The UC Berkeley Future of Higher Education (FHE) Postdoctoral Fellowship Program seeks applications for a one-year Postdoctoral Scholars pilot program from scholars in any discipline with a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley who have interest in a career in higher education administration.

The program seeks to address the need for career pipelines and pathways beyond the professoriate, and the critical lack of diversity in higher education leadership. In the interest of diversifying administration in higher education, we encourage those from underrepresented backgrounds to apply. We define underrepresentation broadly, including a person’s ethnoracial background(s), gender identit(ies), sexual orientation, religious affiliation(s), abilities/disabilities, socioeconomic status, other positionalities and their intersections.

This postdoctoral fellowship is reserved for scholars who earned or will earn their Ph.D. during the years directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (AY 2019-2020 or AY 2020-2021). To apply, a candidate must have completed all requirements for their doctoral degree by August 13, 2021. Fellows are expected to be in Berkeley for the duration of the postdoc.

The program provides two tracks for applicants: the Leadership and Strategic Initiatives Track and the Student Experience Track.

Breakdown of the Program

As a postdoctoral fellowship program, both tracks are structured in a way which is divided between 50% research and 50% practice. The 50% research time will be split between research project(s) that are either established by, or related to, the offices that are part of their track, as well as time for the scholar to further develop research from their graduate studies either through preparation for publication, conference presentation, etc. The time allocated between these two research endeavors may be negotiated prior to the start of the term. However, it is the expectation that the institutional research will take priority; negotiations will be dependent on the needs and expectations of the units that are part of the scholar’s selected track. 

The research projects scholars will take on or are invited to be a part of may vary in their methodologies, size and scope, individual or team-based nature, etc. In the effort to support equipping scholars with the skills and exposure necessary to succeed, we are committed to offering scholars training, support, and work to highlight the skillsets, values, and perspectives they bring. As such, we are most interested in the scholar’s commitment to evolving and adapting to new opportunities and projects, as well as the scholar’s recognition of the value of institutional research.

The Leadership and Strategic Initiatives Track

This track will have the scholar work closely with units that will allow scholars to gain exposure to, and experience in, working in the highest levels of campus leadership and strategic decision-making.

The Student Experience Track

This track will have the scholar work closely with the leadership of the hiring units and will allow scholars to gain exposure to, and experience in, working on student-facing services, programming, and administration.

Program Timeline

Fellowship period is anticipated to fund a minimum of 12 months and a maximum of 18 months, at the agreement of the postdoctoral scholar and the hiring department. Each postdoctoral scholar will begin the program with an intensive one month bootcamp. The bootcamp will introduce the scholars to different aspects of higher education administration, allow them to meet their mentors (the selection and confirmation of mentors will be overseen by the Selection Committee); provide them initial training on skills that are critical to working in administration (grant writing, program evaluation, networking and navigating campus bureaucracy, etc).; as well as attending any meetings and training necessary to prepare  scholars for their institutional research project, which may include CPHS training, CPHS protocol review and submission (if necessary), and/or methodological training plan development (if necessary). Fellows are expected to be in Berkeley for the duration of the postdoc.


In keeping with the campus postdoc salary scale, the salary for this postdoc will be $57,456, plus benefits. 


Deadline for applications to the UC Berkeley Future of Higher Education (FHE) Postdoctoral Fellowship Program has been extended to Sunday, May 30, 2021 at 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time

Eligibility and Selection Process

Applicants must:

  • Hold an earned doctoral degree in any discipline by August 13, 2021
  • Earned their relevant doctoral degree no earlier than January 2020
  • Earned their relevant doctoral degree from the University of California, Berkeley

**Fellows will start their tenure on July 1, 2021.**

How to Apply

Applicants will submit:

  • Application
  • CV or Resume
  • Two References:
    1. References can be academic or professional.
    2. We strongly encourage applicants to have one of each (academic and professional).

Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee that will include representatives from: The Graduate Division, representatives from hiring departments, and the Graduate Assembly.

Apply Now

If you already received your Berkeley doctorate, please use this application link.


The mission of the Future of Higher Education (FHE) Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is as follows. 

  1. Equip recent Ph.D. graduates with the experience and exposure to a career within higher education administration.
  2. Advance the diversification of higher education administrators by recognizing and supporting scholars who bring a diversity of perspectives, social positions, and backgrounds, including those from disciplinary backgrounds who are underrepresented in higher education leadership.
  3. Provide critical mentorship and support that will allow recent Ph.D. graduates the ability to successfully shift to greater administrative responsibilities without coming at the expense of research productivity. 
    1. This is accomplished through a team of three support mentors. The first is an academic mentor which will advise the scholar on how their institutional research can also be positioned within different fields should the scholar still choose to pursue more traditional academic career tracks in teaching or research. The scholars will be asked to identify potential academic mentors in their application. The second is an administrative mentor who will advise the scholar on how to effectively transition to a career in higher education administration, as well as navigate a large campus effectively as an administrator/staff member. The third is the Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies who will support the scholar broadly throughout the tenure of the program.
  4. Provide opportunities for UC Berkeley administrators to leverage new, diverse perspectives on how to grapple with contemporary challenges and the evolving needs of our campus community.

Participating Units

  • Graduate Division
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Does not require a STEM background)
  • Equity & Inclusion
  • Student Affairs
  • Public Affairs
  • Chancellor’s Office
  • Vice Chancellor of Administration
  • Office for Faculty Equity and Welfare (OFEW)
  • Undergraduate Education