Penn Postdoctoral Fellowships for Academic Diversity


Possible opportunity to do research in signed languages at the Linguistics department (for more information regarding this, contact Jami N. Fisher at

The University is now seeking applications for its three-year Post-Doctoral Fellowships for Academic Diversity. The application deadline is August 30, 2013. Fellowships may begin as early as January 2, 2014. For full details, see:

Penn will award up to eight of these fellowships University-wide. SAS will receive copies of all of the applications with ties to fields in the School, and may nominate four applicants to the University by October 1. The cost of the fellowships is split between the University and the host school, and SAS typically requests a financial contribution from the host program in support of the School’s share.

Given the small number of awards available and what is normally a large applicant pool of deserving candidates – all of whom would contribute to diversity – SAS will continue to use the following process to identify its four nominees to the Vice Provost:

1. The School will narrow down the list of candidates via two methods:

a. After the application deadline, the Vice Provost for Research will forward to SAS all of the applications relevant to the School. SAS will identify applications that present the strongest potential for enhancing diversity, either because they are in fields in which diversity is especially weak, or because they represent a group that is particularly underrepresented across many fields. The Dean’s office will then reach out to potential sponsor departments or centers to ascertain their interest in hosting the applicant. (Please note that because of the large number of applications received, the Dean’s office does not distribute all of them to the relevant programs. To do so would be asking dozens of programs to vet candidates and seek potential faculty mentors for them when they would not ultimately meet the Dean’s office criteria described earlier in this paragraph.)

b. If departments or centers are approached by applicants seeking potential sponsorship, it is up to them whether to agree to it. (Note that applicants are “encouraged to submit a letter from a Penn faculty member having similar research interests confirming that he/she is willing to serve as the applicant’s primary mentor during the fellowship period.”) If your program is enthusiastic about a particular candidate who has contacted you, please alert your divisional dean.

2. The final four SAS nominees must have strong support from an SAS department, program, or center in the form of:

a. A clear plan, in writing, for individual faculty mentoring and involvement in the academic life of the larger program.

b. A financial contribution from the host department, program, or center toward the SAS share of the cost.

If your program is interested in hosting a particular candidate, please speak with your divisional dean about the items in 2, or about any aspect of this fellowship program.

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