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 Topics

  • Brainstorming and Refining Scholarly Questions
  • Concept Model/Paper
  • Step-Back Analysis
  • Proposal Writing
  • Navigating Research Resources and Oversight
  • Proposal Review
  • Peer Review – Practice
  • Project Presentation – Practice
  • Project Presentation – Formal

Educator-Related Topics

  • Perspectives on Teaching & Learning
  • Backwards by Design: Building Education
  • Strategies for Large Group Presentations
  • Assessment of Learning
  • Focused Teaching Exercise

Professional Development Topics

  • Time Management
  • Manuscript Review and Ethics
  • Working in Teams
  • Diverse Groups: Unconscious Bias/Microaggression
  • Engagement and Resilience
  • Leading for Engagement
  • Academic Compensation in Clinical & Basic Science Departments
  • Personal/Professional Temperament
  • Identifying Scholarship Opportunities
  • Systems Thinking
  • Negotiation
  • Core Values/Setting Goals/Immunity to Change
  • Effective Professional Documents: CV, HR40, Biosketch
  • Promotion & Tenure
  • Educator Portfolio
  • Presentation Skills
Applying to JFDP Expand answer

Participation Requirements

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

  • Completed online application, including uploading current CV, due March 5 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 4 hours per week, due March 5
    • 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
    • Involving curriculum, research or institutional infrastructure
    • Relevant to your career interests and to your contributions to the mission of your department
    • With explicit milestones for achievement and tangible scholarly outcomes by the end of Year 2
    • Submission of formal project proposal by May 14 for the following academic year

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

Notification about acceptance may be expected by April 2 for the following academic year.

Apply to JFDP

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 14 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?

Submit JFDP Project Proposal

The JFDP Team Expand answer
The Junior Faculty Development Program leadership team is pictured in Penn State College of Medicine's Harrell Health Sciences Library. From left, Dr. Sarah Bronson, Dr. Daniel Wolpaw and Dr. Barbara Ostrov are seen standing in the library with two chairs and a large closed bookcase in the background.

Junior Faculty Development Program leadership team: From left, Dr. Sarah Bronson, Dr. Daniel Wolpaw and Dr. Barbara Ostrov.

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
  • Jennifer Meka, MEd, PhD – JFDP Planning Team Member; Assistant Professor of
    Psychiatry; Director, Woodward Center for Excellence in Health Sciences Education
  • 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
  • Elizabeth “Lisa” Sinz, MD – JFDP Planning Team Member; Physician; Professor of Anesthesiology and Neurosurgery
  • Britta Thompson, PhD, MS – JFDP Planning Team Member; Professor of Medicine
  • Elizabeth Tisdell, EdD – JFDP Planning Team Member, Professor of Adult Education, and Adult Education Doctoral Program