Vanderbilt and Fisk partner again to offer new postdoctoral fellowships

The Graduate School and Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has partnered with Fisk University to create a groundbreaking new postdoctoral fellowship program.  

“Under the leadership of Vice Provost Christie-Mizell, this collaboration with Fisk creates an innovative opportunity for Vanderbilt doctoral students to strengthen their preparation for the professoriate,” said C. Cybele Raver, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “One aim of our Discovery Vanderbilt initiative is to provide everyone in our university community with opportunities for deeper engagement and more mentoring, across our campus and beyond. We are proud to partner with another leading Nashville university for the benefit of both of our campus communities.” 

These fellowships have been designed to offer opportunities for recent Vanderbilt Ph.D. graduates to build their teaching and scholarship portfolios, receive mentoring from faculty at both institutions and allow time for publishing from their dissertation or preparing other research papers. Fellows will be considered by Fisk for faculty positions, with the goal of leading to tenure-track positions. 

“The Vanderbilt-Fisk Joint Postdoctoral Fellowship Program will build upon a strong history of partnerships between Vanderbilt and Fisk,” said C. André Christie-Mizell, vice provost for graduate education, dean of the graduate school and director of the office of postdoctoral affairs.  

Vanderbilt and Fisk already partner on the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-Ph.D. Bridge Program, which was conceived to improve demographic representation in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Founded more than 18 years ago, the bridge program is a nationally recognized leader in developing top talent among underrepresented groups in STEM. In their first two years, graduate students complete master’s coursework at Fisk, with the goal of completing their PhD at Vanderbilt. 

“These fellowships will expand our partnership into the postdoctoral space, creating another pathway to careers in academia,” said Christie-Mizell.  

Two, 24-month fellowships will be available for the inaugural cohort which will launch this fall. Over the next few years, the cohorts will grow to five and then 10 members, and the plan is to eventually welcome applicants from outside Vanderbilt. The program’s aim is to serve as a national model for predominantly white institutions and historically Black colleges and universities to collaborate to prepare new generations for the professoriate. 

Applications will be available in InfoReady mid-March with a deadline of mid-April. Selected fellows will be notified on June 15.