Michigan Society of Fellows Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Michigan Society of Fellows, under the auspices of the Rackham Graduate School, was established in 1970 with endowment grants from the Ford Foundation and the Horace H. and Mary Rackham Funds. Each year the Society selects outstanding applicants for appointment to three-year fellowships in the social, physical, and life sciences, and in the professional schools. Eight fellowships are available, with an annual stipend of $60,000.  Four of these fellowships will be awarded in the humanities with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. We seek a diverse and international pool of applicants and especially welcome candidates from underrepresented backgrounds.

The newly appointed Postdoctoral Fellows join a unique interdisciplinary community composed of their peers as well as the Senior Fellows of the Society, who include many of the University’s leading scholars. Alumni Fellows of the Society have gone on to become distinguished scholars at institutions around the world. The Chair of the Society is Donald S. Lopez, Jr., Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan.

The fellowship

Each Fellow has a three-year appointment as Assistant Professor in an affiliated department of the University and a three-year appointment as a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Society of Fellows. This appointment is not tenure-track. The current annual stipend is $60,000. Fellows are eligible for participation in the University health, dental, and life insurance programs. Each fellow is expected to teach the equivalent of one academic year, i.e., a total of two terms during the period of the fellowship. Any subsequent appointment of a Fellow to a position at the University of Michigan would be subject to the rules governing new appointments.

Fellows are expected to be in residence in Ann Arbor for the academic years of appointment (September to May) and to participate in the activities of the Society of Fellows. Off-campus research leave during academic terms will be permitted only in rare cases, only for brief periods of time, and only upon written application to the Chair of the Society well in advance of the proposed leave. Any leave granted will count as part of the fellowship tenure.


Fellows are asked to cite their affiliation with the Society of Fellows in any publications that result from work done during their tenure and to provide the Society with copies of such published work.

Report on Scholarship

At the end of each fellowship year, Fellows are asked to submit a written report on their activities and accomplishments during the year.


The Society of Fellows is an interdisciplinary intellectual community in which the postdoctoral Fellows are joined by Senior Fellows to share their work in progress. Fellows are expected to participate in monthly colloquia, attend dinners of the Society, and to engage in conversation with other members about their intellectual interests. They participate in the annual evaluation of new applicants for the Fellowship, serve as evaluators for the Distinguished Dissertations Awards sponsored by the Rackham Graduate School, and act as mentors for graduate students completing their dissertations.

Research Assistance

The departments of appointment have primary responsibility for providing office and laboratory or studio space for Fellows, as well as access to other research needs or equipment. The Society will help to assure the cooperation of departments in providing the requisite setting for the scholarly and creative work of each Fellow. Each Fellow may draw on the Society’s funds for research or travel on approval from the Chair and with proper receipts, up to a total of $1500 per year. Fellows are encouraged to seek support from external agencies if it appears that their scholarly and creative work will be enhanced by such grants.


The Society invites applications from qualified candidates who are at the beginning of their academic careers, having received the Ph.D. or comparable professional or artistic degree between June 1, 2015 and September 1, 2018. Applications from degree candidates and recipients of the Ph.D. from the University of Michigan will not be considered. Non-US citizens may apply.

Application date
26 Sep 2017
3 years
America United States Great Lakes
Social sciences Business and Administrative Sciences Communication Sciences Demography Economics Environmental Sciences Gender Studies Geography International Relations Law Pedagogic & Education Research Political science Psychology & Cognitive Sciences Social Anthropology Sociology Other Agronomy Biology Chemistry Computer science Engineering Mathematics Medicine Physics
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 3 years
Grants available
Award granted
US$ 60.000/year