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Application Guidelines

Goal: The primary goal of the WiSE Merit Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research is to encourage outstanding postdoctoral researchers at USC to pursue careers in academic science and engineering, thereby increasing the representation of women in these fields. The WiSE Program awards up to four WiSE Merit Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research each year to recognize exceptional achievements in research. Each WiSE Merit Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research will be for $3,000. This award is not to be used in lieu of any other funding or salary.

Eligibility: In order to be eligible for a WiSE Merit Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research, the researcher must be employed full-time as a postdoctoral researcher in a WiSE-eligible department in the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences or Viterbi School of Engineering in a laboratory that is different from the lab in which the PhD was granted. The researcher must have at least one year in residency and should have publications resulting from work as a postdoctoral researcher at USC. The researcher must be nominated by their faculty advisor based on the quality of their research. Nominations by faculty should be sent to their department chair for ranking and submission to the WiSE Program.

Nomination Process: Each Department may nominate up to two candidates, endorsed and ranked in order by the Department Chair. Nomination materials should be submitted electronically to the WiSE Program office by email at The following information must be submitted for each nominee:

  • Two letters of recommendation, ONE of which MUST be from the candidate’s research advisor, detailing the exceptional work of the candidate, as well as explaining how the WiSE Award will serve to increase the representation of women in science and engineering.
  • A written one-page statement by the candidate, describing their current research accomplishments.
  • The candidate’s current CV listing accomplishments and publications
  • A brief cover letter of nomination and endorsement by the department chair ranking the candidates.