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School of Medicine Dean's Postdoctoral Fellowship

Important Dates

Application Deadline: 
Monday, April 15, 2024

Application Materials

Funding Periods: 12 months: January 1 to December 31 andJuly 1 to June 30

Funding Level: Stipend is $35,825 for the entire award period. 

Notification of Awards: Late December/June.

The School of Medicine Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellowships encourage and support young investigators in the first two years of their postdoctoral research training at the School of Medicine and who are under the mentorship of faculty in the School of Medicine. With the goal to support current postdocs and to facilitate the recruitment of new scholars, the Dean's Fellowship is often used as seed money while outside funds are sought. 

Applicants ensure that both they and their faculty sponsor meet all eligibility criteria. Applications from postdoctoral scholars and/or faculty sponsors who do not meet the guidelines will not be reviewed by the committee.  

List of Fellows: July 2019 start

List of Fellows: January 2020 start

List of Fellows: July 2020 start

List of Fellows: January 2021 start

List of Fellows: July 2021 start 

List of Fellows: January 2022 start

List of Fellows: July 2022 start


Eligibility requirements: 
  1. Applicants must be postdoctoral scholars at the School of Medicine at the time the award begins.
  2. Faculty sponsors must be appointed in the School of Medicine. Acting, consulting, and courtesy appointees are ineligible.
  3. Awardees cannot be enrolled in a degree-granting program while funded.
  4. Applicants in the first one or two years of postdoctoral research training are preferred.
  5. Foreign fellows must have visas that allow stipend support (typically a J-1 & F-1 OPT). H1-B and TN visa holders are ineligible. Citizenship is not a selection factor.
  6. This is a one-year fellowship and applications for a second year of funding will not be reviewed.

Additional Application Guidelines: 

  1. Faculty may not have more than one funded Dean's fellow at a time.
  2. Faculty (including Assistant Professors) may not serve as mentor/sponsor on more than one fellowship application per cycle.  
  3. Funding is restricted investigative activities. Awardees must spend at least 80% of their time in research. If effort is reduced to less than 80% research while receiving funding, an exception must be requested and approved in advance.
  4. Funding is limited to stipend support paid directly to the postdoc. The award may not be used to support research expenses or towards travel or tuition expenses.  
  5. If research involves animal and/or human subjects/protocols, applicants should apply for required protocols at the time of submission and not wait to be funded. The award cannot be activated without approved protocols. Protocols need to list the School of Medicine Dean's Fellowship as a possible funding source.
  6. Re-applications from previously rejected applicants are accepted.  


Application Process: 

Complete applications must be submitted online by the deadline. Start applications early to allow enough time for the system to solicit the required form from your faculty mentor which is due at the same time as your application.  Applications due by 11:59 PM PST on deadline date.

A complete application consists of:

  • Complete online application form
  • NIH Biosketch
  • Research proposal: Two page limit, including graphics/tables. Proposals are written by the fellow and reviewed by the faculty sponsor. Proposals must include a brief statement of proposed investigation including background, goals, hypothesis, and experimental methods. Use 1-inch margins and 12-point font. Include title of project on both numbered pages. Include references only if they are part of your two-page proposal.
  • Faculty Sponsor's Recommendation Form & Agreement

This application does not go through RMG or OSR at Stanford.

Selection Process: 

The committee consists of SoM faculty of diverse interests and basic/translational focus. Priority scores are assigned based on:

  1. Scientific merit of the proposal and its training relevance. Proposals are written by the fellow and reviewed by the faculty sponsor. Priority given to proposals of outstanding scientific merit that provide a novel and complementary training environment for the trainee. 
  2. Scientific Potential of the Trainee. Priority given to trainees with the potential for independent and innovative biomedical research.
  3. Stage of Training. Priority given to those trainees in the early phase of their postdoctoral training. The stage of funding is number of years as a postdoctoral fellow since last doctoral degree. Clinical residency years are not relevant research years. If considerable time has elapsed since doctoral degree, and that time was not spent engaged in research or clinical residency, the applicant is expected to describe in the application how the time was spent.
  4. Program Participation Requirement. Faculty Sponsor must have fulfilled participation requirements for their previous Dean's Fellowship recipient(s).

Additional Information


For questions, review the FAQs below and/or email

Program Requirements: 


  1. Enroll in the Grant Writing Academy’s Specific Aims lecture and workshop or Proposal Bootcamp (BIOS 299)
  2. Attend and be prepared to present/discuss research at Dean's Fellowship lunch(es).

Faculty Sponsors*

  1. Participate in the Grant Writing Academy’s Faculty Review Workshops (4-hour commitment),
  2. Attend Dean's Fellowship lunch(es), and
  3. Provide mentorship to the awardees at Dean’s Fellowship events.

*Failure to meet these requirements may cause the faculty sponsor to be ineligible to support postdoc applications in future application cycles of the Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellowship.


What happens if I am awarded the Dean’s Fellowship and then am awarded another fellowship?
Dean’s Fellowships do not permit concurrent funding. The Dean's Fellowships are intended to provide support to the broadest group of postdocs possible, and the funds are stewarded accordingly.

Can I apply if I already have another fellowship?
The Dean’s Fellowship cannot be combined with another award. Funding from another fellowship must be completed before the Dean’s Fellowship start date (July 1 or January 1). Dean’s funding cannot be deferred or delayed.

Does the 2-page limit include references and figures?
Yes. Proposals exceeding this limit will be truncated at 2 pages.

Do I send recommendation forms directly to OPA?
No. Please enter your PI's contact information as specified on the application. They will get an email with instructions for submission.

Can I use the award for Infrastructure (ISC) charges?

Can funds be carried over beyond 12 months?

Does the Dean's award increase every year?
Not necessarily. The Dean's Fellowship is always half of the postdoc minimum compensation level at the time the award is made. If a Dean's Fellowship is awarded in July 2021, and the postdoc minimum compensation level increases in September 2021, the amount of the Dean's Fellowship that was awarded to a postdoc in July 2021 does not increase. However, a Dean's Fellowship awarded in January 2022 will be for half of the new postdoc minimum. Put another way, the amount awarded will not change, even if the postdoc minimum compensation level changes during the duration of the Fellowship.  

If the Postdoc minimum compensation increases September 1st, does the Dean's funding increase at the same level?
No. The Dean's Fellowship is awarded for a specific amount paid over 12 months, and that amount is unchanged during the funding period.

Who should I put down as my reference?
Your Faculty Sponsor must provide a reference.

Can the start/end dates of the Fellowship be changed, adjusted, started early or late, or ended early or late? 

Can I use someone else other than my Faculty Sponsor as my reference? 

How does my reference (Faculty Sponsor) know what the prompts are?
There is a section in the application that asks you to provide your faculty sponsor's email address. They will be emailed instructions. You can start an application, provide their email address, and complete your application later.

I have a question not addressed here. Who do I talk to?

What happens if I don't follow formatting instructions? 
The committee rejects your application.

Can I pick my start date -- either January 1 or July 1?
No. If you apply in the Fall, you're applying for a January 1 start. If you apply in the Spring, you're applying for the July 1 start. 

If I am selected, can I defer? 
No. Your choices are to accept the Fellowship with the start date of the current cycle, or reject it. 

When will I know if I was selected or not? 
Decisions are communicated to applicants two to three weeks before the start of the cycle. So if you applied for the January cycle, expect to hear from OPA around the middle of December. For the July cycle, expect to hear around mid-June.