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Established in 2021, the MIT Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Engineering Excellence seeks to discover and develop the next generation of leaders to help guide the school toward a more diverse and inclusive culture.
This program is designed to help postdoctoral fellows develop in multiple dimensions. In addition to an emphasis on research, it will focus on providing resources and opportunities, and building a professional network for the fellows. The program will arrange a set of professional development opportunities as presentations and discussions for the cohort along three career paths:
- Academic – coordinated with the school’s departments and an overall faculty lead. This will include strategic workshops or sessions including choosing research projects, grant writing and networking, building your mentoring community, academic job searches, crafting a job application package (with rounds of feedback), navigating bias in the job search, and strategies for addressing career bias, among others.
- Engineering Leadership – supported by The Daniel J. Riccio Graduate Engineering Leadership Program, postdocs will engage in learning experiences along 4 pillars: Organizational, Teamwork, Interpersonal and Personal. These sessions will include content around creating a shared vision; forming, launching and developing teams; enabling inclusion; and ethical decision-making among other topics.
- Entrepreneurship – supported by The Martin Center Trust for MIT Entrepreneurship, postdocs will participate in a series of interactive lessons and discussions that illustrate the cross-sector benefits of an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset. Specific subjects will include idea protection and translation, individual purpose and mission scoping, team building, understanding technology opportunities in the market place, and strategies for fundraising. These skills are transferable to all career pursuits, and help individuals connect to the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cambridge, Boston, and beyond. Interested and eager postdocs will be able to further engage in the myriad start-up accelerator programs and resources embedded across MIT (e.g., DeltaV, Blueprint, Desphande Center, Sandbox, The Engine, Venture Mentoring Services, and many more).
Pursuing this postdoctoral position is an opportunity to deepen training, develop research independence, and pivot research direction. It also provides trainees time to explore career options and serves as a stepping stone for the next phase of their career. In the application process, we encourage applicants to come prepared with ideas for projects they wish to accomplish during their tenure in the program. Additionally, they identify leading researchers who can help them develop and pursue their research interests.
Finding a postdoctoral research advisor
The School of Engineering has over 350 faculty members who can serve as a postdoctoral research advisor. A postdoc’s advisor is a key member of their research and mentoring team. Take a moment to explore the departmental faculty pages below. In the fellowship application, we ask applicants to name faculty members of interest within the School of Engineering who align with their research direction. For those interested in working with MIT faculty outside the School of Engineering, applicants should consider School of Engineering faculty who can serve as a co-advisor. The program will also help match fellows with appropriate advisors.
- Aeronautics and Astronautics Faculty
- Biological Engineering Faculty
- Chemical Engineering Faculty
- Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty
- Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Faculty
- Institute of Medical Engineering and Science Faculty
- Materials Science and Engineering Faculty
- Mechanical Engineering Faculty
- Nuclear Science Engineering Faculty
The program expects to select 12-15 School of Engineering Distinguished Doctoral Fellows per cohort. These fellows receive funding for two years, including a $75,000 stipend and $10,000 per year discretionary expense allowance. This allowance can be used to purchase health insurance and cover relocation costs among other items.
Who is eligible to apply:
Individuals within one year of completing their PhD who are:
a. Applicants who have the potential to contribute to higher education through understanding the barriers facing women, minorities, students with disabilities, and other members of groups underrepresented in higher education careers, as evidenced by life experiences and educational background. For example,
- attendance at a minority serving institution or other diverse academic institution;
- ability to articulate the barriers facing women and minorities in science and engineering fields;
- participation in higher education pipeline programs known to prepare students for the relevant MIT program.
b. Applicants who have demonstrated significant academic achievement by overcoming barriers such as economic, social, or educational disadvantage, including factors such as generational wealth, Pell Grant-eligibility, qualification for free/reduced lunch, first-generation to college, or parent(s) level of education;
All applicants must have completed their PhD by the start of the program
The Postdoctoral Program for Engineering Excellence encourages applicants from backgrounds underrepresented in science and engineering, including applicants who identify as African American/Black; Hispanic/Latinx; Native American or Alaska Native; and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders
All applicants who meet the eligibility requirements will be considered equitably, regardless of race or ethnicity.
Other postdoctoral fellowship opportunities
If your research interests lie in computer science and artificial intelligence, please consider also applying to MEnTorEd Opportunities in Research (METEOR) in MIT CSAIL.