WP Seeks Applicants for Unique Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Program that Strives to Diversify Faculty in Higher Education

William Paterson University is now accepting applications for its unique pre-doctoral fellowship program aimed at supporting career development of faculty from underrepresented backgrounds.

The University launched its predoctoral fellowship program in 2021 to advance diversity in higher education by supporting advanced-standing doctoral or terminal degree candidates from diverse backgrounds as they launch academic careers and complete their dissertations or degree requirements. William Paterson is recognized as one of the most ethnically diverse regional universities in the northern United States by U.S. News & World Report, which also ranks the University as a standout performer in social mobility.

Doctoral candidates from across the nation are eligible to apply for a fellowship of up to two years, which would begin at William Paterson in August 2023, in the fields of chemistry, special education, and teacher education.

“It has been a joy to witness the professional and personal development of our inaugural cohort of fellows: highly qualified and motivated scholars who are committed to our mission as a teaching institution that serves diverse students,” says Joshua Powers, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “These emerging faculty members play a critical role in higher education: advancing faculty diversity; bringing their unique and much-needed perspectives to the 21st century academy; and serving as role models in whom our students can see themselves.”

Academic departments on campus that host fellows commit to mentoring them and providing them similar levels of research support as they would for tenure-track faculty. The fellows teach in the department and participate in a cohort experience intended to position them for success in a tenure-track faculty appointment at William Paterson University or another institution of higher education.

“The great thing about William Paterson University's predoctoral teaching fellowship is that it provides the sort of career preparation that most graduate programs don’t offer their doctoral candidates. Fellows learn how a department functions, how to develop their teaching skills, and how to navigate university processes as an employee, all with targeted supports and a cohort of peers to assist them,” says Kara Rabbitt, associate provost of academic initiatives, who serves as the program’s coordinator. “This program sets fellows up for successful academic careers by supporting them as they learn how to balance teaching, research, and service, and how to do it well.”

An information session about the program was held on January 18, along with a webinar featuring a keynote address, “Serving Latino Student Success: Higher Education's Opportunity,” by Sarita E. Brown, co-founder and president of Excelencia in Education, the nation’s premier authority on accelerating Latino student success in higher education by linking research, policy, and practice. To view the information session and webinar, click here.

For additional information on the program, visit wpunj.edu/provost/pre-doctoral-fellowship.