Frequently Asked Questions



Q: I graduated with my PhD earlier than September 1, 2015. Is this flexible?

A: No, sorry. The date is not flexible.


Q:  What if I won’t finish my degree until after the application deadline?

A:  Your dissertation advisor should mention in his/her reference letter that you are on-target to graduate with the PhD by June 1, 2017.


Q:  What should I indicate for my defense date if my school does not do oral dissertation defenses?

A:   Your dissertation advisor should mention in his/her reference letter that your school does not require oral defenses.  If required on the application page, use February 13, 2017 (the application deadline date) as your defense date.


Q: Are University of Pittsburgh PhD graduates eligible?

A: No, University of Pittsburgh PhD graduates are not eligible for these positions.


Q: Can I apply for to both the Humanities Center and one of the social sciences departments?

A: No, you can only apply to one position; please select the position that is the best fit with your research interests and qualifications.


Q: Do you have a preferred format for the attachments?

A: Yes. All documents must be submitted as PDFs.


Q: The application form gives two options: to submit a proposal for a new project, or for a dissertation revision. Is one type of project preferred over the other?

A: No, there is no preference.


Q: Are you interested predominately in letters from people familiar with academic work or are you also interested in letters from people that can speak to teaching ability?

A: We are interested in both research and teaching so ideally you would have letter writers who can address both issues. Of course one letter writer might be more familiar with your teaching and another with your research.


Q: Do all application materials have the same deadline date?

A: All of the materials you submit are due on February 13, 2017.  Your letters of recommendation must be uploaded by February 20, 2017.


Q: Do you accept applications from non-U.S. citizens?

A: Yes, we welcome applications from outside of the United States.


Q. Do I need to hold a current U.S. Visa at the time of application?

A: No, you would apply for one after you are awarded the fellowship.


Q: I am a non-native English speaker with a doctoral degree from a non-U.S. University. Is there a required English language test or score for the fellowship?

A: There is no official English test required but Fellows will be required to have a high degree of fluency in English in order to teach. Certification of English language proficiency will be required, usually via a telephone interview.


Q: Can my materials be submitted in a language other than English?

A: All documents must be submitted in English, except the writing sample.


Q: Can the fellowship be extended for a second year.

A: Yes, the initial position is offered for one year with a possibility of renewal for up to one more year.


Q: What if I receive an offer for a tenure track position after only one term of the postdoctoral fellowship?

A: Tenure track offers are clearly very important to pursue. In some cases, a tenure track job offer will allow you to delay the start date for one or two terms to complete a postdoctoral position. If the tenure track position would require that you begin in fall we would not expect you to turn down the offer on our behalf.


Q: I have entered a valid date for my dissertation defense, but I am getting an error message.

A: Use the latest version of Mozilla Firefox and make sure you are selecting the date from the pop-up calendar rather than entering it manually.


Q: I added my application documents, but the website will not accept them.

A: One of your documents may exceed the size limits specified by the site.  Right-click on the document and select “Properties” to determine whether the file exceeds the requirements.  Using Adobe, select “File” > “Save as” > “Reduced Size PDF”; try uploading the reduced-size document.