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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Should I contact potential faculty hosts before applying? May a potential host write one of my reference letters?

Applicants are highly encouraged to reach out to potential faculty hosts as soon as possible. Yes, a potential host may--but is not required--to write a letter in support of your application.

2. I got my PhD in January 2021. Am I eligible for a Stanford Science Fellowship?  Has eligibility been extended due to COVID-19?

An applicant must have been granted their doctoral degree within three years of their fellowship start date. As the earliest possible fellowship start date is July 1, 2024, an applicant who received their PhD before July 1, 2021, is ineligible.  Similarly, an applicant who both received their degree and started a postdoc before July 1, 2022, is ineligible if that applicant expects to have uninterrupted postdoc experience since graduating (due to the 24 months of prior postdoc experience limitation).  The eligibility criteria have not been altered by COVID-19.

3.  My PhD is in Engineering.  Am I eligible?

Maybe. Applied research projects are unsuitable for this fellowship. However, projects which repurpose tools to further basic research in the natural sciences are welcomed.

4. Is a Stanford Science Fellowship portable? May I work at another institution while holding a Stanford Science Fellowship?

Stanford Science Fellows will be appointed as postdoctoral scholars at Stanford. Fellows are expected to participate in the program's community-building and professional development activities on campus. Stanford Science Fellows may collaborate with lab personnel at other institutions, but their primary appointments must be at Stanford.

5. Are current Stanford postdocs and graduating doctoral students eligible?

Yes, current Stanford postdocs and doctoral students are eligible so long as they meet the program criteria.

6. I am a citizen of the Philippines and got my doctorate in South Africa. Am I eligible? If I am accepted into the program, will Stanford assist me in obtaining an appropriate visa?

Yes, international scholars are eligible to apply. And yes, Stanford provides information about and assistance with obtaining and maintaining legal status in the U.S. for international scholars and their families.

7.  May I apply to the program a second time if I am not successful at first?

Yes, you may apply as long as you continue to meet the eligibility criteria in effect at the time of application.

8.  Will I receive feedback on my application?

No, application evaluations are not maintained nor collected.

9.  May I or my letter writers email application materials to you instead of, or in addition to, uploading them onto Academic Jobs Online?

No, we do not have the capacity to accept or evaluate applications outside of Academic Jobs Online. Neither can we upload application materials for you. 

10.  What information should be included in the cover letter?

The salutation and contents of the cover letter are purposefully not specified and are left to your judgment. 

11.  I am a theoretical physicist, which falls in both the Physics and the Theory research areas. Which shall I choose?

If your research proposal is theoretical/computational as opposed to experimental, choose Theory.

12. One or more of my reference letters may not arrive by the deadline. May I have an extension? 

Formal extensions are not granted for any reason; however, Academic Jobs Online will continue to accept reference letters after the application deadline.  While reviewers are not obligated to consider a late letter, the closer to the deadline that a letter is received, the more likely it is to be seen by reviewers. The program office cannot comment on the status of any late letter in the evaluation process. 

13.  I have thoroughly read the Stanford Science Fellows web pages and these FAQs, and I still have a question.  What should I do?

Further inquiries may be directed to stanfordsciencefellows [at] (stanfordsciencefellows[at]stanford[dot]edu).