Welcome to the PennPORT Program!
Penn - Postdoctoral Opportunities in Research and Teaching (PennPORT), an NIH sponsored, Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award (IRACDA) postdoctoral fellowship, supported by the NIH division of NIGMS awarded August 2007.
The NIH sponsored PennPORT program combines a traditional mentored postdoctoral research experience at the University of Pennsylvania with a mentored teaching experience at a partnering institution. The Program is designed to provide an opportunity for postdoctoral appointees to develop their teaching skills. An integral part of the program is formal instruction in pedagogical methods from the University of Pennsylvania Center for Teaching and Learning. Postdocs will also be able to take advantage of the many research and career success skills training programs provided by Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs (BPP).
The partnering institutions are Delaware County Community College, Lincoln University and Rutgers University Camden Campus. All institutions are minority serving institutions in the Philadelphia locality. The PennPORT program is intended to enhance research-oriented teaching at partner institutions, foster collaboration in research and teaching between the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and that of partner minority-serving institutions, and encourage undergraduates to enter a career in biomedical research. Since we wish to provide role models for the undergraduates at our partner institutions, candidates from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.
Eligible postdocs must provide proof of a doctoral degree and must be U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents. We provide health benefits, stipend, support for research and teaching supplies, course development, and travel to attend two professional meetings, one being the IRACDA annual conference. The tenure for each fellowship is three years.
To learn more, see the PennPORT alumni highlights in Science Magazine! Teaching Postdocs to Be Professors - Science Careers - Biotech, Pharmaceutical, Faculty, Postdoc jobs on Science Careers
Stay tuned for when we will host our next Virtual Recruitment Session!
"Where Are They Now?" featuring PennPORT Alumni - Asst. Professor, Jennifer Grier
I am an Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville in Greenville, SC. I currently teach immunology and clinical virology to first- and second-year medical students, as well as run a research lab to study respiratory infections, the members of which consist of primarily undergraduate and medical students. Prior to joining the medical school faculty, I spent two years as an Assistant Professor at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUI). During my time as a member of the PennPORT program, I taught at Rutgers Camden and Lincoln University, which gave me the opportunity to teach both a large, introductory-level course and a smaller upper-level course. The experience of teaching an entire course, from syllabus design, creating class activities and giving assignments, to writing and grading exams or handling conflict in the classroom helped me to stand out among other future faculty candidates when I applied for jobs. The training provided by PennPORT was instrumental in preparing me to lead my courses, to get students excited about research, and to use my platform as an educator to implement changes so that students from all backgrounds and identities would feel welcome in the sciences.
For postdocs or trainees wanting to transition to faculty at PUIs, I encourage them to consider how students can be integrated into their research as early as possible. Thoughtful integration of students into research is something that many PUIs value and demonstrates a commitment to student training. During PennPORT, I worked with my advisor to develop a research direction that could be advanced through smaller student projects using techniques that were commonly taught in lab courses. I would also encourage postdocs or faculty at PUIs to incorporate their research into their classes. The students find open-ended investigation more exciting than prescriptive activities and it’s a good way to make research progress with limited outside time and funds. Lastly, I encourage current PennPORT fellows to stay in touch with other PennPORT and IRACDA colleagues and to find their way into NewPI_Slack once they transition to faculty – these networks have a lot of knowledgeable people that are willing to help and collaborate.