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Rutgers Presidential Postdoctoral Fellows Program Frequently Asked Questions (2024)

I. Eligibility

  • Yes. Individuals currently holding a postdoctoral, tenure-track, nor non-tenure track position at Rutgers (i.e., Visiting Assistant Professors, Part-Time Lecturers, Adjuncts, etc.) are eligible to apply for this program so long as they meet the other requirements.

  • Yes. Individuals awarded a Ph.D. from Rutgers are eligible to apply for this program. However, we recommend that hosting units, nominating faculty, and mentors take into account the educational background and the potential impact on discipline-specific tenure-track considerations for individuals who have previously been associated with Rutgers at any stage of their academic journey.

  • No. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents.

  • Applicants must have their terminal degree (Ph.D., MFA, D.F.A., M.D., J.D., or equivalent) fully conferred by June 30 in the year of appointment at Rutgers. 

    Applicants with a Humanities or Social Sciences degree must have received their terminal degree within three years prior to their appointment at Rutgers. For example, a postdoctoral fellow appointed in July 2025 must have completed their degree between June 30, 2022, and June 30, 2025. 

    Applicants with a STEM or Biomedical research degree must have received their terminal degree in a STEM or Biomedical discipline within five years prior to their appointment at Rutgers. For example, to be eligible for an appointment starting on or after July 1, 2025, applicants must have completed their degree on or after June 30, 2020. Individuals with previous postdoctoral experience are eligible to apply. 

    Applicants with a healthcare training background, such as medical residents or fellows, must have received their terminal degree (e.g., M.D. or equivalent) within five to seven years prior to their appointment at Rutgers. For example, to be eligible for an appointment starting on or after July 1, 2025, applicants must have completed their degree on or after June 30, 2018. 

  • Yes; however, fellowships are only awarded to applicants who complete all requirements toward their doctoral or terminal degree (finished, defended, and deposited with the university) before the fellowship start date of July 1, 2025.

  • No. Applicants who already hold a tenure-track faculty position are ineligible to apply. 

  • Yes. All fellows are expected to be in residence at the Rutgers campus of their appointment and to participate in seminars and activities related to their research and to the Fellowship.

II. Application Process

  • Departments will review all relevant applications and may contact applicants during the review period to conduct interviews or request additional information. After review, departments submit supported nominations to their Dean. Dean’s endorsement is necessary to nomination into the program. Deans will submit a list of finalists to the campus Provost’s office, which will review all campus nominations and submit a finalist pool to the EVPAA’s office for final approval.

  • There is no single selection committee. All evaluation of candidates, nomination, and endorsement will be made by faculty sponsors and mentors, department Chairs, Deans, and campus Provosts.

  • Final decisions on a cohort of fellows will be made in approximately the second week of December.

III. Mentoring and Research

  • Fellows will have an opportunity to indicate a preferred mentor and campus placement. They will also have the option to request an alternative campus and mentor if desired. During applicant review, departments will assign mentors to nominees, and any fellow in the program will have at least one mentor.

  • We ask candidates to identify and indicate a preferred mentor before applying. They will have the option to suggest an alternate mentor if desired. Candidates are encouraged to contact possible mentors to express interest in working with them through the fellowship program. Doing so can be a good way of evaluating what placement will be most beneficial and will help departments as they seek to make good matches.

    For additional guidance we recommend reading our best practices on Choosing the Right Postdoc Position.

  • Depending on the department, area of research, and career path, candidates may work more or less independently from their mentors. Some candidates will work closely with mentors on projects that overlap with their mentor’s research. Others will pursue projects that are distinct and/or complementary to the mentor’s work.

    Prospective candidates are strongly encouraged to inquire about the mentoring approach of potential mentors, particularly in terms of how they and the host unit would facilitate or support the development of a robust research project in a way that allows the fellow to seamlessly transition and apply it to their future faculty positions within the host department. Appointments are for a fixed two-year term, during which the fellow will have the opportunity to demonstrate their potential as future faculty and colleague. 

IV. Application Questions

  • Your writing sample can be any form of written work that best represents your research and/or creative efforts at this stage of your career. 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.

  • The research plan should include any large-scale description, overview, and detail that will best represent a candidate’s research plans and promise. Plans should clearly state the research problem and the approach or methods to studying it. Plans should also include descriptions of the contribution that the work will make to the field, the method (s) used or advanced, and why the research is significant. Plans may be no longer than three pages, single-spaced, with one-inch margins, in 11 pt. font.

  • You can locate the required supporting document for the Supplementary Questions by navigating to the DETAILS tab at the top of the InfoReady portal screen.