Applications sought for President’s Postdoctoral Fellowships


The U-M President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is accepting applications through Nov. 1, with a supporting letter from the unit — chair, director, associate dean, or dean — due Dec. 1.

The fellowship, now in its 13th year, is facilitated by the U-M ADVANCE Program and supports exceptional scholars whose research, teaching and service will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education.

The university views these postdoctoral fellowships as an opportunity to recruit potential new faculty to tenure-track positions.

In the 2023-24 cycle, U-M welcomes applications from candidates who propose to work with faculty mentors in one of the following 10 schools and colleges:

  • School of Dentistry
  • Marsal Family School of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • School for Environment and Sustainability
  • Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
  • School of Kinesiology
  • School of Music, Theatre & Dance
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Public Health
  • School of Social Work

Two new postdoctoral scholars selected for the program — Alexis Riley and Julie Zhu — arrive on campus this year.

Photo of Alexis Riley
Alexis Riley

Riley received her Ph.D. from the Performance as Public Practice Program at the University of Texas at Austin, where her written and practice-based research focused on the politics of disabled embodiment in 20th century and 21st century performance.

As a PPFP fellow, her archival research will examine how disabled people at Oregon State Hospital in the postwar era mobilized dance criticism to document and contest the conditions of their confinement.

Her use of performance research methods offers new avenues to historians of medical incarceration grappling with the limits of state hospital archives, while uncovering minoritarian performance cultures underrepresented in theater, dance and performance studies.

The research she conducts also will form the basis of a devised performance presented at the end of her tenure. Alexis will work with Petra Kuppers in SMTD’s Department of Theatre and Drama.

Photo of Julie Zhu
Julie Zhu

Zhu, a composer, artist and carillonist, received her Ph.D. from the Department of Music at Stanford University. She is interested in how music and technology interact both theoretically and as applied in creative collaborations.

Her work is conceptual and transdisciplinary, operating on an expansive definition of algorithm. Creative and ethical use of AI and machine learning in the arts is one of her research interests and the focus of her Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship at U-M.

As an advocate for intermedia composition, Zhu collaborates with artists and musicians globally. The results of these collaborations have been exhibited at and performed in studios and residencies throughout Europe, North America and Asia.

As a carillonist, Zhu regularly performs on the Burton and Lurie towers at U-M. During her time as a visual artist in New York City, she was the resident carillonneur at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue. Zhu will work with John Granzow in SMTD’s Department of Performing Arts Technology.

The President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program at U-M attracts a strong group of candidates each year.

Each candidate is expected to identify a faculty member who has been contacted in advance of the application and is willing to serve as a mentor. Faculty members are encouraged to identify emerging scholars who would be appropriate for the program.

The PPFP is designed to support postdoctoral fellowships as well as tenure-track positions. Eighteen former fellows became assistant professors at U-M.


Leave a comment

Commenting is closed for this article. Please read our comment guidelines for more information.