Frequently Asked Questions

Please carefully review our Eligibility and Application Materials pages, as well as all the information provided below, before reaching out with questions. Additional questions should be directed to societyoffellows@dornsife.usc.edu.

 

General 

  • The application for the 2024–2026 postdoctoral fellowship opens October 10, 2023, and closes November 27, 2023.
  • 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.
  • If a host department or program is not listed, that department or program is not considering applications for the current cycle. Participating departments and programs change from year to year. The list of participating departments and programs for the 2024-26 cycle will be announced in Fall 2023 and listed here.
  • 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. 

 

Applying 

  • All application materials are due by the deadline and must be submitted online through the application portal. We are unable to accept application materials via 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. Writing samples should be double-spaced and between 20–40 pages excluding notes and bibliography. Please do not submit more than 40 pages.
  • The progress-to-degree letter must be signed by a department chair, dissertation advisor, director of graduate studies, or an appropriate university administrator who can certify that the applicant has made sufficient progress for the Ph.D. to be completed by the required date. Please keep in mind that the Ph.D. must be conferred prior to the start of the position and will need to be conferred before processing any necessary visa applications.
  • 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.
  • If you change your mind or accept an offer elsewhere after applying, please contact the Society of Fellows over email to withdraw your application as soon as possible.

 

References 

  • Once entered in the application portal, automatic emails will be generated and can be 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 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.
  • Recommendation letters are due at the same time as the rest of the application.

 

Teaching

  • 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.

 

Any additional questions should be directed to societyoffellows@dornsife.usc.edu.