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 have transitioned to tenure-system 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.