Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellows Program

October 15, 2019

To:  Assistant, Associate and Full Professors
From:  Sanjeev R. Kulkarni
Date:  October 9, 2019
Re:  Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellows Program

It is our pleasure to invite nominations for the Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellows Program. Introduced last year, the program recognizes and supports scholars who can contribute to the University’s diversity, broadly defined, including members of groups that have been historically and are presently underrepresented in the academy or in particular disciplines, such as racial and ethnic minorities and women in STEM. For more information on the program’s first cohort of Fellows, see

The Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellows Program is meant to encourage early-career scholars to pursue a career in academia by supporting their postdoctoral work here. The program supports up to twelve new postdoctoral researchers per year, each appointed at the Postdoctoral Research Associate rank and holding a fully-funded, one-year appointment renewable (with a salary increase in line with University policies) for a second year. The DOF sponsors various workshops and programming to provide fellows with additional development opportunities, while four faculty co-directors meet monthly with the fellows as a group to build a sense of community among them and provide additional mentorship. The four faculty co-directors are Professors Mala Murthy, Rod Priestley, Stacey Sinclair, and Howard Stone.

In order to be considered, candidates must be nominated by a member of the Faculty who will serve as their sponsor or PI and provide (or otherwise arrange for) lab/office space for the candidate. (Note the PI must have space available as it cannot be provided centrally.) All assistant, associate and full professors may nominate a candidate and serve as their sponsor/PI.

The Faculty Advisory Committee on Diversity will be responsible for the review of nominations and the selection of the Fellows. Nominations for this program should be sent to Toni Turano, Deputy Dean of the Faculty, at Details of the nomination process are outlined below.


  • Faculty sponsors/PIs are invited to nominate candidates for AY 2020-21 no later than December 6, 2019, with selections to be made by January 15, 2020.
  • Successful candidates may be appointed as early as July 1, 2020 or as late as September 1, 2020.
  • If a candidate cannot produce satisfactory evidence of completing all requirements of the PhD by September 1, 2020, they forfeit their place in and support by the program.

Eligibility: To apply, candidates must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Earned a PhD in a discipline in the humanities or social sciences within two years of their anticipated start date;
  • Earned a PhD in the natural sciences or engineering within four years of their anticipated start date;
  • Anticipate receiving a PhD in a discipline in the humanities, social or natural sciences, or engineering by the start date of their appointment (no later than September 1, 2020).
  • Preference will be given to candidates who are not already at Princeton.

Responsibilities: Pursuit of a research project crafted by the candidate in consultation with their faculty sponsor. If the fellow is in the natural sciences or engineering, the research project should be part of the research group or the lab of the faculty sponsor/PI. As part of the application, a plan should be presented for the fellow to be thoroughly integrated into the life of the department, program or center. This plan can include teaching or participating in one undergraduate course or advising undergraduate independent work. No teaching is required, but fellows who wish to teach may do so with the approval of their department and the Dean of the Faculty (DOF). In such cases, a secondary appointment as a lecturer will be required.

Financial support: Two years at full salary, with the possibility of renewal (within DOF standard guidelines) if additional years are funded by the department or the faculty PI. Salary determined by field and experience, and will be line with other postdoctoral researchers in the host department, with the NSF’s annual recommended salary serving as a minimum. Up to $2000 for a computer will be available to each postdoctoral researcher; the computer will be considered the property of the University and should be returned to the department at the end of the appointment. An annual research fund of $2000 for professional development, such as travel to conferences, will also be provided for both years of the appointment. Fellows will be eligible for moving expenses per program guidelines. All other costs/requests for support associated with the appointment are the responsibility of the faculty sponsor/PI.

Nomination process: Individual faculty sponsors/PIs nominate candidates and develop a plan with the candidate to facilitate the candidate’s research. No more than one nomination will be accepted per faculty sponsor/PI.

Nomination materials: Curriculum vitae; research statement by candidate; three letters of recommendation; letter of nomination from the faculty sponsor/PI, including plan for the candidate’s research and other activities during the appointment, and how the candidate will diversify the department and/or discipline. The application materials should be submitted as one PDF file.

It is my sincere hope that you will take advantage of this program, which will greatly benefit our faculty and our students. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or Toni.