Q: Do I have to be an underrepresented minority to apply for the Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship? 

A: No. The Program is open to all persons who meet the eligibility criteria without regard to race, gender, or ethnicity.

Q: I am not in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) field or in economics or political science; am I still eligible to apply to this program?

A: Yes. In this program, CU Boulder offers postdoctoral research fellowships in all academic disciplines.

Q: Can I still be considered if I do not have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency?

A: No. All applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents at the time of application.

Q: Can I apply if I have a JD, MD, MFA or EdD instead of a PhD?

A: Yes, applicants with terminal degrees in their fields may apply as long as they are preparing for a career in university teaching and research.

Q: I received my PhD over five years ago. Am I eligible to apply for this fellowship?

A: Yes. You are still eligible to apply if you are preparing for a career in university teaching and research. However, applicants who have had significant postdoctoral experience (as determined by disciplinary norms) may be given less consideration without addressing the circumstances in the application.

Q: I will finish my doctorate after July 1 next year. Am I eligible to apply this fall?

A: No. You must complete your doctorate before taking up the position. Potential applicants who expect to complete their doctorate after July 1 should apply the following year.

Finding A Mentor

Q: How do I find a faculty mentor?

A: Applicants are encouraged to identify potential faculty mentors through professional contacts in their field. You may also look for an appropriate mentor by reviewing the literature and searching university websites for faculty who are working in your area of interest. You must contact and work with faculty mentors before submitting an online application.

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. Such cases should be addressed in the department chair’s recommendation letter.

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

A: Please see the Faculty Mentors' FAQ page.

Q: May I select a faculty mentor from my current department or campus?

A: The program encourages applicants to look for a mentor outside their current department and their home campus unless they can articulate a strong reason for remaining in the same academic location.

For the University of Colorado Boulder program, this FAQ only applies to current University of Colorado Boulder PhD students, postdocs, etc. who are interested in applying to the University of Colorado Boulder postdoc program; applicants from other institutions (i.e., not the University of Colorado Boulder) should identify a mentor in the most appropriate CU Boulder academic department.

Q: Can I select a retired faculty member to be my 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. Such cases should be addressed in the department chair’s recommendation letter.

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 my 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: Do I need a letter of support from the department chair?

A: Yes. The online application system, in concert with your 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 level of interest in hiring the applicant into a tenure-track position and/or identify a potential fit with another University of Colorado Boulder department, if that is appropriate.


Q: May I apply to both the University of Colorado Boulder Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship and the University of California or University of Michigan President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship programs?

A: Yes. Applicants may apply to both the University of Colorado Boulder Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program and other consortium programs with the same application provided they submit separate mentor letters and research proposals.

Q: If I am only applying to the University of Colorado Boulder Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, do I need to provide information about a University of California mentor?

A: No. TThe online application may be used to apply to one or more programs. Those applicants who are applying only to the University of Colorado Boulder Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship program must identify a faculty mentor at the University of Colorado Boulder but do not need to identify a faculty mentor at any other institution.

Q: Are there sample applications available for review?

A: No. There are many variations on successful applications. Applicants are encouraged to consult with their academic advisors and faculty mentors about how to submit a competitive application.

Q: Should I send my graduate transcripts along with my online application?

A: No. The program does not require transcripts to be sent with the application. However, the program will request official graduate transcripts if you are selected as a finalist and will not offer the fellowship until official graduate transcripts are received.

Q: Do I need to submit faculty mentor, department chair, and reference letter(s) on behalf of letter writers?

A: No. While we encourage you to solicit recommendation letters prior to submitting your application, you DO NOT need to upload recommendation letters prior to submitting your application materials. Recommendation letters will be automatically solicited by the online application system after you submit your application. Letter writers will be provided instructions and unique urls to submit their letters in PDF format.

Q: How will I know when my faculty mentor, department chair and reference letter(s) have been uploaded to my online application?

A: You will receive email confirmations from the online application system each time a letter is uploaded to your application. You can check the status of your application, including the arrival of your mentor and reference letters, using the username and password you created and returning to the application information page. You are encouraged to monitor whether your letters have been uploaded and keep in touch with your letter writers to ensure that letters are submitted prior to the letter deadline.

Q: What is the application deadline?

A: The deadline for submitting the online application is October 15, 2018. The deadline for uploading faculty mentor, department chair and reference letters is December 13.

Q: When will final decisions be announced?

A: Finalists will be notified and awards announced close to March 1st each year. Please consider restraint when contacting the program office about the selection results. Successful candidates are notified first. Alternates are notified if awardees do not accept or if current fellows do not renew their terms. Additional fellowships are awarded to candidates on the alternate list through June, if resources become available. The program makes every effort to notify all candidates as soon as possible.

Review and Selection

Q: Who will review my application?

A: Applications will be reviewed by at least two faculty in your own and related fields at the departmental level during the first round of review. If your file moves forward in the review process, it will be read and discussed by faculty from a range of fields in related disciplines at the school/college level. Final selections will be made among candidates recommended by schools/colleges by a committee comprising representatives from the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement; Graduate School; Research and Innovation Office, Faculty Affairs; and Postdoctoral Affairs.

Q: What criteria are considered by the selection committees when reviewing applications?

A: Review committees evaluate applicants in all fields according to their potential for success in an academic career with special consideration given to potential for contributions to the diversity and equal opportunity as described in our evaluation, selection and eligibility criteria. You are encouraged to read the Fellowship Guidelines & Instructions before preparing your application.

Q: Should the research proposal focus on expanding on the doctoral work (i.e. turning the dissertation into a book) or should it reflect a new project or direction in research?

A: In general, selection committees prefer to see a proposal that includes a significant piece of new work. However, in some fields or for some individuals, a proposal to complete or expand upon previous work might be favorably reviewed. In such cases, the research proposal should be combined with a plan for making a significant start on a new project.

Q: I’m unable to relocate because of family reasons. Can I apply?

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

Q: What is the success rate for this award?

A: The Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is highly competitive, with an approximately 3-5% award rate.

Funding Support

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

A: No. The Chancellor expects that the departments and faculty mentors will make appropriate arrangements for space and other necessary resources, including research supplies and costs. The Chancellor’s Office provides a salary of $50-60,000, depending on the field and level of experience, and additional funds for professional development (please see Professional Development Fund Guidelines). The Chancellor’s Office support also provides fringe to cover the costs of benefits and enrollment in medical, dental and basic life insurance coverage while employed as a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow.