Frequently Asked Questions

Please carefully review all the information provided in our Eligibility, Application Materials, and FAQ pages. Any questions not answered online should be directed to the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at


  • The application for the 2023–25 cycle will open in early October 2022 and close in late November 2022. Please check back in October to access the application. 
  • Postdoctoral Fellows are appointed for two-year terms.
  • Postdoctoral Fellows are expected to reside in the Los Angeles area during the academic year and participate in the scholarly activities of the Society, host department, and university.
  • The salary for Postdoctoral Fellows is $65,000 per year plus fringe benefits, with an additional research and travel account of $6,000 per year.



  • We can only consider applications submitted online through the application portal. Please do not submit any materials by email, fax, or mail.
  • Application materials will not be accepted after the deadline.
  • For questions about eligibility, please review our eligibility information here.
  • For requested application materials, please review our materials information here
  • Please include your postal and electronic addresses. If either change after you first submit the application, please alert us by email.
  • Once submitted, applications may not be updated to reflect new publications, awards, or any other information.
  • There is no application fee.
  • It is not necessary to send a transcript of graduate courses or grades.
  • We can only consider writing samples in English.
  • Applicants do not need to identify potential mentors at USC or contact their desired host program as part of the application. When postdoctoral fellows join the Society of Fellows, they will be matched with suitable mentors in the Society of Fellows faculty and host department or program.
  • The primary goal of this fellowship is to support excellence in scholarly research and publication. The cover letter should address the applicant’s research in detail, explaining not only its topic but also its goals, contributions, and stakes. Given that the Society of Fellows is an interdisciplinary community with members from a wide range of fields in the humanities and humanistic social sciences, the capacity to articulate research questions, problems, methods, and contributions to scholars in other disciplines is important.
  • The teaching component is a secondary element of the fellowship, designed above all to contribute to the professional development of junior scholars and to help them prepare for successful careers (not to meet teaching needs). It is not necessary to discuss teaching at length in the cover letter. 
  • Applicants wishing to withdraw their application from consideration should contact the Society of Fellows over email.



  • Once entered in the application portal, automatic emails will be generated and sent to recommenders requesting their letters. For that reason, we suggest that applicants notify each of their recommenders of the need for a letter well in advance of the application deadline; applicants should complete the application in advance of the deadline to allow for the letters to be received in time.
  • Only two recommendation letters are required and will be accepted.
  • Applicants may generate the reference letter request emails before submitting their complete application. Please carefully review the “References” section in the online application portal for specific instructions. 
  • The use of dossier services like Interfolio is allowed.
  • Applicants may check the status of recommendation submissions and resend the automated notification to your recommenders by logging into their application account.



  • The goal of the teaching component is to strengthen the Postdoctoral Fellow’s teaching portfolio and professional development. Teaching experience is not a requirement for this position, nor a consideration in the review process.
  • Postdoctoral Fellows teach three courses over four semesters, distributed as one course per semester for three semesters and one semester for full-time research.
  • Most Fellows do not teach their first semester, however, there is no formal requirement as to when the research semester is taken.
  • Fellows typically teach courses at the undergraduate level.
  • The choice of specific course topics and levels is made by the Postdoctoral Fellow in consultation with the chair of their host department, their faculty mentors, and the Society’s director. Postdoctoral Fellows have great liberty in selecting the topic of the courses they teach.


Evaluation and Notification of Applicants

  • Applications are carefully reviewed through a two-step process. The first screening round, conducted by faculty in host departments, is completed by early February. At that point applicants will be notified whether they have moved to the second round or not. The second screening round, conducted by faculty in the Society of Fellows, is completed by early March. All finalists will be notified, and offers are normally made by mid-March. Finalists who were not selected for the fellowship will be notified once all positions have been accepted, which is normally by late March.
  • Interviews are not part of the evaluation process.
  • Applicants will receive an automated confirmation email upon submission of a completed application.
  • All dossier materials and the selection committee’s evaluations remain confidential. The committee is not able to provide feedback on individual applications.
  • Selected applicants will have two weeks from the official offer to accept or decline. 
  • Fellowships, if offered, cannot be deferred.


The application for the 2023–25 cycle will open in early October 2022 and close in late November 2022.