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 commitment to undergraduate education.
Are PennPORT 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 PennPORT applicants do not have a faculty research mentor prior to applying. However, applicants should include 2-3 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.
What if I have a mentor in mind?
Candidates who have already identified one or more prospective mentors are welcome to make contact at any time. Please indicate this on your application form.
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, and challenges. These networking lunches are an integral part of the program.
Do I need to prepare a seminar if called for an interview with the PennPORT IRACDA program?
Yes, all applicants will present a seminar to our director and the research lab(s) 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 PennPORT IRACDA fellow will have two semesters of teaching during their 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 teaching institutions are paid by the PennPORT IRACDA program.
Are there any additional funds provided from the program?
Yes, each fellow is allotted funds to purchase research and teaching supplies annually. In addition, all fellows are given funds to attend professional conferences or workshops.
Can I choose what conferences I attend?
All PennPORT fellows are expected to attend the annual IRACDA meeting. However, fellows can choose an additional professional conference or workshop.