Postdoctoral Fellows

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Global HealthThe purpose of this program is to facilitate the identification of good matches between laboratories and potential postdoctoral fellows. 


International Postdoctoral Recruiting Program

The University of Pennsylvania (Penn) has initiated a pilot program to recruit international postdoctoral fellows from selected international institutions.  Eligible biomedical graduate students from participating international institutions are invited to explore this exciting opportunity in a leading research university located in the historic city of Philadelphia, Pennyslvania. 

Recruiting Guidebook

We have prepared a guidebook that explains the program.  It has important background information that will help international students determine whether to register for Penn’s recruiting program.  You can view specific sections or the entire guidebook in Adobe Acrobat by clicking on the following links:

Why Choose Penn

  • We have a nationally recognized Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs office that will help you reach your career goals.
  • We are leaders in life sciences research in the United States.
  • The University of Pennsylvania is an outstanding Ivy League university and a leader in biomedical research.  Philadelphia has excellent cultural and recreational amenities.
  • Your interests will be protected 
    • Your fellowship will be funded from a research grant.
    • The terms of fellowship will be governed by our Policy for Postdoctoral Fellows, which provides you with specific information regarding most aspects of your fellowship.
    • You will know the terms of compensation which will be included in any offer of a fellowship.
    • Our Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs (BPP) office will provide you with information about all aspects of your fellowship and can answer your questions to help you make a decision.  Furthermore, BPP is available to advise you throughout your fellowship and is committed to protect your legitimate interests. 

Registration Process

If you wish to register with Penn’s program for recruiting international postdoctoral fellows , please follow the instructions below.  The recruiting program is based on participation agreements with a growing group of international institutions that currently includes:


K.U. Leuven


Nanjing Medical University*

Nanjing University*

Peking University Health Science Center*

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU)*

SJTU School of Medicine

Shanghai Institute of Medical Genetic


Kings College, London

Oxford University


Faculté de Médecine Paris-Sud 11

Institut Pasteur


University of Iceland*


Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad

Christian Medical College, Vellore


University College Dublin*


Keio University

Kyoto University

Nagoya University

Tokyo University

The Netherlands

Leiden University Medical Center*

University Medical Center Groningen*


Medical University of Gdansk*

Poznan University of Medical Sciences*

Saudi Arabia

Al-Imam University

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*Click on asterisked links to send an email for special instructions before submitting your registration form. 

Steps to Registering for the International Postdoctoral Fellow Recruiting Program

This program is limited to students at the institutions listed above.  If you have completed/are completing a doctorate in conjunction with one of these institutions, please do the following:

  1. Review Information
    review our recruiting guidebook and decide if you would like to register for this program
  2. Search Database
    if you are interested in registering, you will need to identify Penn faculty with whom you would like to work; to do this, search database of Penn faculty (you will have to follow this link and then scroll down to find the search button).
  3. Register
    complete a registration form, save it as "your name + postdoc registration," and attach it in an email to; after you have submitted the registration form, you will get an email confirming that you have registered, and that you have been added to our list of registered students from participating institutions
  4. Further Information
    if you have questions about the research life at Penn and practical arrangements for spending time in the US, visit the website of the Biomedical Postdoctoral Council (BPC).  The BPC is is a group of postdoc volunteers who work to improve the postdoctoral training experience at Penn. They have a special Foreign National Committee and very helpful Resources for International Postdoctoral Fellows at Penn.  In addition, they would be happy to try to identify a "buddy trainer," a postdoctoral fellow at Penn (who may be from your home country) with whom you can correspond about any training or living concerns you might have.  To contact the Foreign National Committee and request a buddy trainer, send an email to: 

Once you are on our list of registered students, we will contact the faculty you have identified on your behalf.  You may contact us at any time to check on the status of your registration.  You are also welcome to access a list of postdoctoral positions at Penn that have been posted on the website operated by Penn’s Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs office (please note that there are always additional openings that are not listed here).  If you have questions, please email us at


The University of Pennsylvania will assist you in applying for an appropriate visa for your fellowship.  Please note that for J-1 visas you should allow at least three months and for H-1B visas you should allow at least 6 months from date of application to date of approval.   We offer experienced administrative advice and aid in the visa application process, through Penn’s Office of International Programs.   In addition, if you are interested in viewing a MS Word document containing a brief summary of the differences between the J-1 and H-1B, please click here

Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs

Penn's office of Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs (BPP) is dedicated to providing the administrative oversight that helps more than 800 life science postdoctoral fellows succeed.  In the United States, BPP is recognized as a pioneer in the training of postdoctoral fellows and has served as a model for programs in many other institutions. 

Policy for Postdoctoral Fellows

Penn has long been a leader committed to protecting the rights and interests of postdoctoral fellows.  In this capacity, Penn was one of the first universities in the United States to develop and approve a Postdoctoral Fellows Policy designed to provide all postdoctoral fellows with a clear statement of the guidelines that govern their recruitment, responsiblities, rights, and educational expectations. 

Last updated:  April 18, 2011

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