Faculty Mentors

President's Postdoctoral Fellowship mentors are tenured faculty who are expected to:

  1. Take an active role in helping the fellow to plan and achieve their 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 the other campuses,
  6. Attend program professional development activities such as an annual gathering of fellows and mentors 

Mentors are strongly encouraged to meet with their fellows at the beginning of the fellowship to discuss their working arrangements and consider appropriate long and short term goals for the fellowship. 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 their work.

Mentors may also play an important role in advising fellows about the academic job market and making connections to related departments at The University of Arizona or other campuses that may be interested in the fellow for a faculty appointment.

Please Note: It is expected that departments and faculty mentors will make appropriate arrangements for office space and other necessary resources.  

Frequently Asked Questions - Mentors

Finding a Mentor

The program encourages applicants to select a tenured faculty member as their mentor. However, in some cases assistant professors can be excellent prospective mentors.

The program encourages applicants to look for a mentor outside of their current department/campus unless they can articulate a strong reason for remaining in the same academic location in their research proposal and/or educational background statement. For the University of Arizona program, this FAQ only applies to current University of Arizona Ph.D. students, postdocs, etc. who are interested in applying to the University of Arizona postdoc program; applicants from other institutions (i.e., not the University of Arizona) should identify a mentor in the most appropriate UArizona academic department.

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.

Yes. Faculty may serve as a mentor for more than one applicant for the President's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.

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.

Yes. The University of Arizona President'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 level of interest in hiring the applicant into a tenure-track position and/or identify a potential fit with another University of Arizona department, if that is appropriate.


The applicant will receive e-mail confirmations from the online application system each time a letter is uploaded to the application. The applicant can check on the status of their application, including the arrival of the mentor and reference letters, by using the username and password they created and returning to the application information page.

The deadline for submitting the online application is November 1st each year. The deadline for the faculty mentor and reference letters is December 1st each year.

Review & Selection 

The program requires that fellows are in residence and establish a presence at the mentor's campus, school or department.

Funding Support

No. The President's Office provides the salary, benefits, research stipend, professional development stipend, startup costs, and moving stipend. It is expected that departments and faculty mentors will make appropriate arrangements for space and other necessary resources.

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 development funds. Host departments are expected to provide the fellow with appropriate office space and routine administrative support. In addition, President's Postdoctoral Fellows should be provided with opportunities for career development, including consideration for a faculty position at the University of Arizona.