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Presidential Postdoctoral Fellows Program  

Toward Inclusive Excellence

Rutgers University sponsors an annual cohort of Presidential Postdoctoral Fellows. This two-year fellowship appointment will welcome its third cohort on July 1, 2024 (rolling start dates are possible), with the possibility of subsequent appointment to a tenure-track faculty position at one of the four Rutgers University campuses: Rutgers–New Brunswick, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, Rutgers–Newark, and Rutgers–Camden. Applicants may request to be affiliated with a particular campus across the Rutgers corridor, although all placements will be made in consultation with departmental and campus leadership.

Introducing the Clinical Scientist Pathway to Tenure Track at RBHS

This innovative program, offered within the Rutgers University Presidential Postdoctoral Fellows program, presents two parallel tracks tailored to meet the specific needs of aspiring clinical scientists: The Clinical Scientist Postdoctoral Pathway (CSPP) and the Bridge to Tenure-Track (BTT) faculty track. For more information about these tracks and how to apply, visit this link or contact Dr. Sangeeta Lamba (, Vice President for Faculty Development and Diversity & Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion–RBHS.

Dr. Gupta with a student

Strength at Rutgers

All postdoctoral fellows will be appointed in one of these four priority areas:

Fellows will conduct leading work in any area of the physical and biological sciences, earth sciences, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics, or in areas of convergence among multiple fields that define an emergent domain of research (e.g., AI and the data sciences, computational biology, interdisciplinary climate science, etc.).

Fellows will conduct basic, clinical, translational, community-engaged, and population-based research in the biomedical sciences, social sciences, behavioral, psychological sciences, and related fields that addresses health inequalities, including but not limited to research on pathogenesis, chronic disease, mental health, disease prevention and treatment, access to healthcare, and public health.

Fellows will conduct use-inspired, publicly-engaged and/or community-engaged research in the natural sciences, social sciences, policy, engineering, humanities, or other disciplines that address the causes and consequences of climate change, their inequities, and policies, technologies, and behaviors to limit those consequences and inequities.

Fellows will conduct research into the structural, systemic, institutional, and individual effects of racism and discrimination, both historically and today, in all domains of the humanities, social sciences, and professional schools, including but not limited to area studies, business, criminal justice and the carceral state, families, education, environmental and climate justice, labor, law, media, public policy, urban planning, or other related fields.

Program Details 

Fellows will receive a $65,000 annual salary, $10,000 in discretionary research funds per year, a dedicated workspace, access to a university computer, health benefits, and a dedicated mentor. Fellows will typically teach one class or the equivalent in mentoring or other pedagogical engagement during the academic year. Fellows are expected to participate in a series of meetings and workshops structured for the purposes of networking, social interaction, and supporting professional development, as offered by the Office of Postdoctoral Advancement and other units and programs as detailed under the Presidential Postdoctoral Fellows (PPF) Activities section below.

Applications for the 2024–25 cohort opened on September 5, 2023, and closed on October 16, 2023. All candidates must apply through the portal, and only complete applications received by the closing date will be considered. During the application process, candidates will be required to select up to two priority areas relevant to their research and indicate a preferred mentor and campus placement. They will also have the option to request an alternative campus and mentor if desired. All qualifying applications will be reviewed by Rutgers deans, chairs, and relevant faculty; finalists will be forwarded to the Office of the EVPAA for approval.

Rutgers faculty, principal investigators, directors, etc., may nominate candidates for a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship, whether from within Rutgers or from another institution. Faculty wishing to nominate a candidate should review the eligibility criteria carefully. If they wish to sponsor a candidate and determine that the candidate is eligible, they should direct the candidate to the application portal. Regardless of nomination, all candidates must apply through the central portal, and applications that are incomplete or ineligible will not be reviewed. In addition, nominating faculty must notify their Chair and their Dean (via email) and the Office of Postdoctoral Advancement of their intention to nominate a candidate.

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

Accordion Content

  • Applicants from any discipline are eligible to apply but must be conducting work in one of the four presidential priority areas: Advancing STEM diversity, Engaged Climate Action, Health Equity and Race, Racism, and Inequality. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and must have completed all requirements toward their terminal degree (Ph.D., MFA, D.F.A., M.D. J.D. or other appropriate degree completed, defended, and submitted to the degree-granting institution) no later than June 30 in the year of appointment at Rutgers.

    For applicants with a Humanities or Social Sciences degree, preference will be given to those who received their degrees within three years before the start date of their appointment at Rutgers. For example, a postdoctoral fellow appointed in July 2024 must have completed their terminal degree between June 30, 2021, and June 30, 2024.

    For applicants with a STEM or Biomedical research degree, individuals with previous postdoctoral experience and a terminal degree in a STEM or Biomed discipline within five years of the start date (on or after June 30, 2019) are eligible to apply.

    For applicants with a healthcare training background, such as medical residents or fellows, those with a terminal degree (e.g., MD or equivalent) within five to seven years of the potential start date (on or after June 30, 2017) may apply through the Clinical Scientist Pathway, part of the RBHS Presidential Faculty Diversity Initiative.

    • A cover letter that introduces yourself as a scholar, describes your current and previous work, and speaks to the relevance of the fellowship to your research and career path.
    • A curriculum vitae, including publications, awards, honors, current and pending funding (if any).
    • Rutgers University values contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion ( We encourage applicants to comment (in a separate statement or in the cover letter) about how their research, teaching, and/or service in the past, present, and/or future could contribute to these values.
    • A proposed research plan that describes what the applicant aims to achieve during the term of his /her/ their appointment. Applicants should use this Plan to request specific placements at Rutgers and explain why such a placement would be beneficial. Plans may be no longer than 3 pages, single-spaced, with one-inch margins, in 11 pt. font. If you require an extra page for citations or references, aim to keep them within one additional page.
    • A writing sample of no more than 25 pages (all inclusive), double-spaced, or a sample of prior research. The writing sample can be any written work that best represents your research and/ or creative efforts at this career stage. Depending on your field of expertise, your sample might be a published paper, article, essay, creative work, or a selection of one; a compilation of different shorter papers; an unpublished research paper that represents current work; a scholarly article; or an excerpted chapter from a dissertation.
    • Three confidential letters of reference, one of which should be from the applicant's dissertation or thesis advisor. All letters must be submitted by referees through the application portal via an automatically-generated email request link. Applicants can save the application as a draft and send the letter requests before they submit their application. For details see #6 on the Requesting a Reference Letter webpage. All letters must be received via the portal no later than October 16. We recommend that all applicants directly alert their referees of the deadline to submit their letter. Applicants must ensure that their referees submit their recommendation letters before the deadline. It is the responsibility of the applicants to follow up with their referees and confirm the status of the letter submissions. Applications will not be considered if one or more letters are missing when the portal closes.
    • All applicants must apply through the online portal. Only complete applications received through the portal by the closing date of October 16, 2023, will be reviewed.
  • Campus & Mentor Placement

    We ask applicants to identify and indicate their preferred campus placement and mentor on their application. If desired, applicants can also request an alternative campus and mentor as a second choice.

    Applicants are encouraged to contact possible mentors to express interest in working with them through the fellowship program. Taking this initiative will help both the applicant and the potential mentor to assess whether they would be a good fit and will help evaluate the best placement and assist departments in assigning mentors.

    During the application review process, departments will assign mentors to nominees who are considered suitable. Every participant in the program will be matched with at least one mentor.

    We recommend reading our best practices for Choosing the Right Postdoc Position for additional guidance.

    Supplementary Questions

    As part of this year's application cycle, we have introduced a new set of supplementary questions at the end of the application portal about demographics, disability status, and veteran status. As a Federal contractor, Rutgers University is required to ask all applicants to provide this demographic information.

    While all applicants are required to review these questions at the time of application, providing your information is optional and will not affect the status of your application.

    Your answers will be kept confidential and will not be shared with reviewers.

    *UPDATE to our Information Session* You can locate the required supporting document for the Supplementary Questions by navigating to the DETAILS tab at the top of the portal screen.

  • Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you still have questions about the application process, contact Dr. Itzamarie Chévere-Torres, Director, Office of Postdoctoral Advancement, at or 848-445-0242.

  • Fellows are required to attend the following PPF activities:

    • A welcome session, which may be scheduled 1-2 months before or up to 2 weeks after start date.
    • At least four check-in Focus Group Discussions with the Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Advancement (OPA) every three monthsThese 1-hour sessions offer an opportunity to provide feedback on Fellow experiences, discuss progress, and offer guidance on completing and submitting annual individual development plans.
    • Submit a Rutgers Postdoctoral Individual Development Plan (IDP) at the end of each appointment year. Fellows will work together with their faculty mentor(s) to write the IDP, and the Office of Postdoctoral Advancement offers a specific workshop, “Your Career on Track,” to explain how to complete this document. Completing an IDP helps with setting career and professional goals, making postdoctoral training more intentional and productive, and allowing you to track your progress. It clearly outlines your and your mentor's expectations and establishes mutual understanding and clear communication.
    • At least one activity or event regarding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion per year in the fellowship program. These may include workshops on implicit or unconscious bias, mentoring across differences, or other topics offered through The Office of University Equity and Inclusion, the Faculty Diversity Collaborative, or Chancellor Led Units activities like equity talks and racial healing circles, among others.
    • At least one mentoring activity or program per year. Examples include the workshop on “Effective Mentoring of Undergraduates in Laboratory Setting,” led by Drs. Janet Alder, Evelyn Erenrich, and Xenia Morin (for STEM/Biomed Fellows), the Rutgers Connection Network Mentoring Program offered through the Faculty Diversity Collaborative, or the “Strengths-Based Mentoring Skills: or “Mentoring-Up” workshops offered through the Office of Postdoctoral Advancement and other units.

    In addition to these specific requirements, fellows will be expected to participate in a selection of professional and career development cohort activities offered through the Office of Postdoctoral Advancement and other units or programs on time management skills, writing for grants and/or publication, teaching, faculty job preparation, mentoring skills, leadership skills, communication skills, networking, advocacy, teaching statements, and diversity statements. Fellows will be notified of all scheduled professional development sessions. A certificate of completion in professional development will be granted to fellows that dedicate 10 hours or more per academic year to these programs.

    1:1 Advising sessions with the OPA Director are available by appointment for fellows who need more individualized guidance to navigate their postdoctoral training, as are 1:1 coaching sessions for fellows looking for a safe space to self-explore, reflect, clarify goals and next steps, and foster professional growth in an individualized way.

    Please note that the activities and events mentioned in this document are meant to complement the field or discipline-specific professional skills training and activities offered by the hosting department and school.

  • The Presidential Postdoctoral Fellows program is a vital new pathway into the professoriate for emerging researchers and scholars who are preparing to join the Rutgers community as full-time faculty colleagues. The role of the mentor is a critical one in guiding the career development of the fellow and assisting in their integration into the host department. Mentors ensure that labs and other research environments are welcoming and inclusive for the fellows. They act as a trusted resource for information about career success at Rutgers and as intermediaries for introductions to department colleagues who will eventually be asked to support the fellow's faculty appointment, should the fellowship period be productive.

    In addition, hosting units commit to providing the infrastructure and resources to support the fellow's proposed research and to consider them for a tenure-track faculty position by the end of their second year in the program.

  • The application portal is now closed. Thank you for your submissions. 

Building a Diverse Faculty

A diverse faculty is a cornerstone of academic excellence. By reaching out far and wide to recruit and hire a diverse cohort of faculty who will then be supported, mentored, and developed in a way that fosters retention and eliminates isolation, Rutgers will set in motion a self-reinforcing academic community that is committed to diversity and inclusive excellence."

Jonathan Holloway
Rutgers University President

Jonathan Holloway, the 21st president of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey