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Junior Faculty Development Program

JFDP Class of 2024

Junior faculty must be nurtured, mentored, and retained. Junior faculty are recruited with excellent training in research or clinical practice but they often lack the skills—beyond the ability to perform in the laboratory or the clinic—that are critical for a successful career in academic medicine. Furthermore, most junior faculty are expected to teach but many have little training in designing and delivering an educational program. The Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) is designed to address the needs of junior faculty and provide a foundation for their success.

The JFDP was first developed and implemented at Penn State College of Medicine in 2003. It was established at UMass Chan Medical School in 2010 under the sponsorship of the OFA. The program continues at Penn State and similar programs have since been established at Albany Medical Center and the University of Virginia. It is considered a national model for the development of junior faculty in academic medicine.

The goals of the JFDP are to:

  • promote the development and advancement of faculty through a program tailored to the specific needs of junior faculty,
  • nurture and cultivate junior faculty to become the next generation of academic leaders, and
  • support the retention of faculty talent through opportunities and support to build professional skills

The Program

The JFDP is an intensive, year-long faculty development program that consists of two components:

  • A comprehensive curriculum in topics on research, education, and academic/career development.
  • A project conducted under the guidance of a senior faculty mentor. The individual project is identified by the participant, approved by their chair, and completed with the assistance of a senior faculty mentor. (See a list of projects undertaken by previous participants HERE.)

Each yearly program at UMass Chan Medical School consists of a cohort of 20–30 participants, typically Assistant Professors within 1–4 years of their first faculty appointment. Support for participation is provided by the applicant's department (FY25 program support remains unchanged at $5,500 per participant). Program participants are selected through an application process, which includes a description of their proposed project. Each participant is matched with a mentor identified by the participant with the help of the program faculty and based on their needs for guidance on their project.

To complete the program, participants have to attend at least 80% of the class sessions, participate in teaching workshops, and present progress on their project at the end of the program. A Graduation Ceremony is held each year to recognize the graduates for completing the program and the mentors for their service.

Program sessions are weekly for two hours each, usually in the early morning, September-May. Most sessions are offered virtually via Zoom, but there are a number of required in-person sessions as well.

CME Accreditation Statement

The UMass Chan Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Designation Statement

The UMass Chan Medical School designates this live activity for a maximum of 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ (per session).  Physicians should claim only credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nursing Accreditation

This offering meets the requirements for 2.4 contact hours (per session) for nurses as specified by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in nursing (244-CMR 5.04).  Each nurse should claim only those hours of credit that he/she actually spent in the educational activity.


Applications include the following components:

Leadership statement  Please describe why you would like to participate in the JFDP and how the program will advance your leadership skills. Please describe your leadership potential and goals. (500 word max)

Proposed Project Description  Projects may involve research, teaching, clinical or service activities. The project should be relevant to your career interests and to your assigned responsibilities in the department or institution. The project does not have to be completed by the end of the Program but each participant is expected to achieve progress on their project during the Program. Projects should also result in scholarship: dissemination of the work to a larger audience. You will be asked for the proposed project's title, goals, description (including an overview, background, work to date, why the project is important, planned activities, 1000 word max), potential impact, and timeline

A signed Chair/Division Chief letter of support The letter must explicitly confirm that:

  • S/he has reviewed your project proposal and believes that it constitutes a valuable contribution to your career advancement and to the department/division;
  • The appropriate accommodations to your schedule will be made such that you will have time to attend weekly sessions and make progress on the out-of-class project; and
  • Program tuition ($5500 per participant) will be provided by the writer's own department or division (the letter must specify which, and the name of the appropriate billing contact must be provided).

Your CV in the UMass Chan format

***The 2024-25 JFDP cohort application has closed***