Welcome New Postdoctoral Fellows

Penn Postdoctoral Fellowship Policies

The University of Pennsylvania's policies for Postdoctoral Trainees (PDTs) can be found on the Vice Provost for Research webpage here.

Payroll & Health Insurance


New PDTs should visit the Payroll Administrator (Room 210 in the Main Office Suite) in order to complete the required payroll forms. Please bring all personal identification documents to the Payroll Administrator for approval. Please note that new regulations require that all new employees must present a social security card to the Payroll Administrator for photocopying and submission to the Penn records office.

PDTs are paid monthly, on the last working day of each month.

Health Insurance                                 

The university requires all Postdoctoral Trainees to have health insurance. PDTs are eligible to receive single person insurance, as provided under the Basic University of Pennsylvania Postdoctoral Insurance Plan. If the health insurance coverage provided by the University is not needed, certification of alternate health insurance that provides at least comparable coverage must be provided.

PDT health insurance is offered through Garnett-Powers. Please visit the University Postdoctoral Insurance Plan Portal for coverage information and to enroll.

NOTE: Health insurance coverage begins on the first day of the PDT appointment, but PDTs must enroll within 31 days of the appointment date.

Changes to coverage during the plan year are accepted only if there has been a qualifying life event (marriage, new baby, etc.). All other changes must be made during the benefits open enrollment period.

PennCard & PennKey


The PennCard is the official University of Pennsylvania identification card for members of the Penn community. New PDTs are eligible for a PennCard when their payroll record has been processed and approved by the University, which will typically occur within a few days of the start date. Once eligible, new PDTs should visit the PennCard Center (located inside the Barnes and Noble Bookstore, 36th and Walnut St., second floor) with a valid form of photo ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.), where their photograph will be taken and a PennCard issued. There is no charge for the initial card. Visit the PennCard website for more information.


PennKey is the University of Pennsylvania’s system for securing critical online services. The PennKey system is required to authenticate an individual's identity to many of Penn's networked systems and services. New PDTs are eligible for a PennKey when the payroll record is processed and approved by the University, which will typically occur within a few days of the start date. Once eligible, new employees should visit the PennKey website to register their PennKey and set a PennKey password.

Two-Step Verification

All PennKey holders are required to enroll in Two-Step Verification to protect their personal data and improve the University’s overall security. Two-Step Verification provides an added layer of protection when accessing PennKey-protected websites and applications. With Two-Step, after logging in with your PennKey and password you’ll be prompted to verify your identity - the second step - using a device in your possession, such as a mobile phone.

Two-Step is easy to use and provides numerous verification options, so you’ll always be able to access your data, even if you’re not connected to a cellular data or WiFi network. With Two-Step, your data is protected, even if your PennKey password is compromised. To enroll in Two-Step, visit: https://twostep.apps.upenn.edu. For more information about how to enroll in and use Two-Step, and how to manage your Two-Step settings, consult the Two-Step Overview and FAQ.

Getting Around

Annenberg Penn Guide to Philadelphia

With input from the Annenberg community, the ASC Director of Communications has compiled a Google map with restaurant, museum, and activity suggestions. It's perfect for newcomers who are new to the area or Penn, or for anyone who wants recommendations on where to eat and play in the city. Download the guide here.

Campus Maps

For help getting around campus, visit Penn's Facilities & Real Estate Services page where you can download maps and get walking directions.

Transportation & Parking

Penn encourages the use of public transportation and assists public transit commuters by offering discounted options and/or pre-tax benefits through programs such as the Commuter Pass Program (COMPASS), TransitChek®, and PATCO Freedom Pass. Penn also provides a variety of campus transit services, such as the Penn Bus, Walking Escort, Van Pool, and others. Parking Services operates a number of parking facilities on Penn's campus. For more information about Penn transportation and parking services, please visit the Penn Transit website.

Time Away From Work

Vacation & University-Observed Holidays

In any appointment year, a PDT may elect to take up to 10 University business days as paid vacation days and still receive the PDT stipend.

PDTs are entitled to the eight official holidays observed by the University and are eligible to take the University’s special winter vacation, during which time the University is typically closed.

Sick Leave

In any appointment year, a PDT may take up to 15 University business days as sick leave and still receive the PDT stipend. Any unused sick leave is forfeited at the end of the appointment year. Supervisors may request medical documentation from a health care provider for any extended absence. PDTs should inform their supervisor if there is a need for sick leave.

New Child Leave

PDTs are entitled to receive stipends for no more than 60 calendar days of leave per appointment year for the adoption or birth of a child. Either parent is eligible. Use of the new child leave must be discussed in advance with the supervisor. Unused sick leave or vacation days may be used, with approval, to extend the period of new child leave.