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Postdoctoral Fellowships

Frederick Douglass Institute Fellowship Program

The Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies (FDI) at the University of Rochester brings together scholars working in the humanities and social sciences in the area of Africa and the African diasporas. Its mission is to further undergraduate and graduate education, faculty research, and intellectual exchange within the University community. FDI sponsors two residential fellowships annually to help support that mission.

The postdoctoral fellowships are awarded to scholars who hold a PhD degree in a field that contributes to African and African-American studies. It carries an annual stipend of $40,000 and a $3,000 fund for research-related activities. Fellows will participate in the intellectual life of the Institute, pursue his or her own scholarship, and teach one course in his or her area of specialization. Fellows would have the opportunity to present their work at the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, the Humanities Center, and the FDI Work-in-Progress Seminar Series.

All Fellows receive office space in the Institute, full access to the University's facilities, and opportunities to interact and collaborate with scholars relevant to their projects within the University. Fellows must be in full-time residence during the tenure of their awards and they are required to be engaged in scholarly activity on a full-time basis. Fellows are expected to be available for consultation with students and colleagues, make at least one formal presentation based upon their research, and contribute generally to the intellectual life of the Institute.

How to Apply

Applications to the two programs are accepted from September 1 to December 31. The Fellowship awards will be announced in early March. Applicants must have their PhD in hand before the fellowship begins in September.

Application checklist:

  • A completed FDI fellowship application form available on the website
  • A curriculum vitae
  • A 3-5 page description of the research the applicant plans to carry out during the fellowship year, plus a description of the undergraduate course the applicant would like to teach
  • A sample of published or unpublished writing on a topic related to the proposal
  • Three letters of recommendation (to be sent directly to FDI at the address indicated below) that comment upon the value and feasibility of the work proposed

Applicants can apply online or download an application at


For more information about our fellowships, contact us by phone at (585) 276-5744 or by email at

Letters of recommendation can be mailed to:

Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies
University of Rochester
311 Morey Hall
RC Box 270440
Rochester, NY 14627-0440 U.S.A.