The Penn Memory Center offers students of all levels a number of academic opportunities, including fellowships, internships, and a certificate program. Find more information about each opportunity below.
Diversity and Inclusion Statement
We seek talented faculty, staff, students and trainees who will constitute a vibrant community. We embrace and encourage our team’s differences along the dimensions of age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics. We know that having a diverse team, reflective of the communities we serve, makes us better able to meet our patients’ needs, conduct impactful research, and train future leaders in the field.
Postdoctoral fellow in the neuroscience of precision medicine for the brain lab
The Penn Program on Precision Medicine for the Brain (P3MB), co-located in the Departments of Medicine, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, and Neurology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania seeks a full-time postdoctoral fellow. The highly collaborative and interdisciplinary P3MB research lab seeks to identify and understand the interrelated clinical, ethical, and policy implications of applying precision medicine to the brain and to translate these discoveries into practice. A particular focus is the movement of gene and biomarker tests from research into practice, including testing remote, video, or telephonic methods of disclosure; the role of neural correlates of consciousness as biomarkers of disease; establishing the value of a “preclinical therapy” and translating that into clinical practice; and advancing the concept of supported decision-making across the trajectory of cognitive decline. Project methodologies are qualitative and quantitative data sources and conceptual work. The fellow will work under the supervision of Dr. Jason Karlawish, a geriatrician and professor of medicine, medical ethics and health policy, and neurology, and colleagues from across the University, affording the opportunity to work with collaborators both at Penn and other institutions. Ongoing research activities involve collaborations across the Perelman School of Medicine, the larger Penn community, and external institutions. We work closely with clinicians and researchers in the Penn Alzheimer Disease Research Center (ADRC), the NIA IMPACT Collaboratory, the Penn AI Tech Collaboratory, the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, and ADNI, among others. This is a 12-month position with a desired start date of fall 2023, though earlier or later starts may be considered. Renewal for an additional year, contingent upon funding and success, is planned.
The applicant should have a doctoral-level degree in a relevant field, such as neuroscience, psychology, public health, philosophy, or bioethics. A strong candidate will have demonstrated a commitment to a career in the biosciences as well as an initiative and ability to conduct independent research. Excellent writing skills are essential. Interpersonal and communication skills are of course necessary as the candidate will work closely with collaborators.The ideal applicant will have experience conducting qualitative and/or quantitative empirical research (i.e., interviews and/or surveys) and analyzing data. The lab has a particular interest in persons with skills to perform multi-variate analyses of cross-sectional and longitudinal data sets that capture measures of the impact of gene and biomarker disclosure, analyses of qualitative data from interviews with caregivers and clinicians (e.g., about mind and mind perception or decision making), and qualitative and quantitative studies of the neural correlates of consciousness. It is of course quite unlikely one person will embody all three skill sets.
Interested applicants should upload the following materials:
– CV– Cover letter or personal statement (two pages maximum) – Writing sample (published or unpublished; must be solo or first-authored) References will be requested for applicants who move on to interviews. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
Email Kristin Harkins (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
Summer Training in Aging Research
Participants of this 12-week Aging Research Summer Internship held by Penn’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center will experience hands-on research, classroom-based learning, and faculty mentoring. Participants will receive a $4,500 stipend. Dates for this program for Summer 2024 are from June 10th to August 9th.
- 9-week research experience with a $4,500 stipend
- Student empowerment fostered through faculty mentoring
- Classroom-based learning and hands-on application
- Current undergraduate, graduate or medical school student
- Full-time in any year or degree program
Reviewers will give special consideration to:
Students from underrepresented groups (URG), such as:
- Racial/ethnic identities such as but not limited to Black or African American, Latino/
- Persons with disabilities
- Persons who identify as LGBTQ
- Persons with disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds
- First generation college attendees
Residents of Pennsylvania
How do I apply?
To apply for this program, please submit:
- A cover letter with your name, address, email, and telephone number. As well as
your enrolled university, major, and year of study.
- A two-page essay: (1) Background including any identities or experiences (see list
above) to be given special consideration (2) Interest in research or care of older
adults with neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s (3) Commitment to
health equity with a focus on the Black/ African American community (4) How
this internship will advance your future studies and career (single-spaced, 12-
point font with one-inch margin)
- Unofficial college transcript
- Two letters of reference
To apply or for more information email Kathy Jedrziewski at email@example.com
Application Deadline: February 19, 2024
Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program
The Penn Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) and Penn Memory Center (PMC) support two-year post-doctoral research fellowships (PhD, MD-PhD, MD) in Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD). Areas of work may overlap with ADRC faculty and collaborators but could also include other diverse areas of study. Examples of areas of work include, but are not limited to, clinical trials, basic science, health services research, economics, genetics, biomarkers, social-psychology, proteomics, novel molecular imaging, bioinformatics, etc. We are looking for the best people doing the best science.
Contact Dr. Kathy Jedrziewski at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to apply.
Penn Memory Center Fellowship Program
The Penn Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) and Penn Memory Center (PMC) support MD or MD/PhD clinical research fellowships in Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD). Fellows in this program should be pursuing a career as physician-scientists in the field of ADRD clinical research. Individuals in the disciplines of neurology, psychiatry and geriatric medicine are encouraged to apply, but those in other disciplines are also welcome. PMC fellows will be engaged in mentored clinical evaluations, as well as clinical trials and other patient-oriented research. They will also have protected time for scholarly work with the expectation that grant support will be pursued by the end of their training. For persons interested and eligible, United Council on Neurologic Subspecialties (UCNS) Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry Fellowship participation is available.
Christopher M. Clark Scholars Program
The Christopher M. Clark Scholars Program honors the late Dr. Clark, PMC founding director, for his contributions to Alzheimer’s research. Dr. Clark was committed to a vision of excellence in Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, care, and research that required a diversity of disciplines and sciences working and learning together. The Clark Scholars Program was founded to fulfill that vision.
This program provides a unique training opportunity for a diverse group of individuals who are post-doctoral (MD or PhD) trainees, graduate students or junior faculty to train at the University of Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (Penn ADRC) for a career focused on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD). The spectrum of training opportunities includes basic, translational and clinical research and is available for up to 2 years starting July 1, 2024.
ADRD presents one of our nation’s greatest public health challenges. In the United States there are 5.8 million persons with AD, and it is anticipated that by the year 2050 there will be ~14 million individuals. Currently, there is no cure for ADRD and training researchers to work on solving the array of problems associated with ADRD, including viable treatments, is one of the highest priorities of the Penn ADRC. Another focus of the Penn ADRC is to enhance diversity among research participants, trainees, faculty and staff.
Clark Scholars will:
- Be supported in the pursuit of an academic career focused on ADRD
- Write a career development grant proposal with the support of their mentors
- Receive financial support as needed
- A Clark Scholar can receive financial support of up to $20,000 per year if justified in their application and approved
- Write an essay (no longer than 4 pages) that includes
your background, qualifications, research focus, career
goals, how your plans will enhance diversity, potential
research project and mentors (if identified), and financial
- NIH format biosketch
- Include a cover page that includes your full name,
address, email and telephone number
We strongly encourage applicants to contact us ahead of applying to discuss their ideas and application.
The application deadline is March 18, 2024.
To apply or for more information email Kathy Jedrziewski at email@example.com.
Penn Minority Scholars in Aging Research
As life expectancy has lengthened, the number and proportion of people suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease have increased. This public health challenge disproportionately effects minority populations, particularly older African Americans. The Penn Memory Center is committed to assuring that the diverse population of older adults in the U.S. receive the care they need and participate in research that improves that care. To achieve this goal, we need to increase the diversity of clinicians and researchers in the field of aging research. In response to this need, the Penn Memory Center is pleased to announce the creation of the Penn Minority Scholars in Aging Research.
Who should apply?
Candidates are students currently enrolled in a medical or doctoral degree program. We invite applicants from minority groups that are underrepresented in the field of aging research: Black or African-American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. A successful applicant will tell us about their inspiring interest in research or clinical care focused on cognitive health, cognitive impairment (including dementia or mild cognitive impairment), Alzheimer’s disease, or other neurodegenerative disorders. We would also like to know how the applicant came to this interest and how this interest shapes the applicant’s vision of his or her career.
What is involved?
The Penn Minority Scholars in Aging Research Program comprises a paid internship that spans 12 weeks during the academic year. This program is co-directed by Jason Karlawish, MD, Professor of Medicine, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, and Neurology, and co-director of the Penn Memory Center; and Roy Hamilton, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Neurology, Assistant Dean for Cultural Affairs and Diversity for the Perelman School of Medicine, and Vice Chair for Inclusion and Diversity for the Department of Neurology.
- Work with Penn faculty mentor(s) on a scholarly project(s)
- Have an opportunity to observe clinicians in practice
- Attend weekly Penn Memory Center consensus conference to observe patient diagnosis determination and didactic sessions
- Present a final presentation on their project
- Where applicable, scholars will be strongly encouraged to present their work at academic meetings or in peer-reviewed publications.
Topic areas to consider: Applicants are strongly encouraged to tell us what interests them. The center faculty and staff have particular interests in the biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease and brain aging, ethics, quality of life, clinical care and diagnosis, stigma, caregiving, public medical communication, and noninvasive brain stimulation techniques.
Applicants are encouraged to tour the Penn Memory Center website to learn about faculty research interests.
How do I apply?
To apply for this program, please submit:
- Unofficial transcript
- A one-page essay that explains your background, your interest in aging research, how you came to this interest, what you’d like to do and your career vision. If you have an interest in working with any of the faculty listed on the Penn Memory Center website, please state that on your application.
- The names and contact information of two references
To apply or for more information email Kathy Jedrziewski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PUBH 589 – The Alzheimer’s Crisis: why it happened and what we can do about it
This course is an opportunity to understand two relatively new public health problems — Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive aging — and to use this knowledge to identify and address the broad set of challenges created by cognitive impairment in industrialized nations, challenges at the intersections of medicine, ethics, public policy, culture and health care.
Students will learn about the history of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive aging and their current definitions, the concepts of cognition and function and how they are assessed, the science and practice of measuring the disease’s prevalence and mortality, autonomy and capacity, risk and preventive factors for cognitive decline, the demography and economics of caregiving, and the public health initiatives and models of care that could enhance cognition and maintain independence. They will apply biostatistical and epidemiological methods to critique papers, close textual analysis to understand concepts and their shifting meanings, and writing to clearly and succinctly frame a problem, its costs and solutions.
The course will use lectures, readings from the literature, in class group discussions and exercises, interviews with guest experts, writing and examinations. Evaluation will be based on participation, presentations, written assignments, and exam results.
This course fulfills a requirement for the Certificate in Public Health and Cognitive Aging certificate program.
Course Director: Jason Karlawish, MD, Professor of Medicine, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, and Neurology; Co-Director, Penn Memory Center
Details: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays every Spring (1.0 course units)
For more information, contact: Kristin Harkins at email@example.com.
Certificate in Public Health and Cognitive Aging
This certificate program is available to qualified students currently enrolled in a Master’s or PhD at the University of Pennsylvania who have acquired a body of knowledge that is key to improving the health and psychosocial outcomes for our aging population. This multi-disciplinary certificate is housed in Penn’s MPH program, but draws from courses in the School of Social Policy & Practice, School of Nursing, and the Perelman School of Medicine. This program is directed by Jason Karlawish, MD, Professor of Medicine, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, and Neurology, and Co-Director of the Penn Memory Center (PMC).
Students pursuing the certificate program must take:
- PUBH 589 “The Alzheimer’s Crisis: why it happened and what we can do about it”
- PUBH 502 “Introduction to Principles and Methods of Epidemiology” or other relevant epidemiology course
- A course related to public policy, law, ethics, and healthcare management. (Courses already approved are PUBH 505: “Public Health Policy & Administration” and PUBH 507: “Public Health Law & Ethics”)
- An elective relevant to public health and cognitive aging
- Attend at least five PMC consensus conferences, at which clinicians review patient diagnoses
- Attend at least five PMC didactic presentations given by PMC clinicians, faculty or staff or invited researchers
- An oral or written presentation
How do you apply?
To apply for this certificate program, you will need to submit:
- Unofficial Penn transcripts
- A brief (one-page) essay outlining how the courses and other requirements will train you to develop expertise in the public health dimensions of cognitive aging
- Approval from Graduate Program director and academic advisor