Resources for Postdocs

Resources for Postdoctoral Trainees

Postdocs are a key contributor to the success and diversity of Penn's research enterprise. Scholars from around the world come to one of the twelve schools to train deeper in their own field of discipline with myriad opportunities to collaborate across fields through interdisciplinary exploration. The University of Pennsylvania offers a variety of resources to support Postdocs’ professional development, research, family,and personal wellness. Penn also offers robost Diversity, Equity and Inclusion resources to support its inclusive and diverse population. Use the links below to learn more, and take charge of your career and life at Penn.

Resources for Research

The Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR) website has a wealth of information to help support your research. Check out the Research Resource Hub to help you think through your research goals and explore what resources are available to help you achieve them.

OVPR Research Resource Hub

The Penn Research Resource Hub strives to provide researchers with relevant and practical resources. From research design tools to data, analysis, and management software. The Research Resource Hub can help you think through your research goals and explore what resources are available to help you achieve them. 

Penn Libraries

Penn Libraries can support postdocs and their research in a variety of ways. You can search by discipline under research guides and also explore specific research techniques through service guides. You can also view most databases and download software here.

Penn ScholarlyCommons

ScholarlyCommons is the University of Pennsylvania’s open access institutional repository for gathering, indexing, storing, and making widely available the scholarly output of the Penn community.

ScholarlyCommons shares the exceptional works of Penn faculty, staff, and students with a local, national, and global audience. Access to ScholarlyCommons is free to all. ScholarlyCommons is a service of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries.


Penn’s Electronic Research Notebook

Penn’s agreement with LabArchives offers Penn Researchers free access to a modern, secure, cloud-based method of organizing their lab data.  It also offers Penn instructors a robust collaboration & instruction platform.

To access the platform, click here

SPIN Database


SPIN (Sponsored Programs Information Network) is a funding opportunity database that provides information on government and private funding sources in both the US and abroad. SPIN contains over 40,000 funding opportunities from more than 10,000 global sponsors. The University of Pennsylvania has subscribed to the SPIN database and provides access to all PennERA users.

The data in SPIN is obtained directly from the sponsoring agencies to ensure the integrity of information. Each program is updated in SPIN as the sponsor revises it (which is typically on an annual basis). The SPIN database is provided through an annual subscription to more than 1,000 colleges, universities, and industry clients worldwide, including the University of Pennsylvania and its faculty.

You can filter results to include specific sponsor types, project locations, deadlines, types of grants, how new a program is and more. Search by a wide variety of criteria like impending deadlines, federal grants only, and non-traditional sources.

Saving & Retrieving Your Searches
Save your search queries and easily access those search results from your top navigation any time. You must access the SPIN database through your logged in PennERA account in order to save entries.

Automation & Email Alerts
Automate your funding searches! Have SPIN send you email notifications daily or weekly with recent funding opportunities so you never miss an opportunity or deadline.

Accessing SPIN
You can access the SPIN database to find funding through PennERA

  1. Login to PennERA with your PennKey

  2. Click the yellow “Find Funding” link on the top rightspin-thru-pennera

  3. You’re logged in to SPIN! Good luck on your funding search

Penn’s Office of Research Services (ORS)

The Office of Research Services (ORS) provides administrative support to faculty and departmental managers for sponsored project activities. ORS is responsible for proposal submission and agreement negotiation for federal sponsors and non-profit sponsors. ORS is responsible for all post-award activities, regardless of sponsor.

Penn’s Institutional Review Board (IRB)

The Institutional Review Boards are federally regulated entities with the mandate to review biomedical and social behavioral research studies that take place within or under the authority of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Medicine. The purpose of review is to determine if the proposed research meets certain established ethical, regulatory, and policy criteria to protect the rights and welfare of the human subjects of such research.

Review policies and information about Penn’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) for all human participant research.

Professional Development & Career Services

Penn Career Services

Career Services offers specialized workshops for postdocs and grad students pursuing both academic and non-academic careers. To view services and resources provided by Career Services, go here.

Postdocs can also book one on one consultations with a career advisor here.

Biomedical Postdocs are welcome to participate in “Walk in Wednesdays” with Penn Career Services. To learn more about this program and how to participate, click here.

Handshake (Penn Career Services career platform)

Handshake is Career Services’ powerful platform for University of Pennsylvania students, postdocs and alumni served by our office.  Handshake uses cutting edge technology to help you more easily connect with employers and source jobs and internships, event information, and schedule appointments with Career Advisors.

Nature Masterclasses



The Nature Masterclasses online courses are specifically designed to be used on demand and at your rhythm. They are bite-sized (10–20-minute lessons) so you can dip in and out during natural gaps in your work. Researchers can choose their own learning path – whether that is working through a course in order or dipping in and out of modules.

The courses are designed to be interactive with in-lesson activities that will keep you engaged and give you plenty of opportunities to practise using new skills and concepts.

You will learn techniques and strategies to develop your skills and confidence across a range of essential research activities. You’ll be able to apply these skills to your everyday professional life but also leverage them to develop your career.

You have access via our institution’s subscription. Access your training now! Register via Single Sign-On, using your institutional login details to access the courses:

UPenn’s access to Nature Masterclasses is provided via Single Sign-On.

1. Visit
2. Go to the Registration page and select your institution
3. Complete your profile and confirm email address
4. Log in via our institutional portal using your normal institutional login details


Your subscription includes access to all courses on the Nature Masterclasses platform. These currently are:

National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity

The NCFDD is an independent professional development, training, and mentoring community for graduate students, post-docs, and faculty members. Resources for graduate students and post-docs include webinars, courses, discussion forums, and other resources on topics ranging from preparing for the academic job market to crafting book, grant, and fellowship proposals.

Penn is an institutional member, so you can claim your institutional sub-account membership at no cost. To do so, click “Register Now” under “Institutional Sub-Account Membership” and be sure to register with your Penn email.

Postdoc Individual Development Plan (IDP)

The IDP is a communication tool aimed at improving the mentoring relationship between postdocs and their faculty advisors. The IDP is a document, completed by the postdoctoral fellow and reviewed with his or her faculty mentor that defines both short- and long-term goals and how to achieve them. It is intended to cover not just scientific goals, but also career development with the hope that this will enable postdocs to become more proactive in their own career development.

Please find IDP templates and resources below:



Campus Resources

Penn Family Resource Center

The Penn Family Resource Center is a community hub for graduate student and postdoc parents that offers “information, resources, activities and advocacy for students and postdocs with children. The Family Center provides a forum for student parents to connect and develop supportive networks, and offers a welcoming and family-friendly environment for Penn students, post-docs, caregivers, and children.”

Penn Center for Teaching and Learning

Center for Teaching and Learning has a variety of mini-courses and workshops that can help postdocs prepare for teaching or strengthen their pedagogy. CTL also offers consultation on aspects of the academic job search related to teaching. 

Wellness at Penn

Wellness at Penn provides support, resources, and practical tools for wellness across the Penn community. It affirms wellness as a core priority and necessary driver of life on campus; and it offers a wide range of opportunities to reflect and engage on issues of wellness, stress, mental health, resilience, happiness, personal and academic goals, and the meaning of success.

Postdocs should review the Public Health and Wellbeing page to determine eligibility for services and programs.

Penn Division of Public Safety (DPS)

The Division of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 180 personnel, 121 of which are sworn University of Pennsylvania Police Officers. DPS is responsible for enhancing the quality of life, safety, and security of the Penn community. The Division accomplishes its mission through the delivery of comprehensive and integrated safety and security programs.

Penn Violence Prevention (PVP)

Penn Violence Prevention (PVP) engages the Penn community in the prevention of sexual violence, relationship violence, stalking, and sexual harassment on campus. They foster collaborative relationships across campus to ensure a survivor-centered, multi-faceted approach to support services and primary prevention. Through collective community action, they are committed to ending interpersonal violence by addressing gender inequity, social injustice, and oppression through outreach and education.


Sexual Misconduct Policy

The University of Pennsylvania is committed to providing a working and learning environment free from sexual misconduct. It therefore is the policy of the University that sexual misconduct is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Detailed information regarding the Sexual Misconduct Policy can be found online at Almanac Supplement- August 14, 2020 PDF ( and Resources | Associate Vice President for Equity and Title IX Officer (

Office of the Ombuds

It is recognized that from time-to-time disagreements may arise between a PDT and a mentor. In such instances, the PDT may wish to utilize the services available through any ombuds in individual schools, and through the University’s Office of the Ombuds, Home | OMBUDS (

The Ombuds Office welcomes any member of the Penn community who is experiencing difficulty, conflict, or confusion at work, within their studies, or throughout their life at the University more broadly. The office offers an accessible and safe place to resolve differences, explore matters of concern, improve communication, and generate and evaluate options. If interested, PDTs are encouraged to contact the Ombuds Office at the earliest stages of a problem so that assistance can be offered before the issue escalates.

BEN's Attic

BEN’s Attic is an online application hosted on the University of Pennsylvania Purchasing Services website which provides a service for online auctions or sales for other departments which have surplus equipment. It is their mission to provide an online application for the Faculty, Staff, and Postdoctoral Trainees at the University of Pennsylvania to repurpose and give away quality surplus goods.

Anyone with a PennKey may view, suggest, or purchase items and will be required to enter their Business Administrator’s name which may be validated by the System Administrator. Before proceeding, please read all the policies governing the use of this service. If you have questions, contact them by phone at (215) 898-7218, or through e-mail at

Individual Schools and Centers are responsible for the proper management and control of assets identified to their individual organizations ( and ). Questions related to the financial policies should be directed to Accounting Operations (

In instances where the transportation of items from the seller to the buyer requires professional assistance, when the move of items is between two University-owned buildings contact Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES). For a move of items between two non-university buildings or between one university-owned and one private building, contact Penn Building Services (PBS).

University faculty, staff, and postdoctoral trainees may use the Login link to access the BEN’s Attic system to view listings. 

Visit the Penn Sustainability website for information on the many additional sustainability programs currently active at Penn.

Penn Farm

The Penn Farm, which originated through the Penn Food and Wellness Collaborative (PFWC), is a unique, multidisciplinary program that engages stakeholders from across the Penn community around four central pillars of wellness, food access, sustainability, and education. Wellness at Penn, Penn’s Center for Public Health, and Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES) joined together to establish the PFWC in 2019. FRES provides expertise in planning, land stewardship, design, operations, and maintenance.

Penn Farm is Penn’s first and only on-campus farm. Each year, the farm grows thousands of pounds of organic produce to support food access initiatives and hosts a wide variety of programming including research, internships, class visits, courses, workshops, volunteer opportunities, and events.

The Penn Farm welcomes collaboration with Penn’s incredible faculty and staff. The farm is a great place for field trips, hands-on learning and has the capacity to serve as an outdoor laboratory for research. Staff can also host events at the farm, weather permitting.

Interested in utilizing our living laboratory?

  • Bring your class to the Penn Farm for a field trip.
  • Collaborate with us on long-term class projects or research.
  • Host your office or staff retreat at the Penn Farm for a unique colleague bonding experience.

To coordinate, please reach out to Emylee Fleshman at

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resources

The University of Pennsylvania’s special character is reflected in the diversity of the Penn community. Diversity is prized at Penn as a central component of its mission and helps create an educational and working environment that best supports the University’s commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship. Penn seeks talented faculty, students, postdocs, and staff who will constitute a vibrant community that draws on the strength that comes with a substantive institutional commitment to diversity along dimensions of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, interests, perspectives, and socioeconomic status.

Preferred Name

In support of the University of Pennsylvania’s commitment to providing an equitable and safe experience for those whose birth name and/or legal name does not reflect their gender identity and/or gender expression, Penn allows those individuals to submit their preferred name during the onboarding process in Workday@Penn. Postdocs may also reach out to their departmental administrator or HR Partner to assist with submitting their preferred name.

An individuals preferred name can and will be used where feasible in all University systems unless the birth name and/or legal name use is required by law or the preferred name to use is for the intent of misrepresentation.

Penn Bias Incident Reporting

The University of Pennsylvania is an inclusive community in which we learn from the research, ideas, and experiences of other people on campus and around the world. We value open expression and the learning that comes from civil and rigorous debate. We also value and respect the dignity and worth of all members of our community. At times individuals or groups may believe they have experienced discrimination or bias or were negatively impacted by the actions of another member of the Penn community.

Individuals may report their concerns about having been treated in a biased or discriminatory manner by completing a Bias Incident Reporting Form.

All Gender/ Gender Neutral Restrooms

Penn has over 80 all gender/gender neutral restroom options across campus and the Penn LGBT Center is continuously working to increase that number.


Pronouns in Penn Canvas

All users of Penn Canvas have the ability to indicate personal pronouns in their Canvas profiles. Pronouns in Canvas display in several locations such as Discussions, People, User Profiles, Inbox, Speedgrader, and more. For more information, see the link below.

Postdocs with Disabilities & Reasonable Accommodation

The University of Pennsylvania is committed to ensuring that its academic, social, recreational programs and services as well as opportunities for admission and employment are available on an equitable and nondiscriminatory basis without regard to an individual’s legally protected class status. Penn also has written affirmative action programs to address any underrepresentation of women, minorities, people with disabilities, and qualified covered veterans.

To request an accommodation during any stage of the hiring process or if you are currently employed, please contact the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs

For more information on requesting an accommodation, please review the following OAAEOP webpage.