Primary Care Research Fellow


We seek postdoctoral scholars who aspire to become independent researchers to join the Penn State College of Medicine HRSA-funded T32 Primary Care Research Fellowship, housed at the Department of Family and Community Medicine (FCM). The two-year Fellowship is designed for postgraduate learners who wish to receive training in primary care research to address some of the most pressing problems in public health and health care, including substance use, mental health disorders, and related disparities.

The Fellowship is led by experienced clinician-scientists in Family & Community Medicine (Dr. David Rábago-Program Director; Dr. Aleksandra Zgierska-Associate Program Director), General Internal Medicine (Dr. Jennifer McCall-Hosenfeld-Associate Program Director) and General Pediatrics (Dr. Ian Paul-Associate Program Director), in collaboration with partners from the broader Penn State community, with faculty from diverse backgrounds and disciplines who bring varied perspectives to the investigation of complex problems. The Fellowship’s rigorous two-year program is guided by leading-edge concepts of active mentorship; experiential learning; diversity, equity, and inclusion; translational research; and team science. Individually tailored training is the core of the program. Fellows have access to a vast array of coursework and degree programs; mentored research experiences across numerous departments, schools, and institutes; and a collegial research-oriented institutional and departmental culture. This training provides the environment in which diverse fellows learn to conduct culturally competent, high-quality primary care research and advance their careers toward the goal of becoming independent investigators able to conduct innovative primary care-based research to improve health outcomes in areas of high public health need. Fellows who are clinicians may be able to engage in clinical practice on a limited basis, based on individual considerations and approvals.

Eligible candidates will have an MD/DO/PhD or equivalent terminal degrees from a wide range of disciplines, including medicine, pharmacy, nursing, psychology, or the social sciences, and, ideally, have experience with the core areas of interest: substance use, pain, mental health, human subjects research or big data science, and a track-record of research output. 

Per HRSA guidelines,

The individual to be trained, must be a citizen or a noncitizen national (“green card” holder) of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the time of appointment.

The Fellowship is administered through the Family and Community Medicine (FCM) Department, a part of the Penn State Health (PSH) system. Over 50 years ago, during the founding of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, PSH recognized the importance of primary care by establishing the first family medicine department in a US academic health center. The FCM has grown tremendously since then, with approximately 200 providers, 16 outpatient clinics, active inpatient and obstetrical services, family medicine residency with 60 trainees annually, and robust clinical and research fellowship training. 

The FCM campus is in the beautiful town of Hershey, PA. Our diverse communities of central Pennsylvania provide something for everyone. Local and state parks, lush green mountains, with the famous Appalachian Trail nearby, provide opportunities to enjoy nature. Regional urban hubs boast art museums, local vineyards, excellent restaurants, shopping, home to the state Capital, and, of course, legendary Hershey Park. Local school districts are award-winning, and the Hershey recreational center offers swimming and other recreation for families and children. We are conveniently located within driving distance of metropolitan Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington, DC.

To apply, candidates should upload a cover letter with a summary of relevant skills, statement of research interests and goals, current curriculum vitae, and at least two professional references’ contact information (name, position title, institution, e-mail address) relevant to this position. The successful candidate must pass a background check. The expected start date for the 2023/2024 academic year is the fall 2023. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the fellowship positions are filled.

Penn State is committed to, and accountable for, advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.


Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Pennsylvania Act of 1988, Penn State publishes a combined Annual Security and Annual Fire Safety Report (ASR). The ASR includes crime statistics and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The ASR is available for review at

Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies. 

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is the Law

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applications without regards to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473.

To apply, those with MD or DO degrees, visit

To apply, those with other doctoral degrees

To discuss Fellowship opportunities, please contact:

David Rábago, Program Director

Ms. Holly Carver, Education Program Coordinator

Professor, Vice Chair of Faculty Development

Department of Family and Community Medicine

[email protected]

Penn State Health is fundamentally committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff. We believe diversity is unapologetically expressing itself through every person's perspective and lived experiences. We are an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.