The PhD Career Exploration Fellowship (CEF) program encourages non-faculty career exploration among doctoral students by facilitating networking experiences and fostering mentorship relationships with advanced degree holding professionals. This unpaid opportunity allows doctoral students to gain a better understanding of day-to-day life in administrative offices, libraries, pharmaceutical companies, museums, science outreach, and other organizations, on Penn’s campus, in the greater Philadelphia area, and beyond. In 2021, the program will be conducted virtually, which also gives students the opportunity to interact with hosts in offices all across the country. Fellows can use this experience to cultivate a stronger professional profile and grow their network in a career field. Through a series of complementary professional development programs hosted by Penn Career Services, Fellows will also develop career-readiness competencies and create a Career Individual Development Plan (IDP) to implement during and after the CEF experience.
The program was created in 2017 to help meet the need for career development among doctoral students interested in pursuing non-faculty tracks. In 2020, 36 PhD students participated in opportunities across 26 organizations both within and beyond the university to support an array of career interests. For the 2021 program, we have added several new hosts, including Walmart, Janssen, and several additional offices at Penn Libraries, among others.
This fellowship runs from February to May and typically entails 8-10 hours in total time commitment with host meetings and informational interviews. For more information about the CEF program, including program objectives and schedule, please visit our program webpage. To read about students’ experiences in the 2020 program, please visit the PhD Career Exploration Fellow Spotlight Series on the Career Services blog.
Participating Offices for 2021
The list of participating hosts is below. Full descriptions of each host office and possible projects at each placement can be downloaded here.
- Bucks County Community College
- The Center for Teaching and Learning
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) – Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics
- Educational and Professional Development at Penn Engineering
- The Franklin Institute
- Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies/Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality, and Women at Penn
- The Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies
- Merck- Digital Analytics and Technologies, Infectious Disease and Virology, Neuropharmacology, Quantitative Biosciences
- Penn Sustainability
- Penn Online Learning Initiative
- Penn Libraries- Academic Engagement, Area Studies, Educational Technologies & Learning Management, the Kislak Center, Museum, Research Data & Digital Scholarship
- Penn Liberal and Professional Studies – Master’s of Behavioral and Decision Sciences
- Penn Museum – Academic Engagement
- The Kleinman Center for Energy Policy- Communications
- Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter- Education and Outreach
- Penn Center for Innovation (PCI) – Ventures
- Philadelphia Museum of Art- Library & Archives and Publishing
- Poverty Solutions – University of Michigan
- The Price Lab for Digital Humanities
- Science Outreach Initiative
- Walmart – Applied Behavior Science
Application Deadline: Wednesday, January 13th, 2021
Eligibility: PhD students in any department or school within the University may apply. Those who participated in the CEF program or the PhD Externship program between 2017-2020 are not eligible.
Application Materials: Please apply through Handshake: https://upenn.joinhandshake.com/jobs/4251418
Candidates should prepare the following materials:
- A cover sheet detailing: your name, program, program start and anticipated end dates, and your top three ranked placement choices. Attached, on the separate pages provided, a brief statement (no more than 250 words) explaining why you are interested in working with a particular host office and what you hope to gain out of the experience. If there are particular projects you’d like to work on, let us know. (What projects Fellows complete will ultimately depend both on the needs of the host center and the student’s interests.) If you don’t have ideas, that’s ok too! Just start thinking about what you’d like out of the experience.
- A curriculum vitae or resume
If you have any questions about this program, please contact Career Services’ PhD Professionalism Fellow, Kate Webb (firstname.lastname@example.org).