Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Postdoctoral Fellowship

We are proud to sponsor the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, in partnership with the Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships. The program will support two postdoctoral/postgraduate fellows from one or more underrepresented minority groups for two years, with a possible one-year renewal.

DEI fellows may be from any discipline or interdisciplinary field. They must have a sponsoring NIU faculty member. Fellows can help close academic equity gaps and increase student engagement, while supporting research and outreach. They can:

  • Plan and execute research programs.
  • Build alliances with other institutions.
  • Raise the reputation of laboratories and departments.
  • Mentor graduate students.
  • Increase the inflow of grant support.
  • Help diversify faculty by creating an internal pipeline of prospects from underrepresented groups.

If you have any questions, please contact Tamara Boston at tboston1@niu.edu.

How to Apply

If you're a tenured or tenure-track NIU faculty member, you may submit an individual or joint proposal to sponsor a DEI fellow. Applications usually begin in the spring semester, and the process is competitive. As you develop your proposal, we encourage you to contact the chief diversity officer, academic diversity center directors and/or center-affiliated faculty to ask questions and solicit feedback.

Applications will be reviewed by the DEI Postdoctoral Fellowship Program Committee, which will forward recommendations to the chief diversity officer and the vice president for research and innovation partnerships. Incomplete proposals will not be considered.

Application Materials

Your proposal must include the following sections, each of which must be 500 words or less:

  • Research: A summary of and rationale for the proposed area of research, artistry and/or innovation. Include descriptions of available resources and your qualifications.
  • Mentorship: How you'll mentor the fellow and assist in their professional development.
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion: How you and the fellow could help promote diversity, equity and inclusion by collaborating with the academic diversity centers.
  • Outcomes: The annual outcomes and broader impacts you expect to result from the fellow’s residence. Address how they'll improve your and your unit's prospects for scholarship or external funding. If applicable, note how the outcomes will be measured.

Your proposal must also include:

  • A letter of support from your department chair.
  • Your vita.


Meet a DEI Fellow

The first DEI fellowship was awarded to Nicole James, an instructor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Professors Nicole LaDue and Ralph Wheeler were the principal investigators of the fellowship proposal. James' accomplishments as a fellow include:

  • Obtaining a grant for assessing CHEM 110 course reform.
  • Discussing the curriculum with the chair, resulting in a plan for revisions.
  • Connecting with the diversity centers, leading to an NSF proposal collaboration.

We're grateful for James' work and look forward to welcoming future fellows to campus.

Contact Us

Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Health Services 408
DeKalb, IL 60115


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