UPenn Fellowship in Advanced Biomedical Ethics

The mission of this 2-year Fellowship is to train scholars and future leaders in academic biomedical ethics. Fellows will participate fully in the life of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, which is among the world’s leading bioethics departments. They will have full access to the intellectual resources of the larger Penn community. Fellows will receive a generous annual stipend, benefits, and funds for academic books and travel. In addition, depending on their career goals and prior training, fellows may receive tuition towards course work or a Masters degree in bioethics. Steven Joffe, MD, MPH directs the Fellowship.

Applicants seeking to pursue research in the ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) of genetics and genomics should instead consider Penn’s postdoctoral training program in ELSI research (U.S. citizens or permanent residents only).

The Fellowship Experience

  • Mentored research: Working with one or more faculty mentors, Fellows conduct original empirical and/or conceptual research intended to lead to the publication of at least 2 manuscripts in top-tier peer-reviewed journals.
  • Master of science degree in bioethics: Depending on their prior education and academic and professional goals, some fellows pursue a Master of Science in Medical Ethics (MSME) degree. Regardless of whether they pursue a degree, all fellows participate in a weekly core bioethics proseminar led by the Fellowship Director and other faculty.
  • Department seminars: Fellows will participate in and present work at department seminars, including sessions focused on works-in-progress and presentations by department and affiliated faculty.
  • Ethics committee and institutional review board experience: Consistent with their interests, Fellows will gain ethics committee and/or institutional review board (IRB) experience at a Penn-affiliated hospital.


Applications are invited from scholars with doctoral degrees in hand (MDs, PhDs or equivalent, JDs), or who will receive such degrees by May of the year in which they apply to the fellowship. Doctorates may be in any relevant field, including but not limited to philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, economics or anthropology. Prior experience in bioethics is not required. Applicants who are members of underrepresented minority groups or who are disabled are strongly encouraged to apply.

Applications are now being accepted for Summer 2018. Application deadline is December 4, 2017.

Application date
2 years
Humanities : Philosophy, Theology and religion
Other : Biology, Medicine