Please also see the frequently asked questions for CU Boulder Applicants and CU Boulder Department Chairs.

Finding A Mentor

Q: What are the expectations of the faculty mentors during the fellowship?

A: Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship mentors are usually tenured faculty who are expected to: (1) take an active role in helping the fellow plan and achieve his or her research goals; (2) assist the fellow in establishing a visible presence in the department; (3) facilitate opportunities for the fellow to participate in national and international research meetings; (4) encourage the fellow to focus full-time on research and avoid other commitments, such as teaching or outside employment; (5) assist the fellow in seeking opportunities to present papers or to interview for faculty positions at other doctoral-research extensive institutions; and (6) attend Office of Postdoctoral Affairs career development events and individual consultations.

The program encourages mentors to meet with their fellow at the beginning of the fellowship to discuss their working arrangements and consider appropriate long and short-term goals for the term of the fellowship, including encouraging the fellow to complete and providing feedback on an Individual Development Plan (IDP) (more information on this resource can be obtained from the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Director, Leah Colvin, at The mentor should not expect to meet all of the fellow’s career development needs personally, but should provide an overall framework to ensure that the fellow has access to a broad academic network to support his or her work.

Mentors may also play an important role in advising fellows about the academic job market and making connections to related departments at other doctoral-research extensive institutions that may be interested in the fellow for a faculty appointment. At CU Boulder, the expectation is that departments will consider applicants for faculty appointments, and should contact the Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Affairs for information about process (

Q: Are assistant professors allowed to be faculty mentors?

A: The program encourages applicants to select a tenured faculty member as their mentor. However, in some cases assistant professors can be excellent prospective mentors.

Q: May applicants select a faculty mentor from their current department or campus?

A: The program encourages applicants to look for a mentor outside their current department and home campus unless they can articulate a strong reason for remaining in the same academic location. For the CU Boulder program, this FAQ only applies to current CU Boulder PhD students, postdocs, etc. who are interested in applying to the CU Boulder Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program; applicants from other institutions (i.e., not CU Boulder) should identify a mentor in the most appropriate CU Boulder academic department.

Q: Can applicants select a retired faculty member to be their faculty mentor?

A: The program encourages applicants to select an active faculty member as their mentor. However, in some cases retired faculty who are still fully involved in their department and their research program are excellent prospective mentors.

Q: Can a faculty member serve as a mentor for more than one applicant?

A: Yes, faculty may serve as a mentor for more than one applicant for the Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.

Q: What should be covered in the faculty mentor’s letter of support?

A: The e-mail sent by the application system to faculty mentors will ask them to address the following in a letter of support:

  • Applicant’s planned research;
  • Expected coursework, if any;
  • Extent to which the applicant will participate in departmental and campus academic activity (e.g., seminar programs);
  • Extent of applicant’s anticipated participation at national/international research meetings;
  • Facilities and resources available to the fellow; and
  • Mentor’s involvement in mentoring for other programs designed to increase access and opportunity in higher education.
Q: Does the applicant need a letter of support from the department chair?

A: Yes. The CU Boulder Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program office, in concert with the proposed faculty mentor, will request a letter of support from the department chair. This separate letter from the department chair should describe the department's commitment to hire the applicant into a tenure-track position and/or identify a potential fit with another University of Colorado Boulder department, if appropriate.


Q: How will the applicant know when the faculty mentor and reference letter(s) have been uploaded to the online application?

A: The applicant will receive email confirmations from the online application system each time a letter is uploaded to the application. The applicant can check on the status of the application, including the arrival of the mentor and reference letters using the username and password they created and returning to the application information page.

Q: What is the application deadline?

A: The deadline for submitting the online application is December 15th each year. The deadline for faculty mentor, department chair and reference letters is January 1st each year.

Review and Selection

Q: If the applicant is unable to relocate because of family reasons, can s/he still apply?

A: The program requires that fellows be in residence at CU Boulder. 

Funding Support

Q: Does the support from the Chancellor's Office include space?

A: Yes, the Chancellor expects that the departments and faculty mentors will make appropriate arrangements for space and other necessary resources. The Chancellor’s Office provides postdoctoral fellows a salary of $50-60,000 per year, depending on the field and level of experience, and additional funds for research and professional development. The Chancellor’s Office support also includes enrollment in medical, dental and basic life insurance coverage while employed as a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow.

Q: What are the expectations of CU Boulder host departments?

A: Host departments are encouraged to welcome the fellow into the department and make every effort to ensure that the fellow is included in communications about departmental colloquia, seminars and social events. Host departments are expected to provide the fellow with information about salary and benefits and administer the fellow’s research and professional travel funds. Host departments are expected to provide the fellow with access to appropriate office space and routine administrative support such as telephone lines, departmental mail services, libraries and technical support.