Faculty Pathways

Penn Faculty Pathways Program

We are pleased to offer an exciting opportunity to Assistant Professors in select STEM departments and schools.   This program, the Penn Faculty Pathways Program, is designed to enhance the personal and professional development of faculty members in the first phase of their careers at Penn.  The Pathways Program grew out of an innovative NIH-funded multi-level intervention trial at the Perelman School of Medicine, one part of which was to improve the academic productivity as well as job satisfaction of junior faculty in biomedical research careers.  The lessons learned from the initial NIH trial are the basis for this pilot program, which provides junior faculty with new resources to guide their career planning, personal development, and scholarly success at Penn. 

Goals: The specific aims for this program are to serve as the foundation for a University-wide effort that would:

  • Maximize the potential of Penn’s world-class faculty by optimizing their creativity, productivity, engagement, and satisfaction at work and in other parts of life
  • Build community and faculty collaboration across disciplines
  • Provide specific skill-building sessions to improve strategies for academic success at Penn

Participants:  About 15 -20 Assistant Professors in STEM fields at the University of Pennsylvania will be selected to participate.

Time Commitment: Faculty in the program will attend a total of nine (approximately monthly) two-hour sessions on select Fridays from 12-2 pm (first and last sessions will be three hours) and spend about 2 hours per week intermittently on program-related activities.     

Program Dates: Oct. 4, 2013;  Nov. 22, 2013;  Dec. 13, 2013;  Jan. 31, 2014;  Feb. 21, 2014;   Mar. 28, 2014;  Apr. 11, 2014;  Apr. 25, 2014;  May 9, 2014

Program Content: Sessions will include expert-led skill development in targeted aspects of Faculty Career Development at Penn (6 sessions) and an abbreviated version of Total Leadership (3 sessions).

  • Faculty Career Development: Seminar sessions will be facilitated by content-area experts from Penn and other sites.  They will lead discussions on fundamental challenges in STEM careers at Penn and run skill-building activities on such topics as Promotion Tips, Negotiation, and Mapping your Career.  In these sessions participants will develop practical strategies for meeting common challenges, create a network of support within the University, and have some fun. 
  • Total Leadership Program: This program has been used world-wide to help professionals in a variety of fields increase their performance at work, at home, in the community and for the private self (mind, body, spirit) – by finding mutual value among these four life domains.  Three workshop sessions will be conducted on this topic.  Peer mentoring and individual reflection are key aspects of this and all parts of Penn Faculty Pathways Program.  

Expected Outcomes:  In our program thus far, many Penn faculty members have achieved transformational outcomes. They found empowerment, insight, knowledge, and skills for advancing their academic careers and clarifying their values and goals for their work and other parts of life.  Participants this year can expect the same and will be asked to take part in an assessment to explore the extent to which our program has met participants’ personal and professional development needs.   

Application: Interested faculty should submit by August 30 a completed application to Susan Primavera (215 898-0947) via email ( or hand carry (Rm 914 Blockley Hall, 6021).  The application should be co-signed by their Department Chair.  Any questions related to the program can be addressed to Stephanie Abbuhl (, Stew Friedman (, or Lucy Tuton ( 

Thank you for your interest –

Stephanie Abbuhl and Stew Friedman, Co-Directors, and the Penn Faculty Pathways team