Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (PFP) 2019

Online application form
Application Deadline: January 15, 2019

Postdoctoral fellows are next generation educators, scholars, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and societal leaders. They are among the most important research personnel at universities. Postdoctoral fellows significantly contribute to the generation of scholarly research output of a university from the research they conduct during the fellowship period. As such, an institution’s postdoctoral fellow data is often used as an indicator of research activities. For example, the number of postdoctoral fellows is one of the major metrics used by Carnegie for classification of research universities. Postdoctoral fellows are not only important for research excellence, they are also an integral part of the driving force for high-quality college education. For instance, postdoctoral fellows are most often the trainers of graduate and undergraduate researchers; they work closely with tenure-track faculty to design research studies, set up research protocols, maintain research equipment, and provide day-to-day training of graduate and undergraduate students. The provision of such hands-on experiential learning by postdoctoral fellows has been demonstrated to be an effective path to increasing the success of undergraduate students.
In an effort to further strengthen our identification as a student-focused and research-most active (R1) university, Syracuse University has decided to invest $700,000 in dedicated postdoctoral support through its Invest Syracuse program. This document provides guidelines for the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (PFP).

The purpose of the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The number of current postdoctoral fellows at Syracuse University is critically low in comparison to current expectations for a R1 research university. Thus, the primary goal of the PFP is to provide financial incentive for programs/departments/schools/colleges to grow the number of postdoctoral fellows; the funding proposed for this new program must be strategically leveraged to achieve this primary goal. A second goal of the PFP is to reward productive faculty by providing a financial incentive to grow their research program. Through the PFP fund, programs/departments/schools/ colleges may allocate postdoctoral fellowship funds to faculty members who generate a significant amount of extramural grants or contracts. In addition, the growth of postdoctoral fellows on campus should increase mentoring powers for undergraduate and graduate research. The PFP fund may also serve as a measure to bridge gaps between major grants of highly productive programs, and serve as a component for spousal hires when relevant and appropriate, or as a component for faculty retention programs.

Who can apply

Applications for PFP funds are open to research programs, departments, schools or colleges (herein referred to as the applying unit), but not to individual faculty. Each applying unit must designate a leader to apply, such as the dean, associate dean for research, department chair, program director, or their designee. In each case, the applying unit must state their plans for using the funds to increase the total number of postdoctoral fellows in the unit, not to replace funds paid for postdoctoral fellows currently in the unit.

Awards and cost share requirements

To maximize the impact of the program, cost share funding from the receiving unit is highly encouraged. PFP funds will be divided into $35,000 awards, equivalent to ~50% of a postdoctoral fellow’s annual salary plus fringe benefits. Ideally, the Postdoctoral Fellowship program provides ½ of the funds for salaries, the applying unit is responsible for securing funds, either from the home college or department or through an individual PI’s grant funds, to provide cost share for the PFP funds, for the remaining ½ of the funds for salaries. Cost share funds from the receiving unit at a ratio of 1:1 is highly encouraged. However, lower amount of cost share will be considered. Among other evaluation criteria, the level of cost share will be one of the major evaluation criteria.
Each applying unit can apply for up to three awards ($35,000 each), with the promise that the unit will grow the number of postdoctoral fellows in the unit. In principle, PFP funds are approved for two years, but the awarding of funds for Year 2 will depend on an indication of satisfactory efforts of the unit to grow the number of postdoctoral fellows.

Application deadline

The first application deadline for 2018-2019 year is January 15, 2019. If more funds become available, a second deadline for subsequent applications will be announced.