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Junior Faculty Development Program

The Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) provides a foundation for the success of junior faculty at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Since the program was introduced in 2003, it has served as an important steppingstone for faculty interested in taking their academic careers to the next level.

We welcome applicants with diverse backgrounds and interests who share a passion for inquiry, improvement and collaboration.

The program runs from September to May each year and consists of two components:

  • A comprehensive curriculum delivered through a series of weekly lessons
  • An individual project completed under the guidance of a senior faculty mentor (assigned by the JFDP leadership)

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About JFDP

Goals of JFDP Expand answer
  • To promote the development and advancement of faculty.
  • To nurture and cultivate junior faculty to become the next generation of academic leaders.
  • To support the retention of faculty talent through improved networking, formation of a peer group, understanding of the varied roles of the faculty in an academic health center and awareness of opportunities at Penn State.
Curriculum Topics Expand answer

Project Related

  • Identifying Opportunities for Scholarship
  • Brainstorming and Refining Scholarly Questions
  • Concept Models and Concept Papers
  • Step-Back Analysis
  • Proposal Writing
  • Navigating Project Resources and Oversight
  • Proposal Review & Mock Review
  • Peer Review – Practice
  • Project Poster Presentation (Evening Session)
  • Project Presentation – Practice
  • Project Presentation – Formal (End of Year)
  • Effective Posters

Educator Related

  • Perspectives on Teaching & Learning
  • Building Education: Design Thinking; Backward by Design; Kern
  • Peer Evaluation of Teaching Skills (Presentation, Engagement, Assessment, Feedback, Reflection)
  • Focus Teaching Project
  • Educator Toolbox

Professional Development

  • Getting Acquainted Activity – Professional Temperament
  • Negotiation Panel & AC-40 Role Play
  • Effective Professional Documents: CV & Biosketch
  • Time Management
  • Educator Portfolio and P & T
  • Manuscript Review and Ethics
  • Diverse Groups: Unconscious Bias/Microaggression
  • Academic Compensation in Clinical and Basic Science Departments

Professional Identity

  • Systems Thinking
  • Resilience and Engagement
  • Kick-Off
  • Conversations with Leadership
  • Working in Teams
Applying to JFDP Expand answer

To participate in the JFDP, you will need the following:

  • Completed online application, including uploading current CV, due April 29 for the following academic year
  • Letter of recommendation from your Chair (and Division Chief, if appropriate) supporting 0.1 FTE allocation of your time from September to May, approximately four hours per week, due April 29
    • Letter should indicate that Chair/Chief has met with the applicant and discussed participation in the JFDP, the time required to fulfill the requirements of the program and potential projects.
  • Project
    • Broad mission area, for example, curriculum development, research or institutional infrastructure
    • Relevant to your career interests and to your contributions to the mission of your department
    • Explicit milestones for achievement and tangible scholarly outcomes by the end of Year 2
    • Submission of formal project proposal by May 13 for the following academic year

    Mentors will be recruited (with your input) to provide key expertise/support for the project.

Project Proposal Submission Expand answer

For those invited to participate in the JFDP, a key component is the individual project. Project proposal submission is required by May 13 for the following academic year.

Your inclusion in JFDP is contingent on meeting this deadline with a satisfactory proposal.

You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Goals and Background: Describe what you would like to accomplish with your JFDP project and why.
  • Methods: How will you go about accomplishing this?
  • Evaluation: How will you know whether or not you have succeeded in accomplishing your goals?
  • Resources: What kinds of resources (people, materials, time, etc.) do you think you will need?
  • Alignment: How does this project align with your career goals? With the mission of your Department?

Past Participants Expand answer

News stories


A full directory of past JFDP participants and their mentors and projects is listed here.

The JFDP Team Expand answer
Four people are pictured standing in a row in front of bookshelves.

The Junior Faculty Development Program co-directors and support staff are, from left, Dr. Daniel Wolpaw; Dr. Sarah Bronson; Dr. Jennifer McCall-Hosenfeld; and Rebecca Moyer.

Planning Team

  • Catherine Abendroth, MD – JFDP Planning Team Member, Professor and Chief for the Division of Anatomic Pathology
  • Jed Gonzalo, MD, MSc – JFDP Planning Team Member, Associate Dean for Health Systems Education
  • Paul Haidet, MD, MPH – JFDP Planning Team Member, Professor of Medicine and Humanities, and Director of Medical Education Research
  • Jennifer McCall-Hosenfeld, MD – JFDP Planning Team Member; Associate Professor of Medicine; and Public Health Sciences
  • Ann Ouyang, MD – JFDP Planning Team Member, Associate Chair for Faculty Development in the Department of Medicine
  • Ian Simpson, PhD – JFDP Planning Team Member; Professor of Neural & Behavioral Sciences
  • Nadine Hempel, PhD – JFDP Planning Team Member; Associate Professor or Pharmacology
  • Timothy Riley, MD – JFDP Planning Team Member; Assistant Professor or Family and Community Medicine