DRI Funding Support for Postdoctoral Fellowships for Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (RSCA)

Program Overview:

The Division of Research and Innovation (DRI) is pleased to announce a call for the funding of Postdoctoral Scholars. Pending funding availability*, funds will be available to support Postdoctoral Scholars for Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (RSCA) endeavors at SDSU and SDSU Imperial Valley.

The purpose of this program is to provide support to faculty RSCA efforts that will have significant long-term impacts on the research, scholarship, and creative activities of our campuses. DRI will be providing funds to support Postdoctoral Scholars (with faculty matching) for a period of two years.

*Funding may not be available at the time of application; however, faculty are encouraged to apply for this funding round.


Tenured or tenure-track SDSU faculty at all academic ranks and SDSU research faculty.

Award Specifics:

This program can fund Postdoctoral Scholars for a two-year period. DRI will provide 50% (up to $50k) of the funding for salary and benefits each year per Scholar ($100k for two years). Faculty are required to provide at least 50% in matching funds per year per Scholar (see below). Awarded faculty will be responsible for directly appointing or recruiting/selecting the Postdoctoral Scholar. Scholars should be paid at least $60k + fringe benefits per year depending on disciplinary background and candidate experience. Scholars will be hired into the Research Fellow position through the university and not through the SDSU Research Foundation.

On average, fringe benefits cost 50% of the scholar’s base salary; however, in some circumstances the costs are less than 50% or the costs can approach 70%. Fringe costs over 50% must be covered entirely by the faculty member’s funding. When budgeting for the two years of funding for the Postdoctoral Scholar, please be sure to include these costs in your calculations.

Matching Funds:

For this program, faculty are required to provide at least 50% of funding each year of the program (for two years) to contribute to the salary and benefits of the Postdoctoral Scholar. As noted above, fringe benefits may exceed 50% of the base salary of a scholar. Fringe amounts over 50% or higher salaries that exceed DRI's contribution must be covered by the faculty member’s funding. Faculty matching funds could come from start-up funds, extramural funding (e.g., contracts or grants), or from research support funds. The funds must be identified when the application is submitted. Please provide letters of commitment or evidence of these funding sources in your application.

Application Details

Applications should be 3-4 pages, not icnluding evidence of funding sources or letters of commitment.

  • Description/Justification of Request: Please describe the necessity for bringing a Postdoctoral scholar onto your team. How will having this position help to significantly move your RSCA forward (e.g., apply for additional funding, complete a project or projects, etc.)?
  • Postdoctoral Scholar Training/Mentoring Plan: Please provide a training/mentoring plan for the Postdoctoral Scholar. This could include specific elements of training you plan to provide (e.g., specific technical skills, grant writing, analysis or display of data, production design, archival research, opportunities to attend conferences and networking opportunities), as well as pertinent professional training provided at SDSU through the Center on Teaching and Learning, the Center for Inclusive Excellence, or DRI Research Advancement programs for Postdocs--GREW for Grads). Please peruse this example training plan.
  • Planned RSCA Activities for Postdoctoral Scholar: Please describe the RSCA- related activities you plan to have the Postdoctoral Scholar engage in under your mentorship. These could include activities such as assisting with grant writing, data analysis, the writing of manuscripts/monographs, archival research, editing and curation of works, etc. Please include how completing these activities during the two- year period will significantly impact your RSCA program.
  • Timeline: Please include a timeline that includes the training/mentoring plan as well as the RSCA activities planned for the Postdoctoral Scholar.
  • Description of Matching Funds: Please describe the source of matching funds and provide a SDSURF fund number (if applicable). Faculty must have at least two years (50% per year or more) of matching funds available that covers the period July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2026. Please include documentation (not counted in the page count) of these funds. Applications without sufficient matching funds will not be considered for funding.
  • Letter(s) of commitment (if applicable): If matching funding is coming from a third party or outside source, please submit a letter of commitment from the outside funding source.

Application Submission:

Please submit your application through the SDSU Competitions Portal (e.g., InfoReady). Complete the online application and upload your 3-4 page narrative within InfoReady.

Application Review:

Applications will be scored using the following criteria: 1) the extent to which having a postdoctoral Scholar will advance the RSCA efforts of the faculty applicant; 2) strength of training/mentoring plan; 3) the extent to which planned postdoc activities will significantly impact applicant’s RSCA program; 4) clarity of proposal. A subcommittee of the University Research Council will review applications.


Faculty receiving funding from this program will be required to submit a report following the last year of funding (e.g., June 30, 2026). Reports will be due August 30, 2026. DRI will send information about the report three months prior to the funding end date.


  • December 4th, 2023: Call for applications opens via InfoReady
  • January 29th, 2024: Applications due at 11:59 pm
  • January 30th to February 9th, 2024: Application review
  • Funded applications announced on or before February 16th, 2024
  • July 1st, 2024: Postdoctoral Scholars appointments begin**
  • June 30th, 2026: Postdoctoral Scholars appointments end**
  • August 31st, 2026: Reports due to DRI

**Scholars can start after 7/1/24 and complete their two-year appointment after 6/30/26 depending on the capacity to recruit and hire a scholar.