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University of Pennsylvania Health System

Department of Ophthalmology

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Ophthalmology Education

Penn Vision Clinical Scientist Program

Application Process

Interested candidates will be instructed to send a letter of interest to the attention of the Program Director. Upon receipt of the letter, the Program Director will send a packet of materials describing the Penn VCSP and ongoing research activities in vision science available at Penn. Candidates will be instructed to submit their current curriculum vita. Based on the interest area of the candidate, the Program Director will assign one or more members of the Advisory Committee and other faculty members to have contact with the candidate for discussion of the relevant opportunities for the candidate at Penn and for evaluation of the candidate. Candidates will be instructed to submit an application for the program, a statement of career objectives, and three letters of reference. Candidates will be encouraged to visit Penn and the office of the Program Director will arrange a day of meetings.

Selection Process:
The Office of the Program Director will distribute the application materials and comments by the faculty interviewers to the Advisory Committee members.

Among the criteria used to select candidates for the VCSP will be:

  • Desire and resolve to become an independent research investigator
  • Strong record of accomplishment during residency and, if applicable, fellowship (candidates with specialty training will be preferred)
  • Research interest in an area for which one or more Lead Mentors would be available
  • Strength of the educational and research plan
  • Strength of the letters of recommendation with respect to the suitability of the candidate for the Program
  • Meeting the formal eligibility criteria for the K12 award regarding citizenship, previous NIH grants, years of research training since the awarding of the last doctoral degree (= 5 years), and duration of appointment to a tenure track position (= 4 years).

Typically, selection of appointees will be made in last quarter of each year with a start date in July of the following year.