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Program Description

UNC SOM’s Rising Star Program
UNC School of Medicine’s Rising Star Program

The UNC SOM’s Rising Star Program’s main goal is to increase diversity among faculty members in the basic sciences, with a specific focus on groups historically minoritized in the basic sciences. The groups prioritized for this initiative are African AmericansHispanic/Latinx Americans, Native Americans, Natives of Hawaii and other Pacific Islands, and Natives of Alaska. This program provides training to postdoctoral fellows from these underrepresented groups to help them excel during the faculty interview process by exposing admitted fellows to the same components that they will experience during the faculty job interview process. This includes job talks, chalk talks, and multiple one-on-one faculty interviews.  Participants will also attend workshops on the faculty environment and negotiating hiring packages. This program is sponsored by the School of Medicine Vice Dean for Research, Dr. Blossom Damania and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gilliam Fellowship awarded to PhD Student Hernan Mendez and Dr. Kathleen Caron.

Program Components

  • A two-day campus visit to UNC-Chapel Hill with all expenses paid and a $500 honorarium
  • Opportunities to complete a job talk, chalk talk, and multiple one-on-one faculty interviews
  • Workshops on the faculty environment and negotiating hiring packages

Program Eligibility

  • The virtual webinar series is open to all and everyone is invited to register and attend. 
  • The formal Rising Star Program (campus visit) is open only to postdocs from groups historically minoritized in the basic sciences – African Americans, Hispanic/Latinx Americans, Native Americans, Natives of Hawaii and other Pacific Islands, and Natives of Alaska.

2021 – 2022 Program Schedule

Application materials for the Rising Star Program will be posted soon. Prior to launching the Rising Star Program in 2022, we will host a virtual webinar series to provide insight about the faculty interviewing process and recruit candidates to the program. Registration for the virtual webinar series is open to all (especially postdocs) interested in applying for faculty jobs. The anticipated timeline is as follows:

  • July Webinar with Drs. Susan Girdler and Erin Malloy : July 27 @ 12pm (see details below)
  • August Webinar with School of Medicine Department Chairs; Drs.Kathleen Caron, Henrik Dohlman, & Fernando Pardo Manuel de Villena: August 24 @ 12pm (see details below)
  • September Webinar with UNC Faculty: September 28 @ 12pm (see details below)
  • October Panel with Program Leadership Team: October 26 @ 12pm (see details below)
  • Application Period: January 1, 2022 – February 15, 2022
  • Awardees Notified: March 22, 2022

A list of participating Departments and Centers can be found here. Internal and external postdocs are eligible to apply.

Program Leadership Team

Any questions about the program or application process can be addressed by Ms. Darian Blakey.

SOM Rising Star Program Virtual Webinar Series

Panel on Preparing Your Faculty Job Application Materials with UNC Faculty

September 28 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm via Zoom
Register for this event

A panel of four Faculty from the UNC provide helpful tips on Faculty Job Application Materials used to facilitate their successful experiences. There will be opportunities to submit questions for the faculty panel to answer. Attendees are able to get a unique perspective on how to prepare their future Faculty Job Application Materials.

Insights to Apply to the Rising Star Program with Program Leadership

October 26 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm via Zoom
Register for this event

In an informal panel format, Ms. Blakey, Dr. Freeman, and Dr. Rodriguez-Romaguera will provide tips for applying to the UNC SOM Rising Star Program to Increase Faculty Diversity. Attendees will get a unique perspective on how to make their applications to the Rising Star Program stand out.