Postdoctoral Fellows Program application instructions

Postdoctoral Fellows Program application instructions

The Beckman Institute offers two annual postdoctoral fellowship programs to support outstanding scientists. They offer a unique opportunity for selected scholars to engage in a three-year interdisciplinary research fellowship at the Beckman Institute. This page lists the full application instructions. Please email questions to

Former Postdoctoral Fellow Abhishek Singharoy.

Thank you for your interest in joining the Beckman Institute! The application period for the 2024 Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellows Program has ended, and applications for the 2025 program will be made available in the fall of 2024.

Application guidelines

  1. Fill out application form
    Applicants must fill out the online application form. The form also allows for the electronic submission of your supporting documents, including curriculum vitae, research plan, and a representative paper.
  2. Curriculum vitae
    The curriculum vitae must be submitted as an Adobe PDF file and uploaded with the application form as described above.
  3. Research and development plan
    Upload one PDF file that consists of your plan plus references. Your plan should be organized as shown below and should be a maximum of five pages, plus any number of additional pages for your list of references/bibliography.
    1. Introduction: 500 words maximum describing your general research area.
    2. Objectives and significance: One page maximum describing your research plan for your time at Beckman and why these research objectives are important. This section may include background literature discussion and explanation of hypothesis, problem statement, and/or technological goals.
    3. Research and development plan: Two pages maximum on your work plan for your next three years at the Beckman Institute. This section should include:
      1. A description of the research activities that you intend to accomplish (e.g., methods, data collection, modeling and simulation, experiments, analyses).
      2. A description of the related broader impact activities that you intend to accomplish (e.g., educational outreach, community engagement, museum exhibit design, artistic collaborations, science journalism, science policy development).
      3. An explanation of how this plan helps you develop your career; the research plan should act as your own individual development plan.
    4. Innovation: One page maximum on why your prior training and proposed research and development plan is innovative and creates new collaborations or strengthens existing collaborations at the Beckman Institute.
    5. Relevance: Five hundred words maximum on why the Beckman Institute is the best home for your research and development plan. 
    6. Bibliography/references (not part of the five-page limit): List of peer-reviewed papers cited in your research and development plan.
  4. Representative paper
    If you have published, submit only one article. If you have not published, submit one introductory or representative chapter. An extended abstract of your dissertation not to exceed five pages may be substituted. Do not submit additional articles or chapters; only one will be passed on to the selection committee. The Representative Paper must be submitted as an Adobe PDF file and uploaded with the application form as described above.
  5. Letters of reference
    Names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses for your four references: two people who can write letters about your prior work experience, and two Illinois faculty members who will be your mentors/collaborators during your time at Beckman, with one or both of these Illinois faculty members being a part-time or full-time member of the Beckman Institute.

    The Beckman Institute will not request letters on your behalf. You should request that letters of recommendation from your references be emailed directly to the Beckman Institute as Adobe PDF files by the application deadline. 
  6. Evaluation process
    Your application will be evaluated by three members of the Program Advisory Committee, a committee that consists of 12 members of the Beckman Institute faculty. The rubric of this evaluation consists of the following factors:
    1. Quality of research plan
    2. Assessment of your record, recommendation letters, and personal statement
    3. Quality of the broader impacts part of your plan
    4. Interdisciplinary collaboration
    5. Innovation.