The UPLIFT Program: UCLA Postdocs Longitudinal Investment in Faculty Training

Description: UPLIFT is a four-year program with fellowships that provide up to 3 years of postdoctoral salary support and adds training and experience in college-level instruction to the typical mentored research training. The UPLIFT program is funded through an NIH IRACDA grant awarded to UCLA. Participating postdocs will continue to dedicate most of their time to biomedical research, but additionally receive advanced pedagogical training at UCLA and a teaching practicum in college level instruction at at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA), a four-year institution with a long-standing commitment to teaching students from underrepresented groups. The purpose of the UPLIFT program is to train a diverse group of postdocs, preparing them for teaching and research careers in the biomedical sciences. The program involves training in effective research, mentoring, and teaching as well as support for career development in academia.

Funding: The IRACDA fellowship currently covers an annual stipend of $43,680 plus partial postdoctoral benefits for up to three years. The UCLA research mentor is expected to provide a salary supplement to bring the UPLIFT scholar to the minimum salary on UCLA’s postdoctoral salary scale.  The supplement must be from non-federal sources unless the UCLA research mentor is explicitly authorized by the federal program from which such funds are derived.  Typically, the UCLA research mentor pays the first year and UPLIFT pays years 2-4.

Eligibility: All scholars who have a career objective of combining biomedical research with college or university level teaching and who are applying to UCLA bioscience labs for their initial postdoctoral appointment are eligible to apply. Postdocs who have been in UCLA labs for less than 2 years at the time the UPLIFT appointment begins are also eligible. Must be US citizen or permanent resident.

  • Prospective UCLA Postdocs: You should apply to the laboratory of your chosen mentor(s), while simultaneously applying to UPLIFT for funding. New postdocs will be required to participate in training at UCLA the Fall and Spring of year 1 and will begin the first of two stages of a mentored teaching practicum at CSULA in year 2. Current UCLA postdocs with less than 9 months into the initial postdoctoral should apply in this category.
  • Current UCLA Postdocs: Postdocs with greater than 9 months but less than 2 years of postdoctoral experience will be required to participate in training at UCLA beginning the fall term (September 2018) and complete the first of two stages of the mentored teaching practicum at CSULA in the coming spring (Jan-May 2019).

How to Apply

Process: If you are a current postdoc or have already applied to and been accepted into a UCLA research lab, then simply follow the instructions below. If you are currently applying to research labs, but have not yet been accepted, then include that information in your email message or statement of interest when submitting your application.


We accept applications on a rolling basis; however, our official call for applications is for positions starting as soon as August 2018!  This year’s call for applications ends July 15, 2018.  So please submit your application as soon as possible to ensure consideration for the fellowship.  Applications received after the due date may be considered in next year’s application cycle.

Your application must be comprised of the following materials:

1. Curriculum Vitae (CV). Please include a references page at the end with the names and contact information for your postdoctoral research mentor (who will submit your nomination letter) and two referees (who will submit letters of recommendation).

2. A 1-page (1.5 space, 12 pt Arial) statement of interest outlining your purpose in applying to the UPLIFT program.

3. A 1-2 page (1.5 space, 12 pt Arial) research summary that describes your graduate research and your proposed postdoctoral research (or current research for existing postdocs).

4. A nomination letter from the postdoctoral research mentor. The statement should indicate that the faculty mentor understands the terms of the program as described above.

5. Two letters of recommendation, ideally from the PhD mentor and an additional referee at the professional level.

6. Personal Data Form. Please complete this short questionnaire providing some general background information about yourself.

The CV, statement of interest, and research summary should be submitted in PDF format, emailed by the applicant directly to the UPLIFT office with the subject line “IRACDA Application” (

Letters of nomination and recommendation should be sent by the mentor and referees to the same email address within 2 weeks of submitting the other application materials. Referees should include the name of the UPLIFT applicant in the subject line of their email.

Following review by program leadership, qualified candidates will be notified and asked to undergo a short set of interviews at UCLA and video conference meetings with CSULA faculty mentors.

Members of underrepresented groups in the biomedical sciences are encouraged to apply.