December 13, 2021

VUMC Limited Submission Opportunity: NSF STEM Education Postdoctoral Research Fellowships; deadline is Jan. 6

These instructions are for VUMC investigators. VU investigators should apply through InfoReady and address any questions to

VUMC may participate in only one institutional proposal to Track 2 of the NSF Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (STEM Ed PRF) program. This limitation applies to participating in a single institutional proposal or a collaborative institutional proposal.

Working towards the particular objective of furthering the Nation’s ability to develop an effective STEM workforce requires high-quality STEM education informed by robust STEM education research. The STEM Ed PRF program directly aligns with this work by funding projects designed to build STEM education research capacity and advance knowledge in STEM education. STEM Ed PRF awards support opportunities for fellows to engage in ongoing research, develop independent research, participate in professional development under the guidance of experienced mentors, and collaborate with other professionals in the STEM Education research community.

The STEM Ed PRF program offers two tracks of fellowship opportunities for recent doctoral graduates: Track I – Individual Postdoctoral Fellowships and Track II- Institutional Cohort Postdoctoral Fellowships. For both tracks, the program encourages proposals to support postdoctoral experiences for those holding doctorates in STEM education research as well as those who have earned doctorates in STEM, STEM Education, Education, and related disciplines who have career interests in STEM education research. The Individual Postdoctoral Fellowships (Track I) provide an opportunity for recent doctoral graduates in these disciplines to receive training and mentorship under the direction of a sponsoring STEM education researcher(s) from a host institution. The Institutional Cohort Postdoctoral Fellowships (Track II) provide an opportunity for institutions to design a postdoctoral training and mentorship program and host a cohort of recent doctoral graduates in these disciplines.

Eligibility Guidelines:

Track 1: Individual Postdoctoral Fellowships-no limit on number of applications

Individual Postdoctoral Fellowships (Track I) provide funds to support an individual working full-time as a postdoctoral fellow at a host institution for up to 24 months. Applications to this track must be submitted directly by the fellowship proposer to NSF. Proposers must have earned a doctoral degree in STEM, STEM Education, Education, or a related discipline no more than 24 months prior to the proposal deadline or will earn such a degree within 10 months after the application deadline and must not hold a tenure-track position. If an award is recommended, the Fellowship proposal will be transferred to the proposed host institution where the Postdoctoral Fellow will be named as the PI. ***This track does not have limits on the number of applications.

Track 2: Institutional Cohort Postdoctoral Fellowships-limited to 1 institutional application

Proposers for Institutional Cohort Postdoctoral Fellowships (Track II) may be an individual institution of higher education or a collaborative of multiple institutions (up to three institutions, including the lead institution). The primary (lead) institution must be accredited and include an active STEM education research program and experts prepared to actively mentor postdoctoral fellows. For collaborations of multiple institutions, the secondary (collaborating) institutions must be accredited two-year, four-year, or graduate-level institutions of higher education (including community colleges) or can be non-profit, non-academic organizations engaged in STEM education and/or STEM education research activities. While not all collaborating institutions must host a fellow or fellows, all institutions should have a substantive role and contribute significant value to the proposed project.

VUMC may be named in only one Institutional Cohort Postdoctoral Fellowship proposal per competition, in either a single institutional or collaborative institutional proposal. There are no restrictions on the number of Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship proposers that an organization may host.

Award Information:

Funds will be awarded as follows:

  • (1) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship awards up to $300,000 with a duration of up to 24 months ($150,000 maximum annually); and
  • (2) Institutional Cohort Postdoctoral Fellowship awards up to $1,250,000 for awards to single institutions or up to $2,500,000 for awards to collaborating institutions, with a duration of up to 36 months. Consistent with Individual Postdoctoral Fellowships, Institutional Cohort Postdoctoral Fellowship awards must allocate a salary of $70,000 per postdoctoral fellow annually with a duration of up to two years.

See the solicitation for more information.

Internal Application Process:

Anyone interested in being considered as VUMC’s nominee must submit the following to by 5 p.m. on Jan. 6Please combine your materials into a single PDF and reference the program name in the subject line of the email.

  1. Brief research plan including summary budget (2 page max);
  2. Statement of support from department chair/center director;
  3. NIH Biosketch or brief CV (5 page max)

Direct all questions about this opportunity to