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The Library of Birmingham

The Library of Birmingham

Credit: MarkB1985/iStockphoto

U.S. and U.K. universities announce binational postdoc program

Ph.D. scientists looking for a different kind of postdoc may wish to consider applying for an unusual new fellowship announced 14 April by the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), in the United States. The appointments last 3 years, with the first and third spent at Birmingham and the second at UIUC. Fellows will have a mentor at each institution. “The grand challenges facing society are inherently global, and tackling them requires scholarly collaboration across borders,” says Peter Schiffer, vice chancellor for research at UIUC, in a press release from the two universities.

Perhaps most remarkably, “[f]ollowing the successful conclusion of a BRIDGE Fellowship and ensuring the academic achievements are attained at the required standards, Fellows will be appointed to a permanent academic post at the University of Birmingham, normally at Lecturer grade,” states the program’s website. And that’s not a job as a lecturer in the United States, who is almost always an adjunct or contingent faculty member, but as one in the United Kingdom, where the position is permanent and comparable to an assistant professorship. “[I]n exceptional cases appointments may be made at a higher grade,” the page adds.

Fellowships are available in six fields, four involving science or engineering: cognition and aging, brain trauma, computational genomics, and international high speed rail. Applications are due 13 May. And in case you were wondering, the acronym stands, rather awkwardly, for BiRmingham-Illinois Partnership for Discovery, EnGagement and Education.

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