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Diversity in Postdoctoral Scholar Training

Diversity in postdoctoral training covers a wide domain that spans the recruitment of recent PhD graduates who come from under-represented backgrounds to consider Stanford for postdoctoral training, to the engagement of our postdocs in University-wide efforts to work in areas of research that affect, and with, under-served communities, to the participation in educational and teaching opportunities that inspire, encourage and support interest in science and engineering among American youth through science outreach.

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs is part of Stanford’s mission to bring to Stanford students and trainees from diverse backgrounds. Diversity includes, but is not limited to, culture, socioeconomic background, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical capabilities, and life experience.  Recognizing the educational benefits of a diverse scientific workforce and a diverse academe, OPA actively recruits prospective postdocs from all backgrounds to consider training at Stanford, provides networks of mentoring and support, and creates opportunities for successful contributions within the academia and with our surrounding communities.

Ways to Get Connected

Among the many fellowships and funding opportunities available to postdocs at Stanford, there are several fellowship opportunities that were intentionally built to support creating and maintaining a diverse community within the postdoc population. You can view a complete list of these fellowship opportunities on this OPA website.

Also, several offices and programs at Stanford support diversity on campus through various means.   At the School of Medicine, the Center of Excellence in Diversity in Medical Education offers programs and courses that aim to prepare the next generation of medical leaders to address the health issues of a diverse society.  The Office of Community Health serves as a conduit for the School of Medicine to engage in informed, committed, and sustained engagement with the community on local health issues.  Lastly, the  Office of Diversity and Leadership is charged by the Dean of the School of Medicine to promote the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, students, trainees and staff -- representative of the communities in which we work and to develop faculty to their full potential as academic and community leaders.

The Stanford University Office of Science Outreach offers numerous opportunities for Stanford postdocs to engage our nation’s youth in math and science through programs in schools, classes at Stanford, field trips, and internship opportunities at Stanford. 

Science and Engineering Graduate Women’s Association is the umbrella organization for all graduate women in science and engineering at Stanford University, providing avenues and opportunities for women to connect, meet and provide networks of support in disciplines where women are largely under-represented. 

Funding Opportunities for Diverse Scholars

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs offers fellowships and travel grants to support women in academic medicine and in the sciences.  Funding opportunities are also available through the Center of Excellence in Diversity in Medical Education for fellows.

Other funding and resources for postdocs who are from backgrounds underrepresented in academia can be found on: the Minority Postdoc & Diverse Scholar resources site, the National Postdoc Association’s diversity page, and many other nationally-known digital spaces too. Funding opportunities for all Stanford postdocs in the biosciences are cataloged in the Research Management Group’s Funding Opportunities list. For assistance with writing an application or more funding opportunities, go to the Stanford OPA Fellowships website.

Postdocs who wish to participate, through poster or panel presentations, at the annual meetings of the  Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) or the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) may receive some travel support from the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs for their participation in the postdoc recruitment booth at those conferences. Volunteer opportunities to serve as judges of attendees’ research posters or teachers engaged in community outreach activities also exist.

In addition, there are 32 NIH-funded Institutional Training Grants at Stanford and they offer opportunity for advanced training in the following areas:

  • Cancer Imaging and Detection, Vision Research, Tumor Biology, Adult and Pediatric Rheumatology, Epithelial Biology, Molecular Biology, Developmental and Neonatal Biology, Cancer Etiology, Prevention Detection and Diagnosis, Biomedical Informatics, Myocardial Biology, Nephrology, Vascular Disease, Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Investigative Oncology, Health Services Research, Anesthesia, Epilepsy, Gastroenterology, Child Psychiatry and Development, Biobehavioral Research, Comparative Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, Applied Genomics in Infectious Diseases, Hematology, Radiation Sciences, Pulmonary Medicine, Genome Science, Molecular and Cellular Immunobiology, Cardiovascular Imaging, Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, and Epidemiology of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Bioterrorism.
  • (For more information, please contact the appropriate Stanford department depending on the area of research).


The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs participates in two national recruitment events annually to increase the diversity among our postdoctoral researchers: the fall meetings of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS).   Those meetings have provided an opportunity to showcase training programs and postdoc opportunities at Stanford.  Our participation is part of the University’s effort to increase the representation of minorities in science, and the School of Medicine’s efforts to improve the diversity of our postdoctoral trainees.

Stanford OPA collaborates with multiple university stakeholders (i.e. the Stanford staff, faculty,  and administrators affiliated with offices, schools, and departments all across the university) by maintaining a web presence on a For Future Postdocs section of the Consider Stanford recruitment site.

Along with the pertinent information shown on that recruitment site, Stanford OPA shares out regular updates related to the Postdoctoral Recruitment Initiative in Sciences and Medicine (PRISM) and the Stanford Propel programs. Each of these programs has their own dedicated website, a growing listserv, and an engaged community of postdoc scholars who are currently on campus. Programmatic updates from each of these URM recruitment initiatives are typically shared out with Stanford faculty, T32 directors and administrators, Stanford colleagues within SLAC, etc…

As we know, this list is not intended to be comprehensive. The resources, opportunities, and ideas shared here should continue to grow. To that end,  if we can connect our current efforts with any information or resources that your network offers, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the OPA Team. It is our long-term goal to establish a more cohesive national network of diverse postdoctoral programs and opportunities.

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