Who is eligible for a PAMT post-doctoral fellowship?
To be eligible, an individual must have completed all requirements for the PhD at the time the fellowship is to start. Trainees must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residency at the time of appointment.
What if I do not have a background in prevention?
Because graduate students are already here at Penn State, this website is not meant to be their primary source of information about PAMT. Interested graduate students are encouraged to speak to any of the faculty members affiliated with the program or to contact Dr. Damon Jones at email@example.com with any questions they may have.
The backgrounds of incoming PAMT post-docs vary widely. What you have done to date matters less than what you plan to do in the future. In other words, if you are committed to establishing a career focusing on research that integrates prevention science and quantitative methods, you may be a good candidate even if you have no previous background in prevention.
What if I do not have a background in methodology?
We have found that some prior background and demonstrated interest in methodology is necessary for trainees to be successful in the PAMT post-doctoral fellows program. Most successful applicants have, at a minimum, taken several methodology electives during their graduate training.
My methodological background is a bit weak and I want to improve it so that I can be more effective conducting research. Is a PAMT post-doc for me?
We are looking for trainees who wish to establish a line of research that has both a prevention and a methodology focus. Although some of our trainees may need to improve their methodological background in certain areas to accomplish this, remedial education in methodology per se is not a goal of the PAMT program. Thus, PAMT is probably not for you.
How long is a PAMT post-doctoral fellowship?
PAMT post-docs are usually two years long. The second year is contingent upon a successful first year.
Does a PAMT post-doctoral fellowship provide health insurance?
Post-docs are eligible to participate in Penn State’s medical, vision and dental health insurance plans, and age-graded life insurance plans. Further benefits information is available from Penn State's Office of Postdoctoral Affairs on their Benefits for Postdoctoral Scholars webpage.
What are some of the highlights of the PAMT post-doctoral program?
Each PAMT post-doc has two mentors: one in prevention and one in methodology.
Well-established senior investigators are available for mentoring.
Trainees are immediately involved in ongoing projects with opportunities to publish.
Trainees are encouraged to develop their own lines of research, are mentored on how to do so, and have protected time to make progress.
Trainees are strongly encouraged to write a grant proposal; training and mentoring in this area are provided.
Penn State is the location of many exciting research projects in both prevention and methodology.
Both the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center and the Methodology Center are interdisciplinary environments with substantial NIH funding.
There are special professional development activities for post-docs, including a grant proposal writing “boot camp” in the Spring semester.
How much is the stipend?
Stipends are fixed by NIH and are based on the fiscal year during which an individual's appointment starts. Visit the NIH training funding page (for 2019) for more information.
What else does the PAMT program offer for post-docs?
The PAMT program offers many opportunities for collaboration and training. Post-docs participate in several regular groups and meetings to encourage their professional growth and the free exchange of ideas. Groups that postdocs join include
bi-weekly PAMT meetings to discuss research progress,
professional development meetings to plan for the launch of an independent research career,
monthly Methodology Center goal-setting meetings to learn about and track progress of research, and
Prevention Research Center seminars and Methodology Center brown bags seminars to learn about and explore other research in the field.
Early on, PAMT post-docs establish a training plan, and then they have regular meetings with mentors to discuss progress and solicit advice. PAMT post-docs also attend annual meetings of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) to present, learn, and network.
What is the arrangement for mentorship of PAMT post-doctoral fellows?
Each PAMT post-doc has a prevention mentor and a methodology mentor. Prospective post-docs identify their mentors—at least one from prevention and one from methodology—before applying to the program. See the list of faculty members affiliated with the program for mentors' research interests, links to their websites, and contact information. Applicants who are invited to visit Penn State will have the opportunity to meet with their prospective mentors at that time. Upon acceptance to the program, the two mentors, the post-doc, and the Associate Training Director work together to map out a program of professional development for the post-doc, and thereafter discuss progress at regularly scheduled meetings.
What can I expect to accomplish as a PAMT post-doctoral fellow?
A post-doctoral fellow submits several articles to high-level peer-reviewed journals, writes a grant proposal and submits it before the end of his/her post-doc, and presents at professional conferences. Mentoring is provided in all of these areas so that trainees are positioned for success in the next phase of their planned careers.
What if you do not currently have any openings?
We have four post-doctoral slots, so sometimes we have no openings. We encourage you to contact directly the faculty you would like to work with and inquire about whether they have any entry-level positions funded by sources other than the PAMT program.
I still have a few years left in graduate school but want to start thinking about post-docs. Is there someone from PAMT to whom I can direct questions?
We are happy to answer any questions you may have. Direct your questions to Dr. Linda Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I am not a permanent resident of the United States?
Feel free to contact directly the faculty you would like to work with and inquire about whether they have any entry-level positions funded by sources other than PAMT.
My training has been primarily in statistics/biostatistics. Is a PAMT post-doc a possibility for me?
PAMT could be a great post-doctoral experience for you. A career that focuses on the integration of methodological research and prevention research would be a shift in emphasis for you. It will require you to learn about prevention and about behavioral science more generally. If you are interested in making this shift, a PAMT fellowship can help you to do it effectively and enjoyably.