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Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The Postdoctoral Fellowship program at the University of Rochester is designed to prepare PhD-prepared nurses or other licensed health care professionals for a successful research career.

We seek PhD-prepared nurses or other health science disciplines for postdoctoral fellowship
positions to be trained under the mentorship of School of Nursing scientists. The goal of the Postdoctoral Fellowship program is to prepare fellows to develop a record of scholarship and the skills needed for success in a tenure-track position in a research-intensive university.

The Postdoctoral Fellowship program seeks to: 

  • Attract promising postdoctoral candidates in areas where faculty members have expertise
  • Provide trainees with experiences needed to develop research expertise, including hands-on learning with the mentors' research
  • Offer programming that complements the specific scientific area training with the trainees' senior scientist mentor(s)
  • Support trainees as they build knowledge, skills, research ethics, and portfolios required for success in a tenure track position in a research intensive university and for leadership in the field

Research Areas for Postdoctoral Training

Areas of training are determined by the availability of sponsoring mentors who are senior scientists working in the following areas of interest:

Sexual Health & HIV


Parent-Child & Transgenerational Health


The Postdoctoral Experience

Experiences are designed to support trainees as they build knowledge, skills, and portfolios required for success in a tenure-track position in a research intensive university and for leadership in the field. These experiences include:

Working closely with a mentor(s), the postdoctoral fellow will initiate and co-develop a program tailored to the individual's needs. Experiences will be designed to ensure depth in the fellow's area of focus sufficient to be successful in publishing in high impact journals and obtaining competitive research funding. Program plans are geared toward the highest quality of training and may include relevant coursework, grantsmanship, presentation, and publication training, laboratory experience, and other activities in addition to expected scholarly publications and contributions to mentors' ongoing research. To develop the commensurate skills, trainees will have hands-on learning with mentors while contributing to the mentors' research and conducting preliminary studies for their own program of research.

Fellows will become part of a postdoctoral trainee group designed to provide peer support and develop a deeper understanding of the context and life of a nurse scientist. All postdoctoral fellows and their mentors meet weekly in "Progress and Perspectives" meetings (about 60 minutes) during which each fellow and mentor discuss their activities and progress. This is followed by theme-oriented, literature-based conversations related to trends, issues, and challenges in nursing, science, careers in science, and health care.

Fellows are encouraged to embrace the learning and social connection opportunities within the University and community, e.g., CTSI lectures and seminars, and interdisciplinary events. Fellows are connected to internal list-serves that announce meetings, rounds, seminars, and conferences likely to broaden postdoctoral experience. Activities are planned to support fellows as they hone tools to network with other interdisciplinary scholars.

As fellows complete the Postdoctoral program, they are expected to have a portfolio indicating readiness to apply for a tenure track assistant professor position in a research intensive university. This includes a well-defined program of research with first-authored publications, presentations, small grant awards, and proposals in the area.

Chen Zhang, PhD, MPH

Chen Zhang, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor

"Prior to applying for a fellowship, I spoke with Dr. James McMahon to discuss potential mentoring and collaboration during my fellowship. Based upon my background and our common interests in HIV research among vulnerable populations, Dr. McMahon agreed to serve as my mentor for this fellowship and potential future research. With the cultivating environment in School of Nursing at University of Rochester, as well as the guidance from a well-established research team, I believe my expertise and experience will greatly foster my transition from a postdoctoral fellow to an independent researcher."

Eligibility & How to Apply

  • PhD degree completed within past 5 years
  • degree in nursing or other related health science discipline such as psychology, social work, public health sciences, epidemiology, etc
  • Background and goals congruent with proposed mentor’s area of research
  • Commitment to build a program of research in an area that can be supported by the SON faculty
  • Preference will be given to those meeting NINR training appointment criteria

Explore Candidate-Mentor Match by:

  • Reviewing descriptions of senior research faculty
  • Contacting a potential mentor
  • Initiate correspondence with an email containing:
    • Cover letter with description of areas of interest and why pursuing a postdoctoral experience
    • Curriculum vitae
  • Receipt of this information begins the exchange of information leading to determination of a potential candidate-mentor match.

If you have questions about a potential mentor email to learn more.

Phone Interview and/or Applicant Visit and Final Acceptance

  • If your application is advanced to the next step, the Postdoctoral Committee and the mentor(s) will invite you to a phone interview or a campus visit with the mentor and mentor team.
  • Applicant and mentor will begin to co-develop and negotiate an individualized program.
  • You are then informed regarding acceptance.


Learn more

Interested in pursuing research at the University of Rochester School of Nursing? Connect with us to discuss postdoctoral and tenure-track faculty opportunities.

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