This is not going to be a specific question and may be off-topic for this site: I'm looking for advice, tips, or a template for writing a fellowship proposal.

I'm in my first computer science postdoc, in the UK, and have been encouraged to to apply for a postdoctoral fellowship in the US.

However, I have no idea what a fellowship proposal should look like. I been reading online and it looks like there are 3 basic components: the abstract, the main/body text, and a 'bigger picture' closing paragraph/summary.

For now, I am mostly concerned with what should go into the main/body text. As I understand it, this sectino should describe:

  • why the proposed research is important (describe problem, how the research will address it or fill a gap in knowledge, define project scope, etc.)
  • what my goal is (clearly stated research questions + objectives)
  • how I will achieve my goal (discuss experiments, techniques, data collection methods, etc. and include a month-by-month schedual)
  • what the expected outcomes are

Does that sound right? Any tips or even better, an example application that I can look at?


1 Answer 1


For each fellowship look carefully at the the information provided in the announcement for the that fellowship. While the core part of your proposal might be the same for each individual fellowship, do not try to write one proposal for all the available positions.

  • You know why you want a postdoc specifically at University X. Make sure you explain appropriate reasons clearly.

  • You probably have a pretty good idea what your qualifications are for the position at University X. These qualifications may be similar for all your proposals, perhaps with emphasis on how you think your qualifications are particularly strong for the CS Dept. at University X.

  • Now for the aspect in which many proposals fall short. What are the reasons the Department or specific people in the department might be particularly interested in you? You should provide clues. Why does the department offer postdoc positions at all? If you read the announcement from University X carefully, you may find that they have given clues.

Writing this proposal is worth special attention. Looking back many years to where I got my doctoral degree and where I did my postd0c, I think it is fair to say the latter had the major impact on my career.

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