Navigating Postdoctoral Life: Comprehensive Support and Career Services for New and Returning Postdocs


To help those new to their postdoctoral appointments get started, here is a list of important steps and resources:

  1. Check out rental housing options (,, craigslist), Penn State's off-campus housing site, and/or home ownership programs.  (Student Affairs also has detailed information on tenant rights if that's helpful.)
  2. Get a PA driver's license.
  3. Acquaint yourself with the local bus schedule and the RIDEpass mass transit program.
  4. Get a Penn State ID.
  5. Check out the National Postdoc Association Survival Guide.
  6. Explore child care options if that applies:,
  7. Find research at Penn State and explore that research on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
  8. Consider joining an Employee Resource Group.
  9. Check out the Penn State Postdoctoral Society (university wide, governed by postdocs) and Postdocs of EMS (an exellent model of postdoctoral self-organization within a college).
  10. Start planning your PA bucket list!


For current postdocs, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs offers a range of services:

1:1 or Small Group Postdoctoral Career Coaching:

  • Personalized career coaching sessions for postdoctoral scholars and fellows.
  • Review and refinement of LinkedIn profiles, CVs, resumes, and cover letters.
  • Guidance and support for career clarity, discernment, and job search strategy.

Virtual Forums for Job Search Support and Community Building:

  • Two opt-in groups, right now specific to tenure track and industry job searches.  For access, email:
  • Utilization of an online platform for peer interaction on topics such as networking, strategies, hope/success, institutional knowledge, interviewing, negotiating, and considerations to teaching and diversity.
  • Networking opportunities to connect with fellow postdocs.

Career and Professional Development Programming:

  • Weekly email listing relevant postdoctoral programming (local and national), insights, timely articles, and opportunities.
  • Diverse year-long programming content to enhance career prospects, including in-person, hybrid, and online formats.

Annual Postdoctoral Research Symposium:

  • Showcasing the research and leadership of postdoctoral scholars and fellows, complemented by meals and guest speakers.
  • Networking and collaboration opportunities for community engagment.

Opportunities for Continual "Feedforward":

  • Interests/priorities surveys encourage the reporting of firsthand insight on the postdoctoral experience.
  • Post-event surveys encourage suggestions that inform future years' programming.