October 7
Interviewing for Faculty Jobs Workshop
Virtual via Zoom
Led by: Helen Pho, Associate Director of Penn Career Services
Join Helen Pho for a workshop on preparing for screening, conference and on campus/finalist interviews for faculty jobs.

Monday, October 4
BPP Virtual Responsible Conduct of Research
Virtual via Zoom | Register HERE
Topic: Authorship and publication
Co-Leaders: Jason Moore, PhD & Malay Haldar, MD, PhD

Wednesday, September 22
Virtual Wellness Session: Burnout
Virtual via Zoom | Register HERE
Led by: Heather Hersh, PsyD, Thrive Well-Being
During this virtual session, Dr. Hersh will show you how to identify burnout in yourself and others; and, more importantly, how to prevent it.

Thursday, September 23
3MT Competition Introductory Session
Virtual via Zoom | Register HERE

Monday, September 20
NPAW Virtual Kickoff – Doing Science Is Not Enough: How Communicating Your Science Is Crucial To Your Career
Virtual via Zoom | Register HERE
Keynote Speaker: Chris Gunter, PhD (she/her) Senior Advisor to the Director for Genomics Engagement, Unit Head, Engagement Methods Unit, Social and Behavioral Research Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH
Your science serves as the nucleus for an entire ecosystem of science communication, which you can use to your advantage. Dr. Gunter will talk about her career path in each part of the ecosystem and offer tips for success, from journals to preprints to traditional media to social media and back again.

Monday, September 13
12:00pm – 1:00pm
Family Center at Penn: Virtual Info Session Meet & Greet
Virtual | Register HERE
Learn more about the Family Center and resources for students and postdocs with children at this virtual info session. Family Center staff will give a presentation and answer questions, then families will have an opportunity to introduce themselves and say hello! We hope you can join us, please register in advance to receive the zoom link.

Wednesday, September 8
BPP Virtual Responsible Conduct of Research

Virtual via Zoom | Register HERE
Topic: Peer Review for Publication: Ethical Considerations
Co-Leaders: Eileen Lake, PhD, MSN, MA, BSN, FAAN & Karen Lasater, PhD, RN