Rising Scholars Postdoctoral Fellows Program

As part of an ongoing commitment to diversifying our programs, the professoriate and the research workforce, the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia solicits applications to the Rising Scholars Postdoctoral Fellows Program.  This program recruits postdoctoral scholars who have the potential to assume a tenure-track faculty position and who would benefit from a mentored professional development opportunity.    

There are two components to this program:  

  • The Rising Scholars Postdoctoral Fellows Program is intended to support under-represented scholars in any field; applicants in STEM fields are particularly encouraged to apply.  

  • The Rising Scholars Postdoctoral Fellows in the Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences are funded by a university-wide Race, Place and Equity grant from the Mellon Foundation and UVA matching funds to advance research, creative practice and teaching related to race, justice and equity (RJE). Applicants to the Mellon-funded component should specify a home department in the Arts and Humanities or Social Sciences and they must work on RJE-related questions, especially those in Black and Indigenous Studies of North America. 

For biographies of the 2021 Rising Scholar Postdoctoral Fellows, please click here.

Professional Development ​

The goal of this program is to provide a mentored professional development opportunity to train the next generation of scholars for future tenure-track positions at UVA or elsewhere. Postdoctoral Fellows selected under this program will be appointed for two years (subject to annual review) and will carry out research, teaching and professional development activities directed toward securing a tenure-track position. The Fellows funded through the Mellon grant will carry out transformative, cross-disciplinary research; contribute to the understanding of the legacy of racial inequity using place-based methodologies for research or artistic expression; and strengthen existing initiatives that address RJE issues. In addition to mentoring within the departments, the Fellows will join a university-wide cohort for additional career development programs and opportunities.    

Teaching is an important part of preparation for a faculty position, and the appropriate amount of teaching varies with discipline. During the two-year appointment, fellows in the Arts and Humanities and the Social Sciences will participate in course development training and mentoring during their first semester and teach one independent course in each of the following three semesters. In the Sciences, the training and mentoring would lead to an expectation of one independent course per year. Different types of teaching opportunities may be available, and the specific course content will be consistent with the Fellow’s interests and expertise. 

With the aim of building professional research networks and community, Fellows may choose to connect with one of the many organizations at UVA working on issues of race and equity. Some examples include:  The Equity Center, the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies, the Native and Indigenous Working Group, the Institute for Humanities and Global Cultures, the Democracy Initiative, the Memory Project, the Center for the Study of Race and Law, the Center for Race and Public Education in the South, Digital Humanities@UVA and Environmental Humanities at UVA.

Postdoctoral Fellow Support​

Postdoctoral Fellows funded under this program will be appointed for two years contingent on a successful annual review. These are 12-month appointments in a host department which will provide full research, teaching and administrative support.  In addition to salary and benefits, the program will provide a research fund allocation for each Fellow.


Application Deadline

Applications should be complete by February 1, 2022. After submitting materials using the link provided, all applicants will automatically receive an email with instructions for finalizing their applications. This step must be completed to ensure consideration. 


Applicants must have a terminal degree (PhD, or, where appropriate, an MFA). Candidates who received (or will receive) their terminal degree between August 24, 2019 and August 24, 2022 are eligible to apply. The RJE component specifically seeks applicants with a relevant scholarly or creative focus. Areas of research or creative focus might include, but are by no means limited to, labor stratification, race and environment, health, inequity, settler colonialism, sovereignty and survivance, civil rights history, race and public policy, social movements, decolonizing methodologies, race and literature, arts, etc. Scholars from underrepresented communities, including Native American, Indigenous, African American, Latinx, Asian American, queer, neurodiverse, and differently abled scholars, are especially invited to apply.  

Cover Letter

Two-page cover letter that addresses your interest in this opportunity, how you meet the stated qualifications, and how your interests and professional goals align with individual faculty, initiatives and strengths of the participating A&S department to which you are applying. The list of participating departments is given on this page. 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

A one-page statement outlining your experience and/or plans for work on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion and/or working with diverse populations.  


Applicants should upload their resume or CV.  

Research and Teaching Statement

A statement describing your research, teaching and career interests, no more than two pages.

Writing Sample

Please upload one article, preprint, essay or other material that you have authored, published or in manuscript form.  

Letters of Reference

Name, title and email address of three faculty referees who have a strong sense of your goals and capabilities and who have agreed to write on your behalf.


Applicants who seek additional information regarding this program are welcome to contact the department for their specific field of interest listed in the directory on this page, as well as Keisha John, associate dean for diversity and inclusion; and John Hawley, associate dean for academic affairs.