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Research and Innovation Postdoctoral Scholar program

The Research and Innovation Postdoctoral Scholar program seeks current Virginia Tech postdoctoral associates looking to grow as scholars and future leaders in their fields.

Current postdocs selected into this program will join the incoming Presidential Postdoctoral Fellows in a year-long, immersive experience designed to assist postdocs in maximizing time as a postdoc, build valuable skills and networks, have a positive impact on the university and local community, and ultimately launch successful careers.

The program is sponsored by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs within the Office of Research and Innovation, with support from the President’s office.

Applications for the 2024 cohort of Research and Innovation Scholars are due Friday, December 15, 2023.

To prepare postdoctoral associates for the next step in their careers, throughout the calendar year scholars will:

  • Attend a variety of professional development sessions.  Example programs include:
    • Succeeding as a Postdoc content from The Postdoc Academy
    • Communication workshops
    • Grant writing workshops/groups
    • Leadership and management trainings
  • Gain access to individual career planning and development consultations with Chris Smith, the program administrator for Postdoctoral Affairs
  • Enjoy social and networking experiences, including the funds available to cover travel costs for postdocs not located on Blacksburg or Roanoke, Virginia campus locations to travel to in-person events.
    • These may include receptions, lunches, and dinners with campus leadership or invited speakers and workshop facilitators
  • Travel in the spring/summer to Washington, D.C., to engage with sponsors, government agencies, and employers in the region.
  • Receive professional development funds of $2,000 to be utilized within the 12-month program to assist the postdoc in their career and professional development.
  • This program is most appropriate for Virginia Tech postdoctoral associates with at least one year, or preferably, two years left in their appointment. 
  • Postdoctoral associates who participate in this program must commit to submit a postdoctoral fellowship application within six months of program completion. To find an opportunity that fits an individual’s goals, visit Funding Institutional. Resources will be provided to assist all postdocs in pursuing funding opportunities regardless of citizenship status. 
  • Virginia Tech postdocs who are already on an externally-funded fellowship are eligible to participate in this program. Email with fellowship details to receive information on next steps. Current externally-funded postdoctoral fellows do not need to complete the other application components listed below.
  • Virginia Tech postdocs currently supported by the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute's Postdoctoral Excellence Awards program are also eligible to participate in the activites of the Research and Innovation Scholars program without formally applying. Please email if you are interested in joining the program.
  • Career and professional development programming: 5-10 hours per semester, plus 15-20 hours of programming over the summer.
  • Networking and social events: 2-3 hours per semester, plus travel time if not based on Blacksburg or Roanoke, Virginia campus locations.
  • Two weekdays in Washington, D.C., in Spring/Summer.
  • Up-to-date CV
  • Two-page statement of interest, which should include: 
    • How participation in the program can assist them in their career goals, including an articulation of their current career goals
    • The skills that the postdoc hopes to build over the year-long program
    • How the $2,000 in professional development funds will be used
    • How long the postdoc anticipates staying at Virginia Tech after the program begins in January 2024 (i.e., is 2024 the anticipated last year as a postdoc, etc.)
    • A specific postdoctoral funding opportunity that the postdoc plans to apply for and how this opportunity supports career goals. Also include the projected submission date to the funding program, which must be before June 2025
  • Letter of support from the postdoc’s mentor(s)
  • Submit all documents to with subject line “Postdoc Scholar 2024 application”


Virginia Tech is committed to Ut Prosim (That I may serve) in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence. As part of this commitment, reflected in Virginia Tech’s Strategic Plan (Advancing Beyond Boundaries), Virginia Tech is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.


For questions, contact Chris Smith at 540-231-1951 or