Expectations for Faculty Mentors

President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship mentors are usually tenured faculty members who have demonstrated a commitment to inclusion, equity and diversity in higher education as well as an ability to successfully mentor postdocs for faculty positions. They are expected to (1) take an active role in helping the fellow to plan and achieve his or her research goals, (2) assist the fellow in establishing a visible presence in a department, (3) facilitate opportunities for the fellow to participate in national and international research meetings, (4) encourage the fellow to focus full-time on research and avoid other commitments such as teaching or outside employment, (5) assist the fellow in seeking opportunities to present papers and to interview for faculty positions, and (6) attend professional development activities offered by the program, such as initial mentor training and the annual PPFP gathering.

The program encourages each mentor to meet with their fellow at the beginning of the fellowship to discuss their working arrangements and consider appropriate long- and short-term goals for the term of the fellowship. The mentor should not expect to meet all of the fellow’s career development needs personally but should provide an overall framework to ensure that the fellow has access to a broad academic network to support his or her work.

Mentors may also play an important role in advising fellows about the academic job market and making connections to related departments at other campuses that may be interested in the fellow for a faculty appointment. At Penn State, departments that are interested in considering applicants for faculty appointments should contact the fellowship program office (ppfpinfo@psu.edu).

Please note: Departments and faculty mentors are expected to make appropriate arrangements for office and lab space and other necessary resources.

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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