Funding Priority

Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity Fellows

This postdoctoral program supports the hiring of underrepresented faculty, especially in disciplines with clear disparities, by investing in six annual fellowships. Additional funding will add two fellowships and expand the program’s focus on recruiting more STEM scholars from diverse backgrounds.

The Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity Fellows is one of the oldest diversity fellowship programs for postdoctoral scholars in the nation and receives strong support and recognition across UNC and peer institutions. The program was launched in 1983 as part of a continuing commitment to enhance culturally diverse, intellectual communities and to support scholars from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in higher education.

“Regular faculty searches often do not yield diverse hires. This program serves as an important pathway to the professoriate here at UNC, supporting academic departments in their efforts to attract, develop, and hire historically underrepresented scholars.”
– Sibby Anderson-Thompkins, UNC Interim Chief Diversity Officer and director of the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity Fellows

Over the last five years, 19 fellows have been hired directly into the faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill at the conclusion of their fellowships, and the program has successfully placed 100% of its fellows into tenure-track positions. In July 2020, the UNC College of Arts & Sciences hired three new faculty from the program: Jacob Lau in women’s and gender studies, Danielle Purifoy in geography, and Annette Rodriguez in American studies. Recruitment of fellows is carried out on a national basis, historically attracting scholars predominantly from the social sciences and humanities, but with growing exposure to all fields.

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