OK-PROS Guidance for Applicants

I. Application Details

A complete application package will include the following materials. Please note that the postdoctoral candidate will upload these materials. Once the application is submitted, the postdoc’s faculty mentor will be asked to review and approve the materials before they are routed for funding consideration.

  1. Academic and employment information for the postdoctoral candidate
    • Terminal degree information, including degree(s) type, field(s) of study, and graduation year(s)
    • Current location and role if not at Ohio State (if any)
    • Information for the department and college they have been/will be hired into at Ohio State
    • Name and contact information for their faculty mentor
    • Start date at Ohio State (if known)
  2. Contact information for the faculty mentor
    • Name and email address
    • Title and rank
    • Home department and college
  3. Materials to be drafted by the postdoc candidate:
    • Full curriculum vitae (CV)
    • Research Project Description, including a Broader Impact Statement: (<1,000 words). See example topics to discuss in this document in Section II.2 below.
    • Education and Background Narrative: (<1,000 words). See example topics to discuss in this document in Section II.3 below.
    • Budget: download the budget template here. See example topics to discuss in this document in Section II.5 below.
    • Budget Justification:  < 2 pages in length. See example topics to discuss in this document in Section II.5 below.
  4. Materials to be drafted by the faculty mentor:
    • Full CV that outlines scholarship, mentoring track record, and experience participating in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. (A NIH/NSF biosketch may be submitted for the faculty mentor so long as it also includes details on previous experience with mentoring trainees.)
    • Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan: (<1,000 words). See example topics to discuss in this document in Section II.4 below.

Format for all uploaded materials:

  • File type: all uploaded materials should be a PDF aside from your budget excel file.
  • Font: Arial or Times New Roman at 11pt or higher size.
  • Margins: no smaller than .5” on each side.

Please note: CVs will be accepted in the format that is standard for your field of study (font, font-size, and margins); you do not need to reformat them for the purposes of this application process.

II. Detailed Guidance for OK-PROS Application Components

  1. Postdoc Candidate and Faculty Mentor Curriculum Vitae (CV).
  • Updated CVs, including NIH or NSF Biosketches, for both the faculty mentor and postdoc candidate will be evaluated based on productivity (faculty mentor career stage will be considered), experience, and accomplishments.

Please note: NIH or NSF Biosketches can be submitted by the faculty mentor in lieu of a full CV for this component as long as they also include information on their previous trainee mentorship experience.

  1. Postdoc Candidate’s Research Project Description (<1,000 words) – Describe the type of work to be undertaken by the postdoc and their faculty mentor. The research proposal must also include a Broader Societal Impacts statement that addresses at least one of the following:
  • How does the postdoc’s proposed research have the potential to contribute to or improve the well-being of underserved populations or communities (both those underrepresented in higher education and those from populations underserved by academic research more generally)? For example, will underrepresented undergraduate or graduate students be mentored by the postdoc and faculty mentor to participate in the proposed research?
  • How does the postdoc candidate, in addition to their primary field of interest, have the potential to make research contributions to understanding the barriers facing members of groups who have been historically underrepresented in these fields in higher education. For example,
    • studying patterns of participation and advancement of women, racial minorities and other groups in academic fields where they are underrepresented;
    • evaluating research programs, curricula and teaching strategies designed to enhance participation of students from groups underserved by higher education;
    • studying the biochemical, molecular, cellular and/or organismal-level mechanisms underlying diseases affecting underrepresented groups; and/or
    • developing technologies that enable underserved communities to have greater accessibility to educational, financial, occupational and entrepreneurial resources.
  • How does the postdoc candidate in any scholarly discipline have research and/or professional interests focusing on underserved populations and understanding issues of racial, gender, or other inequities. For example,
    • research that addresses topics such as health disparities, educational access and achievement, political engagement, economic justice, social mobility, civil and human rights and other questions of interest to historically underrepresented groups (e.g., social determinants of health and health disparity elements that undergird the prevalence of certain cancers within African American populations; the linkage between inflammation and Type 2 diabetes); and/or
    • artistic expression and cultural production that reflects culturally diverse communities or voices not well represented in the arts and humanities.
  1. Postdoc Candidate’s Education and Background Narrative (<1,000 words) – Describe the postdoc candidate’s personal and academic background, professional aspirations, and their understanding of the barriers or challenges women, historically underrepresented minorities, students with disabilities, or other members of other underrepresented groups may experience within their higher education careers, as evidenced by life experiences and/or educational background. Examples include but are not limited to:
  • attendance at a minority serving institution;
  • articulate the barriers facing women, racial minorities and other groups within their field of study;
  • participation in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at their current or previous organization(s);
  • a record of academic service to advance equitable access to higher education for women, racial minorities and other groups in fields where they are underrepresented;
  • a record of leadership or significant experience teaching and mentoring students from groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education;
  • demonstrated significant academic achievement by overcoming barriers such as economic, social or educational disadvantage; and/or
  • a record of leadership or significant experience performing public service addressing the needs of our increasingly diverse society.
  1. Faculty Mentor Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan (<1,000 words) – Provide an outline of the faculty mentor’s experience with mentoring postdocs and terminal degree trainees (e.g., those pursuing a Dr.P.H., Ed.D., J.D., M.D., M.F.A., Pharm.D., Ph.D., etc.). The narrative should also describe the faculty mentor’s prior participation in mentorship training and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. If the faculty mentor does not have experience mentoring postdocs, they should include a statement in this document that confirms their willingness to participate in OPA-sponsored mentorship and DEI-related programming and acknowledges their willingness to use an Individualized Development Plan (see information on the IDP here).

Please note: the faculty mentor is able to use a NSF Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan here as long as it includes the information requested above.

  1. Budget and Budget Justification – A high-level budget and budget justification that outlines what activities the postdoc will support if they are selected as an awardee (the OPA has developed a template budget which you can find here with expense categories and example allowable expenses for each category). The budget justification should be no more than 2 pages in length.

III. Evaluation of OK-PROS Applications for Funding Consideration

  • Reviewers may consider candidates according to their academic accomplishments, the strength of their research proposal, and their experience with and potential to contribute to diversity and equal opportunity through their teaching, research, and/or service.
  • Reviewers may also consider the faculty mentor’s potential to work productively with the candidate and commitment to and experience with diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education as well as experience with (or willingness to participate in) mentorship training.
  • OK-PROS review committee will evaluate each application package component using the guidance listed in Section II above.
  • Other Factors That May Be Considered in the Evaluation Process – OK-PROS application review committees may give less consideration to applicants who:
    • Have had significant previous postdoctoral experience; and/or
    • Propose to work in the lab of their doctoral mentor; and/or
    • Individuals who are already living near their primary campus location and therefore need fewer financial resources to onboard to the university research community (e.g., if already based in Columbus and not relocating from another location).
    • Please note: Applicants who align with any of the three criteria above should address their circumstances in their application. For example, an applicant who is staying in the same department due to family needs would be given full consideration.


The OK-PROS program is made possible through the generous support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Grant #: P-60076160-2022 Ohio State University.