Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Applicants sought for President's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Applications are being accepted through Nov. 1 for the second year of the U-M President's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.


More information

Applications and information for the President's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program at U-M or at the University of California.

The first postdoctoral scholars selected for the program arrived on campus this fall.
They are Karen Sharon, who will work with Eric Bell, associate professor of astronomy, and Jessica Welburn, who will work with Karyn Lacy, associate professor of sociology and Afroamerican and African studies.

Sharon, who received her doctorate from Tel Aviv University and completed a first postdoctoral fellowship at the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago, uses the phenomenon of strong gravitational lensing to study massive structures in the universe, including distant galaxies.

Welburn, who earned her doctorate from Harvard University, has completed a postdoctoral fellowship at U-M's National Center for Institutional Diversity. She studies mobility — how it is conceptualized and how it operates — among African Americans, and is working with a team of researchers on a comparison of anti-racist strategies of stigmatized groups in the United States, Brazil, and Israel.

Two more young scholars were awarded fellowships and will begin their work at U-M in the coming months. Carlos Silvera Batista will work with Nicholas Kotov, Joseph B. and Florence V. Cejka Professor of Engineering, and professor of chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, materials science engineering, and macromolecular science and engineering. Tawanna Dillahunt will work with Paul Resnick, professor of information.

The President's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program was created in collaboration with the University of California, which has sponsored a very successful postdoctoral program for some years, to attract applicants whose research, teaching and service will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education. It combines funding (salary, benefits, and research support) with faculty mentoring, professional development and networking opportunities.

Applicants may apply to the California or U-M programs or both. Selections are made by independent committees, one on each campus. The first year of the program at U-M attracted more than 100 applications from an exceptionally strong group of candidates.

Each candidate is expected to identify a faculty member who has been contacted in advance of the application and is willing to serve as a mentor. Faculty members are encouraged to identify emerging scholars who would be appropriate for the program.

The president and the provost have committed funds for postdoctoral support, and also for tenure-track positions that may grow out of successful postdoctoral fellows who are recruited to become permanent members of the U-M faculty. As Provost Phil Hanlon remarked in announcing the program last year, "We view these postdoctoral fellowship as providing an exceptional opportunity to recruit potential new faculty to the university."