How to Apply

Stipends and Benefits: Fellowship stipends will be competitive with federal guidelines as set by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with annual increases as allowed by these guidelines. Health insurance will also be provided. If funds are available, additional support is provided for teaching activities, travel, support for mentoring an undergraduate student, workshops on workplace skills, and participation in annual SPIRE events. Each fellowship is three years.

SPIRE scholars are eligible for all other benefits provided to traditional UNC-Chapel Hill postdocs (Office of Postdoctoral Affairs) including sick leave and vacation. SPIRE policy allows for maternity/paternity leave.

Eligibility: Applicants can be current graduate students who will be defending before September or current postdocs with up to two years postgraduate training at the time of appointment. Applicants will need to have completed all degree requirements before beginning the program in September, not necessarily at the time of application (Feb). Candidates from groups underrepresented in the biological, biomedical, chemical, and related STEM fields in sciences are strongly urged to apply and we welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds.

According to the NIH regulations for postdoctoral training grant eligibility: Applicants must be US citizens or non-citizen nationals, or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence and possess an Alien Registration Receipt Card or some other verification of legal status as a permanent resident. Non-citizen nationals, although not US citizens, owe permanent allegiance to the US. They are generally born in lands, which are not states but are under US sovereignty, jurisdiction, or administration. Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible for SPIRE fellowships.

Finding a Research Lab: SPIRE applicants identify potential research labs at UNC Chapel Hill based on their graduate training, research interests and specific career goals, much as traditional postdocs do. Applicants can contact potential research mentors for acceptance into a laboratory at any time during the application process. A research lab and mentor do not need to be identified prior to applying to the program. Once accepted into the SPIRE Program, the fellowship can not be activated until the scholar is ready to join a lab. Program administrators are available to assist in the identification of potential research labs should applicants have questions pertaining to the specific research environments available for SPIRE scholars.

Application Review: Applications are reviewed by the SPIRE Academic Program Committee comprised of faculty at UNC Chapel Hill and our partner institutions.

Application Deadline: THE APPLICATION PROCESS IS NOW OPEN for 2015-2016 FELLOWSHIPS. All materials must be received by February 1, 2015 for consideration. No applications can be accepted after this date.

February- March - application reviews
March-April - interviews
April - fellowship offers sent
September 1 of each year - fellowships begin

Fellowships are offered subject to funding availability. We seek applicants with research interests in the biological, biomedical, chemical sciences and STEM fields aligned with the research areas supported by NIGMS.

A complete application package consists of:

  • Submit Cover Letter and current CV via the online application system to posting: https://unc.peopleadmin.com/postings/61945
  • Cover letter should state how the SPIRE Program will help you achieve your career goals, a brief description of your research interests and how your postdoctoral research will align with the research goals of NIGMS, your commitment to an academic career in research and teaching, and how you would integrate your research interests during your teaching experience at our partner institutions. Please limit your letter to 2 pages, single-spaced.
  • Personal Data Form (electronically to email address below)
  • Three letters of reference (electronically to email address below)

Submit Personal Data Form and reference letters electronically to Dr. Brian Rybarczyk at brybar@unc.edu. Microsoft Word or PDF are the preferred formats. Reference letters shoulds be sent directly from the recommenders, under separate cover. Electronic versions of reference letters need to include letterhead and signature. If not, please have signed, original hardcopy letters mailed to Dr. Rybarczyk at the following address:

  • Dr. Brian Rybarczyk
  • SPIRE Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
  • 211A West Cameron Ave.
  • CB#5492
  • UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599-5492

Please contact the SPIRE office directly at (919) 962-2505 for more information.