How it Works

The 5+1 program allows students to spend their final graduate school years focused on their crowning educational achievement—the dissertation. Once it is complete, they can devote a postdoctoral year to professional development that will enhance their competitiveness for jobs both inside and outside the academy.


The 5+1 Fellowship is a 9-month appointment that runs August-May. Under the new program, any current graduate student in the College who completes the requirements of his or her Ph.D. program within five years is guaranteed a one-year postdoctoral fellowship with a salary, full benefits and access to professional development funds. 

  • To qualify, a student must complete all requirements for the degree by the August graduation deadline set by the Graduate School before what would otherwise be the 11th semester of graduate study. (This means the dissertation defense should be scheduled by the end of June, and the student must satisfy all submission requirements, including submitting the final version of the dissertation to the Graduate School, by the deadline for August graduation.) 
  • Fifth-year students should remain in close contact with their directors of graduate study in the semester before defending the dissertation. If they expect to qualify for the 5+1 postdoc, they should arrange teaching assignments and/or apply for professional internships well before the start of the fellowship.
  • The 5+1 Fellowship appointment must include instruction in some capacity for at least one semester during their appointment. The teaching load can be no more than 2 courses per year and must be at the University of Notre Dame or at a pre-approved affiliate University or local program.
  • Potential fellows will sign a Letter of Intent outlining the requirements for application to and participation in the 5+1 program.
  • Fellows seeking professional internships should apply by March of the year before the fellowship starts. Internships are competitive and a placement is not guaranteed. Students may apply for existing openings or propose their own placements.