Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholars Program for Faculty Diversity

Mission: The USC Provost’s Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity is designed to support early career postdoctoral scholars interested in faculty and research careers while contributing to diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education through their teaching, research and service. This program expands our efforts to enhance the diversity of the postdoctoral community at the university and build a pool of exceptional candidates for the next generation of faculty across higher education. We support these Postdoctoral Scholars by providing research fellowships, faculty mentoring, and academic networking opportunities through their respective schools with the aim of cultivating their professional development and research independence.

Program Objectives: The program’s primary objective is to support scholars who combine the utmost in academic excellence, faculty readiness and research independence with a commitment to strengthen diversity and promote equity through their experience and scholarship. A successful program will be based on a participant’s post-program placement as faculty at any institution of higher education.

Eligibility: The Ph.D. or terminal degree must have been conferred within three years of the anticipated start date.  Prospective candidates must complete their Ph.D. before the start date of their postdoctoral appointment or request a deferral of their postdoctoral start date.  Candidates must demonstrate a strong dedication to a full-time academic research career.  Faculty mentors should be tenured or tenure-track.  Current USC postdocs, graduate students, or other faculty and/or staff currently appointed at USC are not eligible.  Applicants must prove that they are legally authorized to work in the United States.

Program Deadlines and Key Date:

  • Deadline for Application: Friday, January 5, 2024
  • Final Decisions: Spring Semester

Terms of Award: For finalists who are selected to participate in this program, the Provost will provide half of the minimum compensation (including half of fringe benefit costs) for up to two years. The candidate will receive a 2-year appointment (renewable after 1-year) with the title of USC Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar.  In addition, they will receive a $5,000 per year research account.  Candidates that are not selected to participate are still eligible to apply for any open postdoctoral positions at USC.

Application Instructions

Before you begin

It is highly recommended that you reach out to potential faculty mentors at USC before applying to the program.  You can find a list of all USC’s schools and academic units (and respective faculty within that school/unit) here.  All applications must be submitted online through the Provost’s online application site.  You will be asked to provide the following materials:

  • Basic information
  • Ph.D. details (including date of conferral or planned date of conferral and abstract of your dissertation)
  • Cover Letter
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Research Statement, limited to 2 pages.
  • Education and Background Statement – limited to one page (describing your personal background and contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion through your academic career)
  • Basic Information about your recommenders (they should be asked to submit their recommendations separately – see below)

When you are ready to begin:

Click on the link below to either register as a new user or to log in as a returning user.  You may save and return to the application any time before the deadline.  Your application is not complete until all required documents have been received, including your letters of recommendation.

Application Deadline: January 5, 11:59pm PST.

Checking the status of your application:

After completing the online portion of the application, you can check the status of the receipt of your supporting documents by using the same username/password to log into the Provost’s online application site and clicking your application on your home page dashboard.  You may also send reminder emails through the system to your recommenders.

Letters of Recommendations:

You recommenders must submit their letters through the application website.  The applicant will set this up as part of the application process and automated requests will be sent.  Letter writers will be prompted to set up a guest account login. The applicant is responsible for providing accurate contact information for the site to use and for managing the process of soliciting letters through the system.  The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs cannot accept letters sent by email. All letters that are uploaded are kept confidential and will not be accessible to applicants.  Please note that our requests will come from the Provost SMA USC email domain.

Roles and Responsibilities

Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholars:

  • Participate in the intellectual life of the department, school and University
  • Focus full-time on research/scholarship and career development without teaching and additional employment
  • Meet regularly with faculty mentors
  • Complete an Individual Development Plan (IDP) each year
  • Identify and pursue training and professional development activities
  • Provide spending reports to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs for research accounts
  • Provide programmatic feedback upon request (e.g. surveys, etc.)

Faculty Mentors

  • Identify common research, scholarly or creative work interests with the applicant and agree to serve as a mentor
  • Assist the fellow to establish a visible, active presence in the unit
  • Encourage the fellow to attend orientations, training and professional development activities
  • Are available and meet regularly with the fellow one-on-one
  • Create an Individual Development Plan (IDP) with the fellow
  • Encourage the fellow to present at conferences and/or symposia
  • Help the fellow network with other mentors, particularly those of various backgrounds and disciplines to help foster a well-rounded experience
  • Provide support and guidance in the fellow’s work while allowing a degree of autonomy to cultivate research independence
  • Advise the fellow about the academic job market and help facilitate connections


  • Commits to providing a successful training environment for the Postdoc
  • Welcomes the fellow into the department/school and ensure the fellow is included in department/school activities
  • Provides onboarding support, office space, technology, supplies and other necessary resources

Questions about the program should be directed to the USC Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.