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Faculty Sponsor FAQs

Can EEB faculty sponsor more than one application?

Yes! There is no limit on the number of applicants per lab - we encourage multiple applications from PIs. Applicants sponsored by the same EEB faculty will not be pitted against one another, and will instead each be evaluated under their own merits.

Is my lab eligible to sponsor a candidate?

There must be at least two core EEB Core Faculty sponsoring each candidate. A current list of EEB core faculty can be found here: https://eeb.msu.edu/people/core-faculty/. Non-core members can be co-sponsors, but they must be in addition to the two core members. If you believe you are core faculty, but you’re not on the list, contact Barbara Bloemers.

What are the expectations for sponsors?

Similar to the expectations of a sponsor of any research postdoc fellowship (e.g., NSF PRFB or USDA NIFA), sponsors are expected to help applicants develop their proposals and to ensure that successful applicants have the resources they need to execute their proposed research. Sponsors are also expected to take the initiative in any steps normally taken before someone joins their lab (e.g., meet with that person, has that person meet with current members of the lab, etc.). Finally, to ensure continuity of the postdoc fellowship program, we request that at least one of the sponsors of a successful applicant put their name forward to serve on the EEB Postdoc Search Committee the following year. Current members of the search committee cannot sponsor applicants.

How does the sponsorship team figure into the evaluation of an application?

The purpose of this fellowship is to spur novel collaborations and synergistic research connections across MSU’s EEB community. All else being equal, sponsorship teams that span larger intellectual or institutional divides will be evaluated higher.  Likewise, novel collaborations between labs will be scored higher than existing collaborations. If the sponsors are currently collaborating, but the proposed research represents a novel axis of collaboration, sponsors are encouraged to speak to the novelty in their support letter. Finally, all else being equal, sponsorship teams that have demonstrated a stronger involvement in/commitment to the MSU EEB community will be scored higher.

When is the Sponsor Support Letter due, and what should we include in the letter?

A single letter of support, co-written by at least two EEB mentors (2 pages max), should be uploaded by the applicant as part of their application. The team of faculty sponsors should write a single letter, which should include a brief mentorship plan, information on where the postdoc will be housed and how they will be integrated into both sponsor’s labs, a statement of support for the proposed research and the synergies it will create between labs/research areas, and a brief description of each sponsor’s contributions to the EEB community (service, teaching, etc.). 

Can international candidates apply?

Yes!

What are the next steps of the search?

The committee will narrow down the applicants to a set of four finalists. These four finalists will interview and give seminars the weeks of Jan. 10 and Jan.17. Two interviews will occur during the regularly scheduled EEB seminars those weeks, and two interviews will be scheduled for other days in that two-week period. Members of the EEB community will have the opportunity to provide feedback on interviewing candidates. Seminars will be recorded and made available before the community vote.
Additional questions? Email any members of the search committee Gideon Bradburd (bradburd@msu.edu); Isabela Lima Borges (ilborges@msu.edu); Minako Izutsu (izutsumi@msu.edu); Emily Josephs (josep993@msu.edu); Leslie Kollar (kollarle@msu.edu); Kevin Liu (kjl@msu.edu); Mariah Meek (mhmeek@msu.edu); Will Wetzel (wcwetzel@msu.edu).