How To Apply

Individuals interested in applying to the Postdoctoral Fellowship program must send a CV to a potential Mentor to begin the application process well ahead of the application deadline, June 21, 2024

Application Process

All applicants are nominated by a prospective Mentor. The application package consisting of the following materials must include:

  1. The application form, completed online.
  2. Curriculum Vitae (CV) sent to, after submission of the online application.
  3. Letter of Intent describing in roughly equal parts 1) your academic and research background, 2) your proposed area of research, 3) why you chose to work with a particular mentor, and 4) how the proposed fellowship will advance your career.  Please limit this section to 1,000 words. Send to, after submission of the online application.
  4. A statement from the mentor describing how the Fellow will benefit the mentor's lab and Institute, sent directly to fellowships @ (500 word limit).
  5. Two letters of reference,  sent directly by the referees to fellowships @

Selection Process

The Fellowship Committee ranks the applications based upon the following criteria:

  1. Qualifications of Candidate: Reflects the candidate's research experience and publications (CV), and letters of reference.
  2. Career Development: Reflects what the Fellow will gain from this experience.
  3. Benefit to Smith-Kettlewell and Mentor's lab: Reflects what SKERI will gain from the fellow's participation.
  4. Scientific Merit: Reflects the scientific merit of the proposed area of research and the relatedness of the research to SKERI's mission.
  5. Prior Usage of Program: Reflects the amount of previous fellowship support the mentor has received.

The highest-ranked applicants will be invited for a virtual interview.


The selected candidate will receive notification from the Fellowship Committee and will have 30 days to accept/decline the offer. To accept the offer, the candidate and mentor must develop a research project (3 pages) and submit it to the Fellowship Committee, along with the signed acceptance letter. The candidate will need to present proof of completion of doctoral degree (PHD, MD, OD) prior to beginning the fellowship.

Period of Support

Fellowship awards at SKERI are limited to a maximum of two years duration except upon specific appeal to, and subsequent recommendation by, the Fellowship Committee with agreement from the Executive Director.

The initial award is usually for 12 months. Subsequent periods of approved fellowship training and education are contingent on scientific progress, and efforts to apply for external funding, and availability of funds. Fellowships of shorter periods are considered on an equal footing with those for the full two years.

Requests for additional time or a break in time must be strongly justified. Such events include sudden loss of the Mentor’s services, accident, illness, or other personal situations, which prevent the fellow from pursuing research training and education in an effective manner for a significant period of time.

Terms and Conditions

All awards are made with the proviso that the second year of continued support is contingent upon appropriate progress and efforts to apply for external funds. In order to foster maximum efficacy of the fellowship program, each fellow is required to apply for external funding during the first year of their fellowship. Assistance in applying for external support is available from the SKERI Research Administration Office. (Click here for information on International Fellowship Opportunities.)

1. In the unlikely event of a difficulty that may arise during the Fellowship period, the matter should be promptly discussed with the Mentor. If the problem involves the Mentor the matter should be discussed with the Chair of the Fellowship Committee. If the Mentor is the Chair, the matter should be brought to the Executive Director for resolution.

2. Approval of employment outside of SKERI, during regular Fellowship hours, is at the discretion of the Mentor and must meet all appropriate internal guidelines, and external guidelines in the case of outside funding of the fellowship.

3. Publications and presentation of scientific discoveries by awardees are governed by the same policies that apply to employees of SKERI. Fellows are required to sign SKERI’s annual Conflict of Interest statement.