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Academic Pathways Application Instructions

Required Application Components 

Each of the following components are required in order to be considered a complete application.

Online Application Form

See below for the link to the application. Please note that the application will not be made available until the open date. On Interfolio be sure to hit the "Submit" button, not just "Save". Unsubmitted applications are not transmitted to the program and so cannot be reviewed.

Cover Letter

Please submit a letter addressed to the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. In the letter please summarize your scholarly achievements. Because of the importance of a scholarly fit between applicants and faculty, identify specific faculty, laboratories and/or groups you would like to collaborate with, if selected. You are strongly encouraged to contact faculty via email to discuss common scholarly interests. See Eligibility Criteria for a list of participating Vanderbilt colleges and schools.

Maximum length: 1 page

Curriculum Vitae

A current curriculum vitae which must include publications. 

Dissertation Summary and Other Recent Scholarly Endeavors

Summarize your dissertation and other recent scholarly endeavors. A statement of planned research is not requested at this time. If you are selected as a finalist, you will work with your prospective hosts to formulate a research concept.

Maximum length: 3 pages (single spaced) excluding references.

Personal Statement

Describe why you are interested in this opportunity; for example, career aspirations, relevant leadership experience, relevant experiences in diversity and inclusion efforts and other key points for the committee to consider.

Maximum length: 3 pages (single spaced)

Writing Sample (humanities applicants only)

An article- or chapter-length sample of written work representative of your scholarly research.

Maximum length: 20 pages (or 40 pages double spaced) excluding references.

Letters of Recommendation

A minimum of two letters of recommendation are required. You may submit up to four letters. Please use the Interfolio tools to send requests to your recommenders, or upload letters already saved to Interfolio. Your applications can be submitted after the letters have been requested. Recommendation letters from your preferred mentor at Vanderbilt are allowed and encouraged. The deadline for submitted reference letters is  November 4, 2019, at 11:59 PM Eastern Time .

If you are selected as a finalist, you will be required to visit Vanderbilt and meet with faculty and graduate students from prospective host departments to exchange ideas and develop a research concept. Your visit will include participation in the annual Academic Pathways Symposium, including research presentations by finalists and a brief summary of a collaborative research concept. After the symposium you will be asked to submit a brief research proposal that you developed during the visit with your mentor.


Application to the Academic Pathways Program may be made electronically here.

For questions about the application process, please contact the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.