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Postdoc Communities – International Postdoc Hub

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Approximately half of the postdoctoral fellows at CHOP are foreign nationals hailing from 26 different countries. The postdoctoral experiences of foreign nationals can differ significantly from that of US citizens or permanent residents due to immigration and visa issues, language barriers, cultural discrepancies, and other challenges.

The Office of Academic Training and Outreach Programs (ATOP) supports the unique needs of foreign postdocs through resources and programs developed in partnership with other groups at CHOP, including the Office of Immigration and Visa Services (OIVS, requires active directory login), the CHOP Postdoctoral Alliance (CPA), and the Inclusion in STEM (iSTEM) Employee Resource Group (requires active directory login). Read more below and visit the International Postdoc Hub @CHOP site (requires active directory login) to learn more about available resources.

OIVS advises the CHOP enterprise with employment-based visa and immigration matters such as evaluating employment eligibility, consulting on visa types, visa and permanent resident sponsorship, travel-related inquiries and other visa-and immigration-related matters that arise in the context of foreign national employment.

In addition, OIVS offers programs targeted to the specific needs of foreign national staff (via workshops, educational/cultural sessions and community events) with the goal of supporting and fostering foreign national employee engagement at CHOP.

CHOP's GSEA is a competitive program open to CHOP researchers-in-training with the goal of rewarding their significant contributions to pediatric research focused on global impact. To demonstrate global impact, the work may:

1) be conducted by an international trainee at CHOP who is ineligible for NIH funding based on their international status OR 2) address a research question(s) that directly impacts global communities (trainees do not need to be foreign nationals if their work meets this criteria).

This program highlights CHOP as a place that supports diverse talent and research and enables trainees to be competitive for academic careers nationally or internationally. Read more about the GSEA (requires active directory login).

One program, run by the CHOP Postdoc Alliance (CPA) specifically for incoming international postdocs, is the Postdoc Partner Program (P3). To support the arrival and transition of international postdocs to CHOP, the CPA pairs incoming fellows with current postdocs to help them get acquainted with the Philadelphia area and establish their new lives at work and home. For more information, please email [email protected].

OIVS partners with CHOP Staff who are Immigration Community Ambassadors (requires active directory login). An Immigration Community Ambassador provides support, encouragement, and general information to other foreign national employees in an informal setting.

Penn's Biomedical Postdoctoral Programs (BPP) Office coordinates an English as a Second Language (ESL) course facilitated twice a year by Language ConnectED: Strategically Speaking - Building Fluency for Confident Communication. These courses are announced in the weekly BPP newsletter that all CHOP postdocs receive, as well as in the monthly ATOP newsletters. Courses typically begin in August and April.

Contact Donna Crawley with questions.