About the 5+1 Postdoctoral Fellowship

Notre Dame has designed graduate programs in the arts, humanities, and social sciences that help students finish their dissertations on a shorter timeline. Notre Dame's 5+1 program differs from others in higher education in both its scope and its flexibility. Where some programs are competitive, Notre Dame guarantees a postdoctoral fellowship to every student who finishes within five years/ 10 active semesters. Where some programs ask fellows to teach the equivalent of an assistant professor schedule during their postdoctoral year, the College of Arts and Letters limits teaching to two courses per year. And while some programs conceive of the postdoc purely as a teaching fellowship, the 5+1 program offers a variety of professional experiences to expand the range of employment opportunities our Ph.D.s may pursue both inside and outside the academy.

The 5+1 fellowship is a fully funded transitional year that provides new Ph.D.s an ideal opportunity to prepare for an increasingly competitive job market. Fellows are encouraged to tailor the experience to their individual interests and can choose from a wide array of professional development activities. 

Many Ph.D. graduates use the fellowship year to revise their dissertations, further their research, publish work in academic journals, present papers at conferences, and expand their teaching portfolios, making them better candidates for entering the professoriate. 

“Our 5+1 program sets Notre Dame apart for its dedication to reducing time to degree and ensuring that our Ph.D.s are well positioned for postdoctoral success.” —John McGreevy, Former I.A. O'Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters. 

Postdoctoral fellows in the program may obtain a professional internship on campus or abroad. These placements should be especially interesting to students who are considering whether full-time teaching and research within the academy is the career path for them. 

“The fellowship year offers students the chance to reflect on the Ph.D. journey and re-imagine the course forward. I hope it will become the most creative and life-changing year in a person’s graduate career.” — Professor Jon Coleman, Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of History

The original press release for the program can be found here