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Eligibility, Proposals Cycles, Deadlines, and Submission

Every proposal must have an eligible postdoctoral scholar identified. Eligible postdoctoral applicants:

  • Must be within three years of earning their Ph.D.
  • Must expect to complete their Ph.D. prior to the start of their fellowship

Competitive applicants for our Research Frontiers and Cybersecurity tracks will not currently be enrolled at or employed by Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech values diversity and continually strives to maintain and promote an inclusive learning, working, and research environment that embraces all students and employees. We are particularly interested in proposals including persons identifying with groups currently underrepresented in their field.

The Science Policy track is notably different in that a mentor and proposal topics have already been identified and outlined. For this reason, the Science Policy track is intentionally more open-ended and does not require the submission of a three-page research proposal. 

The applicant will be asked to include CV and a one-page statement of interest with the application. The statement of interest should include a description of a) the candidate’s interest in the field of science policy or research ethics and integrity in the higher education setting and b) what they think the fellowship track will do to help them achieve their professional goals. In addition, candidates should describe their experience related to research integrity, compliance, science policy, and/or developing projects to answer research questions in their respective fields.

Guidelines to assist in laying out a standardized proposal for submission.

  • When you submit your proposal via our application form, be prepared to provide:  
    • Prospective postdoc’s name and email address
    • Virginia Tech faculty mentor(s) name(s) and department/institute/unit affiliations
    • Title of proposal
    • Application Cycle (ex. Cycle 1, 2, 3)  
    • Targeted track: Research Frontiers, Cybersecurity, or Innovation
    • Expected postdoc start date (if selected for the fellowship)
  • All proposals should be in 12-point Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman font with 1-inch margins.
    • The use of graphs, images, or other visuals to convey the research area and/or mentoring/training plan are allowed as long as the content of the proposal does not exceed 3 pages. 
    • The cover page and any associated references are not counted in the proposal’s 3-page limit. 

In addition to the proposal document itself, a complete application should also include:

  • Postdoc candidate’s CV
  • An itemized budget with the proposed postdoc salary and cost share details

Use the example itemized budget template by copying and pasting the information in a new Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet. Note, proposed salaries and cost-shares will vary by field and research project.

Proposals will be evaluated using the following rubric: Innovation or Research Frontiers and Cybersecurity.

1: Overview of fellow’s project, qualifications, and career goals (1 page)

This section should be led by the prospective fellow in collaboration with their faculty mentor and contain:

  • Brief description of the fellow’s project
  • Brief description of the fellow’s qualifications for the project
  • Brief outline of how the fellow will add to representational diversity of the field, if appropriate.
  • Statement on how the fellowship will aid the fellow in their career goals

2: Impact of the fellowship on the mentor’s and Virginia Tech’s research/scholarship/innovation (1 page)

This section should be led by the faculty mentor and contain:

  • Brief description of how the fellowship will enable the mentor to build capacity and grow their scholarship
  • Brief description of how the fellowship will grow Virginia Tech’s research portfolio and international recognition
  • Brief description of alignment with a Research Frontier area or other goal specific to the “track”

3: Mentorship plan for the fellow (1 page)

This section should reflect both the prospective postdoc and faculty mentor’s voice and contain:

  • Expectations for scholarly work to be completed
  • Opportunities for professional development and a timeline for implementation of the fellow's proposed goals or plan
  • Description of principal investigator’s prior experience mentoring postdocs or ability to gain training or guidance for such mentorship

1: Overview of fellow’s project, qualifications, and career goals (one page)

This section’s construction should be led by the prospective fellow in collaboration with their faculty mentor and contain:

  • Brief description of the fellow’s project, including a description of the technology targeted for innovation/commercialization activities and the goal for the fellow regarding these activities during the fellowship
  • Brief description of the fellow’s qualifications for the project or any qualifications specifically related to the innovation component of the Fellowship. This might include entrepreneurial experience or skills/knowledge related to startups or academic spinouts
  • Brief outline of how the fellow will add to representational diversity of the field, if appropriate
  • Statement on how the fellowship will aid the fellow in their career goals

2: Impact of the fellowship on the mentor’s and Virginia Tech’s research/scholarship/innovation (one page)

This section should be led by the faculty mentor and focus on the potential to advance the commercialization of one or more technologies from Virginia Tech research. Specifically, it should contain:

  • Brief description of how the fellowship will enable the mentor to build capacity and grow their scholarship and advance innovation and commercialization potential of a technology from the mentor’s research and innovation goals
    • Goals to be accomplished could include validating a startup opportunity and/or forming a new technology startup 
  • Specify the percentage of the postdoctoral researcher’s time that will be applied to innovation and commercialization activities
    • The minimum effort for innovation and commercialization activities is 25% throughout the duration of the fellowship but where there is a clear commercialization opportunity identified by the mentor, a higher percentage of innovation activity will be favorable (50% or more)
  • Brief description of how the fellowship will grow Virginia Tech’s research and innovation portfolio and international recognition

3: Mentorship plan for the fellow (one page)

This section should reflect both the prospective postdoc and faculty mentor’s voice and contain:

  • Expectations for scholarly work to be completed
  • Preliminary identification of specific innovation activities that will be conducted during the fellowship and a preliminary timeline for those activities
  • Opportunities for professional development and a timeline for implementation of the fellow's proposed goals or plan
  • Description of faculty mentor’s prior experience mentoring postdocs or ability to gain training or guidance for such mentorship

Proposals to the Research Frontiers, Cybersecurity, and Innovation tracks will be evaluated on:

  • Ability to build towards Virginia Tech research presence and portfolio in goals for that “track”. 
  • Ability to enhance research and scholarship of the mentor
  • Ability to enhance the professional development of the postdoc
  • Postdoc qualifications and the ability to diversify our research enterprise

Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with three cycles throughout the remainder of 2022, until funds are expended. Expected fellowship start date for each cycle is described below, but may be extended in certain circumstances.

2022 Cycle 3:

  • Proposals due Nov. 15
  • Decisions by Dec. 15
  • Start date anticipated before March 1

2023 Cycle 1:

  • Proposals due Mar. 1, 2023
  • Decisions by Apr. 15, 2023
  • Start date anticipated before Aug. 1, 2023

2023 Cycle 2:

  • Proposals due Oct. 1, 2023
  • Decisions by Nov. 15, 2023
  • Start date anticipated before Feb. 1, 2024

Contact

For questions, contact Chris Smith at 540-231-1951 or christsmith@vt.edu.