University of Michigan’s President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program


About the Program

In 2011, the University of Michigan joined in a collaborative partnership with the University of California to offer postdoctoral fellowship opportunities at the University of Michigan. In this program, the University of Michigan now offers postdoctoral research fellowships in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), economics, and political science, coupled with faculty mentoring, professional development, and academic networking opportunities.
The University of Michigan views these postdoctoral fellowships as providing an exceptional opportunity to recruit potential new faculty to the University by offering the possibility of either a postdoc alone or a combined postdoc and tenure track faculty appointment.
The University seeks applicants whose research, teaching, and service will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education. The program is particularly interested in scholars with the potential to bring to their research and undergraduate teaching the critical perspective that comes from their non-traditional educational background or understanding of the experiences of groups historically underrepresented in higher education.
The program is aimed at those interested in pursuing a postdoctoral research fellowship in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), economics, or political science. Disciplines that have not received a fellow will be given priority. Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents when the application is due will not be considered. Applicants should expect to complete their doctorate on or before July 1 of the year following their application.
Candidates in all fields are evaluated by faculty reviewers in their own fields and in related fields. Faculty reviewers will evaluate candidates according to their academic accomplishments, the strength of their research proposal, and their potential for faculty careers that will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity through their teaching, research, and service. Faculty reviewers will submit their recommendations to the Office of the Provost, where the final selections will be determined.
Terms of Appointment
The University of Michigan President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program awards fellowships in the fields listed above for research conducted under faculty sponsorship. The annual award provides a salary of $50-60,000, depending on the field and level of experience, and $10,000 for research and professional development. The award also includes enrollment in health plan for fellow and dependent(s), group life insurance, three weeks of sick leave, and one month (non-accrual) of vacation.
President’s Postdoctoral Fellows are expected to (1) establish residence and participate in academic life at the campus of their postdoctoral appointment, (2) focus full-time on research and avoid other commitments such as teaching or additional employment, (3) meet regularly with their faculty mentor, and (4) attend the PPFP professional development programs.
Expectations for Mentors
President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship mentors are usually tenured faculty who are expected to (1) take an active role in helping the fellow to plan and achieve his or her research goals, (2) assist the fellow in establishing a visible presence in department, (3) facilitate opportunities for the fellow to participate in national and international research meetings, (4) encourage the fellow to focus full-time on research and avoid other commitments such as teaching or outside employment, (5) assist the fellow in seeking opportunities to present papers or to interview for faculty positions, and (6) attend the program professional development activities such as the annual gathering.
Expectations for Host Departments
Host departments are encouraged to welcome the fellow into the department and make every effort to ensure that the fellow is included in communications about departmental colloquia, seminars and social events. Host departments are expected to provide the fellow with information about salary and benefits and administer the fellow’s research and professional travel funds. Host departments are expected to provide the fellow with appropriate office space and routine administrative support. In addition, President’s Postdoctoral Fellows should be provided with opportunities for career development, including consideration for a faculty position at the University of Michigan.
Information about the first three years of the program
• Postdoctoral fellowships were offered to 13 candidates.
• Recipients are listed on and were placed in three schools/colleges.

Proactive Steps Interested Departments Can Take
• Cultivate exciting postdoc applicants.
• Ensure potential faculty mentors get to know potential applicants.
• Consider bringing potential applicants to campus for an informal visit before the application deadline.
• Plan how the department might assess applicants’ suitability for a “preemptive” tenure track offer at the same time as the President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship is offered.

Inquiries should be directed to the ADVANCE Program, University of Michigan,
1214 S. University Avenue, 2nd Floor, Suite C – Galleria Building, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2592,