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GRI Post-Doctoral Fellow for Academic Diversity

Global Research Institute Post-Doctoral Fellowship for Academic Diversity

William & Mary's Global Research Institute partners with governments, foundations, and nonprofits to solve real-world problems and develop the next generation of leaders.

W&M needs a greater number of scholars with diverse backgrounds and expertise to tackle pressing issues in the world and to provide mentored research experiences to underrepresented students. The GRI Post-Doctoral Fellowship for Academic Diversity addresses these needs.

Improving Diversity of Researchers & Students to Tackle Global Challenges

Real world problems don’t respect disciplinary boundaries, and neither do we. Today’s global landscape demands diversity of thought and experiences to solve tough challenges and provide mentorship to W&M students. There are significant hurdles to the inclusion of these scholars at W&M. Barriers also exist when it comes to inclusion of first-generation students, international students, racial minorities, military veterans, and students with disabilities in the research process. We must overcome these barriers if we are to continue W&M's efforts to train the next generation of leaders and produce innovative ideas that can change the world.

This signature initiative tackles the dual challenge of improving diversity of both researchers and students as they focus on global challenges. Researchers from underrepresented groups come to W&M for two or more years to mentor students. These scholars are integrated into ongoing cutting-edge research projects at GRI. They work with leading W&M faculty, direct teams of students funded by the program, and collaborate with underrepresented groups in other projects across campus, increasing the number of students with critical applied research and leadership experiences.

The GRI Post-Doctoral Fellowship for Academic Diversity improves outcomes by:
  • Creating Greater Access to Opportunities for Underrepresented Students
  • Providing Training and Resources to Undertake Transformational Research Experiences
  • Recruiting Top Researchers from Underrepresented Groups to Come to W&M
  • Engaging with Practitioners and Policy Officials in National & International Organizations
  • Serving as an Innovative Model to Help Improve Long-term Retention Across Campus
Giving Opportunities

The Global Research Institute relies on external support to provide innovative opportunities for faculty and students. This support allows GRI to invest in research mentors and student researchers, increasing the diversity of thought and experiences at W&M and accelerating W&M's leadership in creating novel approaches to solve problems in the world.

Recruiting Top Researchers

Now in the third year of a pilot, GRI’s diversity-focused research mentorship program recruits researchers from underrepresented groups to come to W&M for two years. These scholars integrate their work with ongoing projects at the Institute. To date, researchers in the pilot program have conducted cutting-edge research to improve the targeting of COVID interventions in Kenya, to inform government efforts to enhance transitional justice, and to increase access to mobile technology among Tanzanian female entrepreneurs.

Increasing Access to Research Opportunities

When we have sought to improve the diversity of the student population conducting research at GRI, we have heard two common themes. First, students from underrepresented groups may lack the training and resources to successfully undertake these types of intensive research experiences. Second, students would like research mentors who understand the issues faced by underrepresented students at W&M.

Serving as an Innovative Model

These diverse scholars raise the profile of W&M by publishing in top journals, appearing in media outlets such as Foreign Policy and the Washington Post, and bringing in external grants and contracts. They teach W&M students how to be effective researchers, while becoming familiar with the W&M community. This increases the opportunity for them to apply for permanent positions at W&M, helping create permanent and generational increases in diverse backgrounds at W&M.