Finding a Mentor
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). 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 (email@example.com).
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.
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.
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.
A: Yes, faculty may serve as a mentor for more than one applicant for the Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.
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.
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.
A: Candidates must contact and work with faculty mentors before submitting online applications. If you receive an electronic request for a recommendation letter for a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program applicant who has not contacted you prior to submitting an application, please inform us via firstname.lastname@example.org; no further action is required on your part. Such candidates are ineligible for the program.
After a candidate submits their application, an automatic email will be generated by the application system that will include a unique url and instructions for submitting your recommendation letter. If you do not receive such an email, please check your spam folder. In the event that you cannot locate the url, please email email@example.com.
If you receive an electronic request for a recommendation letter for a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program applicant who has not contacted you prior to submitting an application, please inform us via firstname.lastname@example.org; no further action is required on your part. Such candidates are ineligible for the program.
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.
A: The deadline for submitting the online application is October 15, 2018. Please provide your recommendation letter to your department chair by November 1, 2018 for departmental review; your department chair will be provided a list of applicants and mentors prior to this date. The deadline for uploading faculty mentor, department chair and reference letters is December 13.
Review and Selection
A: The program requires that fellows be in residence at CU Boulder.
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 postdoctoral fellows a salary of $50-60,000 per year, 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.
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.
Fellows should be hired under the Postdoctoral Associate (1312) job code.