Welcome CHOP Research Trainees!

Please take a moment to browse through the following trainee updates - clicking on each link will bring you to that announcement:

February Announcements

Don't forget to mark your calendars for the monthly Postdoc Happy Hour, Friday, February 16 at 5:30pm. Details below!


Featured CHOP Postdoc (New!)


Career Development and Training

Job Openings

Funding Support 

Social Events


Featured Article: Micro-Progress and the Magic of Just Getting Started

The New York Times

  • The best trick to increase productivity is both the simplest one and one of the most difficult to master: just getting started. READ THE FULL STORY

February Featured CHOP Postdoc: Francis Ayombil, PhD

Francis Ayombil, PhD is our February Featured CHOP Postdoc! Francis received his PhD from University of Vermont in Biochemistry and Coagulation Proteins Biochemistry. Currently Francis works under the mentorship of Rodney M. Camire, PhD. Find out more about our Featured CHOP Postdoc, Francis Ayombil, by reading his FEATURED ARTICLE!

Would you like to have your achievements recognized at CHOP? Are you interested in building the postdoc community?

The CHOP Office of Postdoctoral Affairs would like to announce the call for submissions for a monthly featured postdoc article. We hope that this effort will bring together our community of postdocs to get to know each other a bit more, both personally and professionally.

If you are interested in participating, please submit your answers in the following survey. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.

Complete this survey to become a Featured CHOP Postdoc

CHOP Research Poster Day and Scientific Symposium Will Not Be Held in 2018

Due to unforeseen space limitations, CHOP Research Poster Day and the Research Institute Scientific Symposium will not be held in 2018. The events will return in a revamped format in May 2019. This supersedes previous announcements regarding a joint program in 2018.

Next year, the CHOP Research Institute will bring together Poster Day and the Scientific Symposium to create a two day celebration of all-things-research. Participants can expect more opportunities to engage with colleagues at both CHOP and the University of Pennsylvania. Scientific presentations, keynote speakers, receptions and award ceremonies will be supplemented with additional time to network and celebrate a year of research and innovation.

Additional details on the May 2019 event will be announced at a later date.

Bring Your Partner to Career Services Day at Penn | February 14, 2018

Date: Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Time: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Location: Career Services, McNeil Building (map)

Show your partner some love and affection on Valentine’s Day by bringing them to Career Services for an individual appointment with a career advisor or a couple’s career advising session!

  • Are you a graduate student or postdoc?
  • Do you have a partner who isn’t a Penn student or postdoc?
  • Would your partner find it helpful to meet with a Career Advisor at Career Services to get a quick resume/CV resume, or to ask some career-related questions?

If the answer is “yes,” then join us for “Bringing your Partner to Career Services Day!” on Wednesday, February 14th, 2018.

The Graduate Student & Postdoc Team at Career Services will be holding a full day of 45-minute advising sessions for the partners of current students and postdocs who might not have easy access to career resources from their previous academic institutions. Along with any other career-related topics (e.g. career exploration, networking, interviewing, negotiating), this is a great opportunity to chat about common issues relating to dual career couples.

For information on how to sign up your partner (or you and your partner) for a session, please click HERE.

How to Bring Your Scientific Discovery to a Successful Commercial Product | February 15, 2018

Date: Thursday, February 15, 2018

Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Location: University City Science Center – 3711 Market Street, Suite 800 Philadelphia, PA 19104

Learn more about how to take a discovery from the lab and translate it into a commercial reality. This can be done in several ways, but the two most common methods are licensing existing intellectual property from the University to a major corporation that will then commercialize the technology and starting a new company around the technology. During this interactive event company owners and researchers will learn more about Dr. Michele Marcolongo’s roadmap to successful commercialization and key benefits.

Learn more and register for this event.

Girls Exploring Tomorrow’s Technology (GETT) | March 17

Dates: Saturday, March 17, 2018

Time: 12:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

Location: Career Services, McNeil Building

CHOP's Employee Resource Group Inclusion in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (iSTEM) will be participating in the 2018 Girls Exploring Tomorrow's Technology (GETT) event on Saturday, March 17, 2018, at Phoenixville Middle School from 12:30 pm to 5:00 pm.

Girls Exploring Tomorrow’s Technology (GETT) is an annual event in the spring for girls in grades 5-10 and their parents to learn about career opportunities in a broad scope of STEM-related industries. The day is filled with exciting, enlightening and experiential activities led by successful women in STEM fields.

iSTEM ERG will have 3 tables at this event. Volunteers are needed for pre-event/day of event preparation.

Pre-Event (now through March 12):

  • Forming a volunteer team
  • Exhibit preparation 
  • Providing content for table displays
  • Prepare giveaways
  • Pack-up displays for transportation to/from Phoenixville Middle School 

Day of Event (Saturday, March 17):

  • Set-up
  • Shifts - working tables, greeting attendees and parents, providing information on career opportunities in STEM within CHOP
  • Tear-down 

For more information about volunteering for this event, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.! Please also visit the Volunteer Information page to fill out the required volunteer forms needed to volunteer for this event, as well as future events.

For more information on the GETT Event, visit the GETTPA website for the complete breakdown.

For more information about iSTEM ERG, visit the iSTEM@CHOP page.

New Online Postdoctoral Fellow Annual Review System and Database Roll Out | April 2018

The CHOP Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) will roll out a new online Postdoctoral Fellow Annual Review System in April 2018. This will replace the current Microsoft Word-based Postdoc Annual Review Form, located on the "Forms" page of the CHOP Research Institute intranet.

The new Postdoctoral Fellow Annual Review System will be completely browser-based, and available both on- and off-campus using CHOP Active Directory log-in credentials. Postdocs will be notified by the OPA on or before the first of the month that their reviews are due with all relevant links and instructions. Upon completing the review and meeting with their mentors in a one-on-one development meeting, automatic messages will ensure that necessary staff are notified to process the fellows’ stipend increase as appropriate.

In addition, the CHOP Trainee Profile System will be migrated to this new database in April. The current system has been taken offline as part of the transition process. Postdoctoral Fellows are required to complete their profiles upon hire, and to update them annually during the annual review process.

Additional information and instructions will be shared in March. Please direct questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Teaching Opportunities for Online Health Care Innovation Program | Application due February 1, 2018

Are you interested in helping mid-career professionals learn online about health care innovation? Apply to become a teaching assistant (TA) for the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy’s Online Education programs. They are looking for TAs to help develop and run courses related to health policy, behavioral economics, operations management, and entrepreneurial thinking in a health care setting.

TAs assist in preparing course materials, monitoring courses, and grading work from enrolled learners. Training and regular check-ins are provided.

They’re looking for at least 5 people to assist with course development and/or delivery starting this spring. Work is available during spring, summer, and fall terms. Hours will vary depending on course needs and the phase of production. Work may be carried out remotely with staff supervision. These positions pay $15/hour and report to Instructional Designer Adam Zolkover.

If you are interested, please submit your resume/CV along with a cover letter explaining your interest and briefly describing your relevant educational or teaching experience. Submit materials to Adam Zolkover (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Deadline for spring employment: February 1, 2018.

Click HERE for more information!

Online Networking Strategies and LinkedIn Workshop (Career Exploration Series) | February 9, 2018

Date: Friday, February 9, 2018

Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Location: Room 350 Wharton School – Steinberg-Dietrich Hall (3620 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104)

Penn Career Services will do a presentation on online networking strategies and a LinkedIn workshop – including how to build your profile, online networking do’s and don’ts, and how to conduct your own due-diligence and research. Lunch will be provided.

Please bring your computers!

Negotiating for Faculty Positions and Postdocs | February 13, 2018

Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Location: Conference Room 97 - McNeil Building (3718 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104)

Have you ever negotiated with an employer for salary or a job officer? Have you done it successfully? A Career Services counselor will discuss strategies for what to think about and do when you interview and when you receive an offer. This workshop will address:

  • The basic principles of successful negotiation
  • What can be negotiated
  • How should you respond when offered a position

Penn Career Services also has online resources on negotiating academic job offers, please click HERE.

The core career-readiness competency addressed in this workshop is Career Management. For more information on the Penn7 career competencies, please click HERE.

Register NOW: Scientific Writing for Non-Native Speakers of English | February 16 and 23, 2018

In collaboration with the Office of Faculty Development, the Office of Responsible Research Training is offering a two-session workshop, "Scientific Writing for Non-Native Speakers of English" on February 16 and February 23, 2018. The workshop is designed for research trainees, including postdoctoral fellows, training grant fellows and physician fellows. Mary Blitzer Field, M. Phil., Assistant Director, Office of Faculty Development, is the instructor for both sessions. Participants bring their scientific expertise to the sessions while the instructor brings her expertise in writing. Working together, they analyze sections of biomedical papers to uncover the principles of clear, concise writing, with a special emphasis on language issues that frequently plague non-native English speakers.

Session 1 – Abstracts: Capturing Your Scientific Story

Date: February 16, 2018

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Location: Abramson Research Center, 1st Floor, Room 124

Trace the underlying anatomy of abstracts from basic science and clinical journals. Learn to write abstracts that present scientific stories economically while convincing readers of their novelty and impact.

Sample language issues: When is it right to use “a”…“the”? How do verb tense and verb voice differ? What are some myths about the much maligned passive voice?

Session 2 – Introductions: Engaging Your Reader

Date: February 23, 2018

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Location: Abramson Research Center, 1st Floor, Room 124

Trace the story lines of introductions for both hypothesis-testing and descriptive papers. Learn to write introductions that awaken readers’ interest and prepare them for the content that follows.

Sample language issues: Why do verb tenses shift in Introductions? How can sentence structure create a sense of inevitable movement forward?

How to Register

Send your name, department/division, email address and phone number to Janet Stuart (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by Friday, February 9, 2018.

2018 Biomedical Science Careers Student Conference | April 6 – 7, 2018

Date: Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7, 2018

Location: The Westin Copley Place in Boston, Massachusetts

The Biomedical Science Careers Program (BSCP) is asking for your help in identifying underrepresented minority postdocs (research and clinical); medical, dental and graduate students; post-baccalaureates; college and community college students; and high school seniors and juniors (particularly African-American, Hispanic/Latino or American Indian/Alaska Native students) who would benefit the most from attending the conference. Student participants should be seriously interested in or currently studying medicine, biomedical science or other science-related fields, such as chemistry, physics, biology, biology, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, engineering, biotechnology, physical therapy, public health, allied health or environmental science.

The aim of the Conference is to provide students/fellows with an opportunity to network with advisors/role models from the basic and clinical sciences, medicine, public health, academia and the biopharmaceutical industry.  These advisors/role models will encourage students/fellows to complete advanced studies and provide concrete advice and information on available resources, professional opportunities and career paths in biomedical science and other science-related fields.  The Conference also enables student/fellow participants to meet, inspire and network with one another.  Additionally, each Conference offers breakout and plenary sessions, and a program featuring science resources, including internships, summer programs and after-school activities. 

Click HERE for the attached flyer for more information.

There is no fee to attend, but completion of a four-page application is required.

Application Deadline: February 5, 2018

Interested students should contact Lise D. Kay at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request an application.

Registration is Now Open for the 2017-2018 Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Sessions

The CHOP RCR program promotes ethical research practices based on regulatory standards and professional guidelines. RCR covers a range of topics including: Conflict of Interest; Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership; Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship; Peer Review; Collaborative Science; Research Involving Human Subjects; Research Involving Animal Subjects; Research Misconduct; Mentor/Trainee Responsibilities; Laboratory Safety, Researcher and Society; and Intellectual Property.

Register today for in-person Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training. Upcoming sessions will be held on:

RCR 1: Tuesday, April 17, 2018

RCR 2: Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Review your RCR training requirements

Register for in-person RCR training

RCR Web Site February 2018 Feature: Peer Review

Do you believe that the peer review system provides protection against bias due to personal, professional and financial conflicts of interest? Tell us what you think by participating in the February Opinion Poll located on the RCR Web site. Learn what occurs during an NIH grant review meeting, become familiar with reviewer responsibilities for journal articles, and recognize the ethical issues that can impact the process.

The RCR Web site provides centralized education, policy and training resources that encourage best practices and promote scientific integrity.

For more information about CHOP’s RCR program, contact Janet Stuart at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 267-426-7496.

Assistant Professor of Developmental Biology (Tenure-Track) - Hope College

The Hope College Biology Department invites applicants for a tenure-track at the Assistant Professor level to begin in August 2018. The ideal candidate will develop a vigorous, externally funded research program that addresses questions of fundamental importance in developmental biology and that engages undergraduate students as active collaborators; generous start-up funds support this endeavor. S/he will be responsible for an upper-level course in developmental biology and will contribute to the introductory biology sequence; teaching advanced courses in her/his area of expertise is possible as well. Depending on research area and qualifications, participation in Hope's Neuroscience and/or Biochemistry & Molecular Biology programs may also be appropriate. Information about the Department of Biology can be found at http://www.hope.edu/academic/biology/.

View the full job posting HERE

For more information, contact Gerald D. Griffin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Merck Medical Science Liaison (MSL) Opportunities – Oncology

Merck is now hiring for MSL roles in oncology. While many require past experience, competitive junior-level candidates may be considered in select markets on the East Coast.

Merck MSL Opportunity – New England & Upstate NY

Merck MSL Opportunity – FL, GA, SC

Merck MSL Opportunity – Pacific Northwest

Merck MSL Opportunity – Southern California

Merck MSL Opportunity – Texas/Oklahoma

For more information on careers at Merck, visit www.merck.com/careers. Merck is an equal opportunity employer-proudly embracing diversity in all of its manifestations.

Medical Writer (Oncology) – MedErgy

MedErgy, a scientifically-focused communications agency, is currently seeking entry level Oncology Medical Writers to join our energetic team of professionals. This is an ideal opportunity for PhDs and Postdocs with oncology experience to use their scientific and medical knowledge in new ways. Candidates must be able to work simultaneously on multiple projects, while onsite in our Yardley, PA office. We offer a dynamic fast-paced working environment with opportunities for career growth.  

Responsibilities for this position include working in teams to provide medical writing services to pharmaceutical/biotech clients. Medical writing services include, but are not limited to, the development of journal articles, abstracts, posters, slides, monographs, and brochures.

Qualifications include: 

  • Advanced life sciences degree required; MD, PhD, PharmD preferred
  • Experience in the oncology area is required
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Ability to think strategically
  • Desire to work in a collaborative team setting
  • Ability to thrive under challenging deadlines and in an energetic environment

We offer a competitive salary and benefits package including medical, dental, vision, ST/LT disability, life, 401(k), and tuition reimbursement.

To find out more about this position, click HERE (Handshake login required).

MedErgy HealthGroup is committed to hiring a diverse and talented workforce.

Contact: Human Resources: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Scientific Editor/Assistant Scientific Editor – Cell Metabolism Research Journal

Cell Metabolism is looking for its next scientific editor! We are looking for a dynamic and innovative candidate, who is as passionate about science as we are, to join our team of professional scientific editors based in Cambridge, MA, USA. Come help us make a difference in scientific publishing.

Cell Metabolism is the top dedicated metabolism research journal, publishing impactful papers spanning basic to clinical metabolic research. A background in metabolism is not strictly required, as long as you are willing to learn, since we will be providing appropriate training.

For more information and to apply please click on the following HERE.

2018 L'Oreal USA For Women in Science program | Application due February 2, 2018

The L'Oreal USA For Women in Science fellowship program honors female scientists at a critical stage in their careers with grants of $60,000 each. Since 2003, they've awarded 70 postdoctoral women scientists over $3.5 million in grants. They're seeking five exceptional female scientists looking to advance their research and serve as role models for the next generation of girls in STEM.

Applications for the 2018 L'Oreal USA For Women in Science program will open on December 4, 2017 and are due by February 2, 2018.

They invite you to share the attached materials with your community and hope that with your help they can encourage some of your institution's outstanding women postdocs to apply.

Please find more materials below:

Candidates are selected from a variety of fields including the life and physical/material sciences, technology (including computer science), engineering, and mathematics. Candidates must have completed their PhD and have started in their postdoctoral position by the application deadline.

Submission Deadline: February 2, 2018

The application and more information about the L'Oreal USA For Women in Science program can be found at www.lorealusa.com/forwomeninscience.

Should you have any questions or require additional information, please e-mail Rachel Pacifico at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Junior Investigator Preliminary/Feasibility Grant Program | Application due March 2, 2018

Penn Center for Human Phenomic Science (CHPS) will soon be accepting research proposals to be considered for the Junior Investigator Preliminary/Feasibility Grant Program (JIPGP).

The primary goal of the CHPS Junior Investigator Preliminary/Feasibility Grant Program (JIPGP) is to encourage junior investigators to develop clinical research projects that will ultimately lead to competitive extramural funding and a career in Clinical Translational Research Center-focused clinical investigation. The awards are designed to allow junior faculty members and M.D., Ph.D. or D.M.D post-doctoral trainees with appropriate mentors to obtain funds for pilot projects that are investigator-initiated, human-based, CHPS studies that will enable an applicant to obtain preliminary data.

The grants will be available at CHOP/Penn effective June 1, 2018.


  • Application Receipt Deadline:       March 2, 2018 at Noon
  • Notification of Award (tentative): April 20, 2018
  • Funding Period:                          6-18 to 5-31-19

Click HERE for additional details.

Science and PINS Prize for Neuromodulation | Application due March 15, 2018

The Science & PINS Prize for Neuromodulation is a highly competitive prize which honors scientists for their excellent contributions to neuromodulation research.  Neuromodulation is any form of alteration of nerve activity through the delivery of physical (electrical, magnetic, optical) stimulation to targeted sites of the nervous system. Established in 2016, the prize is awarded annually for outstanding research as described in a 1,500 word essay based on research performed in the past three years.

The winner of the prize is awarded US $25,000 and publication of his or her essay in the journal Science. The Grand Prize essay and that of the Runner-up are also published on Science online.

Submission Deadline: March 15, 2018

Requirements for Submission

Learn About the Prize

Rules of Eligibility  

Submit Your Research

BRAIN Initiative Fellows: NRSA F32 | Application due March 15, 2018

The NIH BRAIN Initiative is hoping to widely publicize the reissue of the BRAIN Initiative Fellows: NRSA Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32). The first submission deadline is March 15. Any help would be appreciated! (e.g. via social media, website post, newsletter etc.). For example, here is a recent tweet from the NIMH Director.

BRAIN Initiative Fellows: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32)

  • Purpose is to enhance research training of promising postdoctorates, early in their postdoctoral training period, who have the potential to become productive investigators in research areas that will advance the goals of the BRAIN Initiative. 
  • Applications must be relevant to one or more goals of the BRAIN 2025 report, including neuroethics. 
  • Formal training in analytical tools appropriate for the proposed research is expected to be an integral component.
  • Eligible trainees must be must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence.
  • On the application due date, candidates may not have completed more than 12 months of postdoctoral training, excluding well-justified leave.
  • Due dates: March 15, 2018; December 7, 2018; August 7, 2019; April 7, 2020.
  • Contact: Ashlee Van’t Veer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • RFA link

Tuition Support for CHOP Postdocs and Other Research Staff

The Tuition Assistance Eligibility Extension program offers an opportunity for CHOP investigators (Postdoctoral Fellows, Laboratory Technicians, Research Assistants, Research Associates, Research Scientists) to request tuition support beginning as soon as the employee has completed his/her probationary period and covering coursework initiated through the first year of employment, at which time the employee becomes eligible for the standard hospital education assistance benefit.

Learn about the Tuition Assistance Eligibility Extension

Learn about the Hospital Education Assistance Program

Resources Available for Trainees Applying for F and K Awards

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has developed a centralized repository of information to help trainees navigate the F (Fellowship) and K (Career Development) Awards process. These resources can be found on the research intranet and includes information related to:

  • Putting together a successful application
  • Components of the application
  • Modified Biosketch tips
  • When and how to engage the Office of Sponsored Projects
  • Sample applications from successful CHOP researchers

Click HERE to visit the F Award Resource Page (Active Directory Log-in Required)

Click HERE to visit the K Award Resource Page (Active Directory Log-in Required)

Visit the Office of Faculty Development Site to see Funding Opportunities

The Office of Faculty Development Site provides details regarding Funding Deadlines and Opportunities.

For more information, please click HERE.

For any questions, contact Mary Field (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Postdoc Happy Hour | February 16

Join us for another Postdoc Happy Hour!

Date: Friday, February 16

Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Location: City Tap House, 39th and Walnut Street

UPenn BPP Social Committee

Meet up with fellow CHOP/Penn Postdocs!

The UPenn Biomedical Postdoctoral Program (BPP) Social Committee hosts a monthly happy hour event at City Tap House in West Philly. All CHOP and UPenn postdocs are welcome to join. Feel free to bring co-workers, friends and significant others, as long as they are 21+.



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