UGA Postdoctoral Scholars Program: Future Faculty for Inclusive Research Excellence (FFIRE)

Information for Applicants

faculty and students in lab
student in lab, arch

Fellowship Features

  • 2-year program, with a fellowship start date between July and September 2024.
  • Annual salary: $60,000(minimum) with full benefits for full-time/12-month position.
  • Collaborative, innovative, well-funded research projects and faculty mentors with a commitment to excellence in innovation, mentoring, and research.
  • Academic career professional development, including programs to support training in mentorship, grant writing, academic communication, pedagogy, academic leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship, financial project management, and career exploration.
  • Travel award to attend a national or international academic conference.
  • Cohort retreat focused on academic job search skills: workshops to develop application materials, mentor-led mock interviews, practice seminars and job talks, and negotiation coaching.

FFIRE Faculty Mentors

Application Process

  • Eligibility:
    • PhD conferred prior to August 2024.
    • Current UGA postdocs are not eligible to apply.
  • Deadline: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, but please submit by March 31, 2024 to be considered in the first round of review for August 2024 admission.
  • Application portal: Full applications are submitted via UGA’s InfoReady Portal, which requires either UGA credentials or a guest account.  Please first create an InfoReady guest account.  Follow the steps below.
    1. Navigate to the main UGA InfoReady webpage here:
    2. Click “Log-in” in the upper right corner.
    3. Scroll to the bottom and click “Register”.
    4. After requesting an account, check your email to confirm your email and registration.
    5. Then, you may apply to the FFIRE program under your guest account via the application form here.
    6. Click “Apply” and then log-in with your guest account under the “Login for Other Users” section.
  • Application requirements include:
    • Complete curriculum vitae.
    • 3 letters of support, including from PhD mentor and/or current research mentor.  Letters may be sent directly from the referees via email to with the applicant’s name in the subject line.
    • Research statement (2 page maximum) that summarizes your previous research experience and accomplishments and your research interests and priorities for your postdoctoral training. Clearly identify specific areas of interest for postdoctoral research.
    • Identify FFIRE faculty mentors of interest.
    • Personal statement (2 page maximum) that includes a clear description of your mid- and long-term career goals, commitment to innovation, inclusivity and interdisciplinarity, and your potential to bring unique expertise, experience, perspectives, and strengths to the UGA research community and research group(s) of interest.
  • Faculty interviews: Finalists will be invited to participate in interviews with potential faculty mentors. A statement of support and financial commitment from a UGA FFIRE mentor is required for final selection.

Scholar Selection Criteria

  • Evidence of excellent research training, productivity, and integrity
  • Pursuit of innovative and rigorous collaborative research
  • Potential to bring unique experience, expertise and perspective to the research environment
  • Potential and commitment to pursue an academic career

Program Activities

Faculty-mentored research (50-75% effort): Scholars will engage in research projects under the mentorship of UGA FFIRE faculty mentors. Available research project(s) are described on the FFIRE Faculty Mentor website, and the scope of work will be detailed in the offer letter. In general, research activity will include engagement in conceptual design of the research project, execution of experiments, data collection, data analysis, and communication of results through peer-reviewed publications and presentations.  Research activities will also include collaboration with and mentorship of other researchers, as appropriate to the research team.  

Faculty-mentored teaching (0-25% effort): Optional, depending on scholar interest and course needs.  

Faculty-mentored professional development (15% effort): Scholars will engage in one-on-one professional development activities with their faculty mentors, including regular research progress meetings and development and ongoing evaluation of Individual Development Plans. Additionally, scholars will participate in academic community activities including research group meetings, research seminars, communication with collaborators, and research presentations at national and international meetings.  To ensure effective faculty mentoring, FFIRE faculty mentors must submit detailed mentoring plans and participate in annual mentoring-the-mentors training workshops.  

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs-led professional development (10% effort). Scholars will participate in formal and informal academic career professional development programming offered by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. Informally, FFIRE scholars will meet with the program director for monthly peer mentoring discussions to identify challenges, update research and IDP progress, and build community. Formal professional development programming that all FFIRE scholars will participate in include: 

  • grant writing workshops and peer writing groups 
  • pedagogy training and instructional support resources and opportunities 
  • project management and team science  
  • training in effective mentoring approaches 
  • responsible conduct of research training 
  • academic leadership skills and opportunities 
  • innovation, entrepreneurship, and academic-industry partnerships 
  • academic job search panel discussion 
  • academic job search document workshop: cover letter, cv, research and teaching statements 
  • academic job search retreat: opportunity to practice job talks, chalk talks, and mock interviews with FFIRE faculty mentors 

FFIRE scholars are also encouraged to participate in additional professional development programming and community building activities offered by the Office of Research, including the annual industry-focused Career Day, monthly drop-in “Coffee and Conversations” in the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, and social events organized by the Postdoctoral Association. With the exception of the retreat, all of the professional development programming listed for FFIRE scholars is open to all UGA postdocs. 


Contact for questions: