Dean's Research Associates (Postdoc) Program


Program Description

Michigan State University actively promotes a dynamic research and learning environment in which qualified individuals of differing perspectives and cultural backgrounds pursue academic goals with mutual respect and shared inquiry.

The College of Social Science (SSC) Dean’s Research Associate Program at Michigan State University was established in 2018, as a major College initiative aimed at promoting an inclusive scholarly environment in which outstanding scholars in the social sciences support the advancement of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the academy. The Dean’s Research Associates will have a minimal teaching load, will be mentored and supported, and will participate in a SSC Dean’s Research Associate Development Institute, with the goal of possibly transitioning them into tenure-system positions at Michigan State University.


Success to Date

Increase in Faculty Diversity

Since its inception, through this innovative program, we have established three cohorts of social scientists who have enriched the student and research experience. We are proud to have added diverse individuals to our academic teams. So far we have added seven African Americans, one Native American, one Arab American, and two Hispanic scholars.

African American - 7

American Indian or Alaska Native - 1

Arab American - 1

Hispanic - 2

Cohort 1
First Cohort

All three associates in the first cohort have transitioned to taking on tenure-stream faculty roles.

Cohort 2
Second Cohort

All four members of the second cohort are on track to take on tenure-stream faculty roles.

Cohort 2
Third Cohort

These scholars will further diversify the African American (2) and Hispanic (2) SSC faculty pipelines.


Appointments will be made to applicants who show promise for tenure-track positions in Michigan State University’s College of Social Science in accordance with MSU academic hiring process. Each appointment is for a minimum of 9 months, renewable for an additional year, contingent upon a demonstration of meeting the performance expectation in research and teaching, with an emphasis on demonstrated research productivity. The selected candidate will receive a salary that is comparable to that of a starting Assistant Professor in the Research Associate’s discipline, plus benefits, and a budget for research and travel. Transitioning into a tenure-track faculty position at Michigan State University will require a series of structured, merit-based evaluations, which will include substantial peer input. MSU’s academic hiring process will be followed in appointing the candidates that advance into the tenure-track.



Applicants who have attained a PhD degree from an accredited university no later than July 2022, and no earlier than May 2019, with degrees and research interests in areas covered by the College’s Departments and Schools.



To apply, submit application materials online through Search for posting 733003 and electronically attach the following: (1) a 3 page statement addressing how your research, teaching, and service, contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion (2) a curriculum vitae; (3) an academic research paper; (4) a 3 page research proposal outlining research interests and plans for the fellowship year(s); (5) a ½ page statement describing your teaching philosophy, and the course(s) you could teach during the fellowship period; (6) three letters of reference which should address your potential for employment as a faculty member at MSU. Review of applications will start on October 15, 2021 and will continue until positions are filled. Questions concerning the search may be addressed to Nwando Achebe, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, College of Social Science (

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. MSU is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans, and persons with disabilities

MSU is located in East Lansing, MI, with easy access to the state capital, Lake Michigan, and great school districts The University is proactive in exploring opportunities for employment for dual career couples, both inside and outside the University.  Information about MSU’s dual career support can be found at