Associate Director, MD-PhD Program

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Associate Director, MD-PhD Program

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Employers By State in 2021.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement for all positions at the University of Pennsylvania. New hires are expected to be fully vaccinated before beginning work at the University. For more information about Penn's vaccine requirements and the use of Penn Open Pass, visit the Penn COVID-19 Response website for the latest information.

Posted Job Title
Associate Director, MD-PhD Program

Job Profile Title
Associate Director C

Job Description Summary
The Associate Director (AD) manages two fundamental components of the MD-PhD program: 1) admissions and recruitment, and 2) student records and training requirement compliance. In addition, the AD manages other special projects and assists with event programming and other activities. The Penn MD-PhD program is one of the largest and mostly highly regarded programs of its kind in the country. The program is thriving, and has over 200 students enrolled in 12 graduate groups across four Schools of the University. The program typically receives 700+ applications each year, and interviews approximately 120 of those candidates during six two-day interview programs. The AD interacts extensively with applicants, and works closely with a wide array of faculty members, students and staff across all program areas. The AD reports to the Director of Administration of the Combined Degree and Physician Scholar Programs, and receives assistance from the MD-PhD Program Coordinator, for whom they have partial supervisory responsibility.

Job Description

  • Manage the application process. Update supplemental application materials annually in consultation with MD admissions staff, MD-PhD faculty leaders, and PhD program administrations. Maintain up to date understanding of AMCAS policies and processes.
  • Manage all aspects of the multi-layered screening process of 700+ applications. Oversee the process of selecting and inviting candidates for interview.
  • Plan the interview programs and re-visit program, working closely with faculty leaders, student leaders and staff. (Prior to 2020, the MD-PhD interview programs were conducted in-person. For 2021 and 2022 cycles, these activities occurred primarily virtually. The format for these events in the 2023 season and beyond has not yet been decided).
  • Coordinate with the MD Admissions Office and IDEAL MEd (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Learner Experience Program in Medical Education) to enhance and support recruitment of candidates who are from racial/ethnic groups underrepresented in medicine and/or LGBTQ-identified.
  • Counsel potential applicants about the program and the application process via email, phone and meetings. Support interviewing applicants through the interview visit experience.
  • Develop and support recruitment and outreach strategies, including maintenance of websites.
  • Provide extensive data reporting and analysis on all elements of admissions process.
  • Serve as primary MD-PhD contact with ZAP Solutions, the external vendor for the medical school's Admissions software. Work closely with Director of MD Admissions on annual and ad-hoc updates, changes, and improvements to system.

  • Ensure that 200+ students adhere to all program policies. Develop and publicize new policies as needed, when institutional, program or external funding expectations evolve.
  • Develop and synthesize comprehensive systems for tracking many different aspects of student records and training activities (eg IDPs, RCR, Program Advisor Mtgs, Clinical Connections) to ensure that records are comprehensive and accurate.
  • Develop thorough understanding of program curriculum across 12+ graduate groups in four Schools. Annually update curriculum plans with each program.
  • Monitor all MD-PhD student registration in University systems. Monitor SMS and ensure that records components provided by Graduate Groups are uploaded (eg lab rotation evaluations, thesis committee reports).

  • BA/BS and 5 or more years of experience in higher education administration or equivalent combination of education and experience required
  • One or more years of experience specifically in medical school and/or graduate school administration and admissions is preferred
  • Independent but highly collaborative, with strong service orientation and team-player approach
  • Warm and enthusiastic in support of applicants and current students
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
  • Keen analytical skills and relentless attention to detail
  • Ability to multi-task efficiently and handle competing demands, while remaining cool under pressure
  • Curiosity plus eagerness to learn and solve problems
  • Flexibility, adaptability and a high threshold for managing change
  • Experience with Zoom (or similar video communications technology such as Microsoft Teams, BlueJeans, etc.) for conducting virtual meetings, program interviews, and virtual events
  • Experience with and/or interest in learning a wide variety of databases and systems including but not limited to: Penn's Student Record System (SRS), Banner, Microsoft Excel, and SAP Business Objects
  • Ability to work occasional evenings
  • Position currently allows 1-2 days a week of remote work, and requires minimum of 3 days on site

All applicants must submit a cover letter

Estimated starting salary for this position is $65,000 - $72,000

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Perelman School of Medicine

Pay Range
$51,824.00 - $78,096.00

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family-whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement-and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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