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Post-doctoral Fellowship Program

We will begin accepting applications for 2016-2017 fellows starting in September 2015.


In the fall of 2005, the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) initiated a postdoctoral Fellowship program for scholars conducting research on Africa and the African Diaspora. Housed in the Africana Research Center (ARC), this initiative is intended to foster a world-class community of early-career scholars. Scholars selected as Fellows have opportunities to showcase their research and scholarship as well as to engage with noted scholars in their respective fields. Both contribute to the academic and cultural environments at PSU.


The program runs from August through June each year. Each Fellow is matched with a senior faculty mentor who provides guidance and support throughout the Fellowship year.  Fellows are expected to be in residence and to be active in PSU’s community of scholars; however, they are not assigned teaching or administrative responsibilities during their residencies. Fellows participate in a series of professional development seminars as well as writing-for-publication sessions. The Fellowship provides a salary of $50,004, plus health insurance and funds for research and moving expenses. Office space and a computer are also provided.


Applicants must conduct research that centers on or is related to Africa and the African Diaspora. Ideally, applicants will have been awarded the doctorate within the past five years or will earn the doctorate before the start of the Fellowship year. Applications are accepted from all disciplines; however, as the ARC is housed in the College of the Liberal Arts (CLA), preference is afforded to applicants with research that aligns with the CLA departments. For a complete listing of CLA academic departments, please see:

Application and Submission Process

Applications. A cover letter describing your research and goals for the fellowship year, a curriculum vita (6 page maximum), and a writing sample of no more than 30 double-spaced pages (not including footnotes/citations) should be submitted at

Letters of reference. We require three letters of reference.  Please ask references to name the file as follows: applicantlastname-referencelastname.pdf (Example: Smith-Johnson.pdf).  Letters should be addressed to the attention of the ESSS Selection Committee and can be emailed directly to It is acceptable to use the Interfolio service.  If you prefer to mail the letter, it can be sent to Africana Research Center, 217 Willard Building, University Park, PA 16802 or faxed to 814-865-6145.

Application Deadline

The application deadline for the 2015-2016 fellowship program is November 14, 2014, at midnight.  Applications received after this date will not be reviewed.

Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated by a committee composed of the ARC Director and other Penn State faculty. Eight candidates will be invited to campus to participate in the Emerging Scholars Speaker Series (ESSS), during which event they will showcase their research, meet with faculty and administrators, and tour the library. The ESSS event takes place in two parts on January 26 and February 2, 2015. Four fellows will be chosen from among the eight ESSS participants for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Notification of Fellowship Award

Notifications will be made during February 2015.

Questions about the program and application process should be directed to the ARC at 814-865-6482 or


View our current and past post-doctoral fellows here.

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