University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

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Department Request Instructions

Illinois Distinguished Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholars Program

Deadline for Full Consideration
March 19, 2021

Funding is available to support up to four post-doctoral research associate or visiting scholar positions that would enhance campus diversity. Candidates must be nominated by academic units that wish to hire them. Candidates may not apply directly. Priority will be given to external candidates, preferably identified through a search. The goal is to identify individuals from underrepresented groups, or women traditionally underrepresented in STEM areas, who are potential candidates for campus positions that would help to diversify the faculty and promote strategic hiring goals. Each Postdoc or Scholar must be assigned a faculty mentor/sponsor, and the application must include a mentoring plan. The objective is to provide additional mentoring and support for high-potential candidates with the goal of preparing them for tenure track assistant professor appointments at Illinois. In addition, departments are encouraged to apply for funding through the Target of Opportunity Program (TOP) after successful completion of the post-doc/visiting scholars program by the candidate. 


  • The stipend for the 2021-2022 year is $47,500 (for a 12-month appointment) and includes health benefits. Units can provide supplemental funds.
  • An additional $5,000 is provided for the research, travel, and related expenses and units can provide additional funds.


  • Must be nominated by a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign academic unit. 
  • The applicant must have obtained his or her Ph.D. or terminal degree required by field prior to July 1, 2021. 
  • Please work with your unit’s HR professional to submit application materials through HireTouch here 
  • A Mentoring Plan is required in the application (Please see application for details) 
  • Applicants must demonstrate promise for a tenure track appointment at Illinois. 
  • The prospective postdoc’s letter of interest addressed to the chair of the department should be submitted as a part of the application; their letter of application to a faculty search may be submitted in lieu of a letter of interest. 
  • Postdocs or Scholars are normally appointed for one year, and can be reappointed for a second year. 
  • Recipients must be in residence full-time for the duration of the award period. 
  • Postdocs or Scholars may teach up to one course per year. As a part of the mentoring plan, explanations regarding standards for scholarly/creative products in profession may be provided to justify additional teaching of up to two courses per year. 
  • A letter of support from the dean of the college that wishes to nominate the candidate. 
  • In the final year of a post-doctoral fellow, the unit (or units) will undertake a rigorous review of the post-doc’s qualifications for a tenure-track position. If the postdoc was initially identified in a national faculty search, and if the unit(s) choose(s) to hire the candidate as a tenure-track faculty member, the position will be eligible for TOP funding through the traditional search process. Otherwise, the positive will be eligible for TOP funding through a search waiver. 

Off-cycle applications will be considered based upon availability of funding. 

Faculty members should submit requests for the program in the HireTouch system. If you do not have access to HireTouch, please contact the HR Support in your College and/or Department or contact the Office of Access and Equity (Heidi Johnson, Affirmative Action Director, at or 217-333-0885).