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PENN-PORT Programs: Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have prior teaching experience in order to apply for the program?
Prior experience is helpful, but not required. However candidates should have a strong committment to teaching at undergraduate institutions.

Are PENN PORT fellowships only open to members of under-represented groups?
No, all racial and ethnic groups are encouraged to apply. However, successful applicants must demonstrate a commitment to a major objective of the program, which is to encourage underrepresented minority students into biomedical research careers.

Prior to applying, should I already have a faculty research mentor?
No, most PENN-PORT applicants do not have a faculty research mentor prior to applying. However, applicants should include three faculty of interest on their application. Our program staff will assist you with contacting faculty, and finding a lab that is a good fit. Please research our faculty and their interests using our website.

How often does the entire program meet?
The entire group of fellows and administrators meet monthly for lunch to discuss research progress, experiences at partnering schools, successes, challenges, or any other concerns.

Do I need to prepare a seminar if called for an interview with the PENN-PORT IRACDA program?
Yes, all applicants will present a seminar to our director and research lab of interest.

During an interview, will I meet with all faculty of interest included on my application?
Depending on availability, during your visit you may meet with all faculty members of interest.

How many semesters of teaching does the program require?
Each PENN-PORT IRACDA fellow will have two semesters of teaching during his or her term in the program. The second year of the program is the teaching intensive year.

Does the program pay for travel to the assigned teaching schools?
Yes, travel costs to the more distant teaching institutions are paid by the PENN-PORT IRACDA program.

Are there any additional funds provided with in the program?

Yes, each fellow is allotted funds to purchase research and teaching supplies annually. In addition, all fellows are given a stipend to attend two annual professional conferences.

Can I choose what conferences I attend?

All PENN-PORT fellows are expected to attend the annual IRACDA meeting. However, fellows can choose an additional professional conference or scientific meeting.


Charla LambertPENN-PORT Alumni, Charla Lambert states,” The PennPORT program connected me with a community of postdocs who, in addition to being successful researchers, enjoyed thinking about pedagogy, mentorship, student engagement, and professional development. Building a network of such colleagues who are multidimensional in their professional aspirations was an instrumental part of my postdoc experience”.