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 research, but additionally receive advanced pedagogical training at UCLA and engage in a formal teaching practicum in college level instruction 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 biological sciences. The program involves training in effective research, mentoring, and teaching as well as support for career development in academia. [Fellowship Description_2018]

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.  The UCLA research mentor pays the first year and UPLIFT pays years 2-4.

Eligibility: All scholars who have a career objective of combining 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 1.5 years at the time the UPLIFT appointment begins are also eligible. Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents.

  • Prospective UCLA Postdocs: You should apply to the laboratory of your chosen research 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 your first postdoctoral position 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 of year 1 and complete the first of two stages of the mentored teaching practicum at CSULA either in the fall or in the spring term the same year.  The timing of the teaching practicum depends on the teaching schedule of the CSULA faculty mentor to which an UPLIFT scholar gets assigned. The academic calendar at CSULA begins in August each year.

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 at UCLA, but have not yet been accepted to join a lab, then include that information in your email message and statement of interest when submitting your application.


We accept applications on a rolling basis; however, our official call for applications this year begins now and ends March 1, 2019.  Following review of applications and interviews (in person or via videoconference) of qualified applicants with program leadership, including CSULA faculty mentors, candidates will be notified of their acceptance to the UPLIFT program, preferably no later July 1, 2019.

Please submit your application as soon as possible to ensure consideration for the UPLIFT fellowship.  Applications received after the due date may be considered in the next year’s application cycle.

Your application must be comprised of the following materials:

1. Curriculum Vitae (CV). Please include a professional references page at the end with the names and contact information for your postdoctoral research mentor (who must 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) with your UCLA research mentor.

4. A nomination letter from your UCLA 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 your 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, respectively, to the same email address ( within 2 weeks of submitting your other application materials. Referees should include the name of the UPLIFT applicant in the subject line of their email.

Following review of applications by UCLA program directors and CSULA faculty mentors, qualified candidates will be notified and asked to undergo a short set of interviews either in person or via video conference.

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