Candidate Teaching Policy

The President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is designed to provide new scholars with time to focus on research and publishing activities that will enhance their prospects for appointment as a tenure-track faculty member. While Fellows are encouraged and expected to engage their scholarly communities, the terms of the fellowships do not normally allow the assumption of significant teaching responsibilities without prior approval from the faculty mentor and the department head/program director. Such approval may be granted only if the teaching opportunity appears to serve the fellow’s career development.

The program may approve teaching commitments under the following circumstances:

  • The teaching involves a small, focused course (i.e. an upper division or graduate seminar) that is closely related to the fellow’s area of research.
  • The fellow is in a field where teaching is generally expected to be part of postdoctoral fellowship appointments.
  • The fellow has done little teaching and needs to add teaching experience in order to be competitive for tenure-track faculty appointments.

The program will not normally approve teaching responsibilities that will significantly interfere with the time fellows need to devote to their research. The program would not look favorably at a request to teach a large introductory class or a request from a fellow with significant prior teaching experience. Teaching at another institution is prohibited and may result in the loss of fellowship support.

All requests to teach must be submitted for approval to the faculty mentor and then to the fellowship program office for approval. Requests to the program office may be made by email (

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In 2021, Penn State joined in a collaborative partnership with the University of California and other leading universities to offer postdoctoral fellowship opportunities for promising scholars. In this program, Penn State now offers postdoctoral research fellowships in most academic disciplines, coupled with faculty mentoring, professional development, and academic networking opportunities.

President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802