Postdoctoral Fellowship, Academic Diversity and Inclusivity @ University of Kentucky

September 2, 2020

Since 1990, the Office of the Vice President for Research has supported two postdoctoral fellowship programs with the primary goal of diversifying the pipeline of candidates qualified to become academic leaders in their fields.  These programs support the stipend, plus benefits, for the fellows along with some funds for their research career development. Because a major goal of these fellowships is to prepare the fellows to be competitive for faculty positions, we will be enhancing the research development activities associated with these awards. Fellowship recipients will pursue an individualized research program under the mentorship of one or more UK professors and actively participate in departmental and professional research related activities. In addition, a series of research career development activities will be available which are designed to enhance the fellow’s competitiveness for a future faculty position.

The two fellowship programs are:

For both of these programs, applicants must:

  • Be eligible to compete for federally-funded postdoctoral grants. This includes the eligibility requirement that, by the time of award, the individual must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

  • Have completed the doctoral degree within the past two years, or longer with justification, or will complete the doctoral degree before the date of appointment. Preference will be given to applicants who do not have a prior or present postdoctoral appointment at UK. Applicants who received their terminal degree at UK should be affiliated with a research group other than the one in which they did their prior research to expand their research experience.

Selection criteria include:

  • Evidence of scholarship with competitive potential for a tenure-track faculty appointment at a research university

  • Quality of the fellowship proposal and the fit with the research interests of the candidate’s chosen mentor(s)

  • Strong support from mentor(s), department chair and references

  • Compelling argument that the appointment would contribute to increasing the diversity within the candidate’s discipline

The fellowship provides a $47,476 stipend plus benefits. In addition, the fellow receives $2,000 for support of research and professional development activities. Fellowships are available for up to two years. The initial appointment is for 12 months, but recipients may apply for a second year.

The application dossier should contain, in a single PDF document that will be uploaded into the UK employment system:

  • Cover letter that addresses how participation in this program would contribute to the compelling interest of diversity and inclusive excellence at the University of Kentucky and in the discipline.

  • Curriculum Vitae, including the names of references providing letters of recommendation.

  • A description of short-term and long-term career goals that have been discussed with your UK research mentor(s).

  • An original proposal describing the research planned, written independently by the applicant in a way that non-experts can evaluate (1,500 words or less; figures and references are not included in this total).

Additionally, the items below are required to be submitted. Please ask each of the following individuals to email their letters/materials to: with the applicant’s name in the subject line by the stated deadline.

  • A letter from the potential UK mentor(s) that endorses the candidate, acknowledges the candidate’s career plans and commits to ensuring the fellow participates in the career development activities associated with this program.

  • The mentor's curriculum vitae (5-page limit) that includes current and pending funding.

  • A letter from the potential UK department chair that commits departmental resources, such as space and computer support, and describes any additional departmental-level career development activities available to the fellow.

  • Three reference letters.

Submit your application for the Lyman T. Johnson Postdoctoral Fellowship here. Deadline Nov 1, 2020.

Submit your application for the University Research Postdoctoral Fellowship here. Deadline Nov 1, 2020.

If a candidate is interested in participating in the program but has not identified a potential mentor, they may contact us at  Address questions regarding the application process to this same email.