2023 W.M. Keck Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Dr. Samantha Krysa, mentored by Dr. Jonathan R. Brestoff
  • Dr. Rupal Ojha, mentored by Dr. Andreas Herrlich
  • Dr. Emery Usher, mentored by Dr. Alex Holehouse
  • Dr. Courtney Walker, mentored by Dr. Andrew Yoo

Since 1989, talented researchers have enhanced their research skills and initiated successful careers through the generous support of the W.M. Keck Postdoctoral Fellowship. From professors of Medicine to biotech entrepreneurs to public leaders, our former W.M. Keck Fellows use the skills and expertise gained during their Fellowship to make vital contributions to science and advance meaningful, constructive change in our society.

Established with a generous gift from the W.M. Keck Foundation, the W.M. Keck Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biomedical Research is a hallmark of Washington University. It provides one-year support to outstanding scientists in the early phase of their postdoctoral experience who demonstrate exceptional potential for becoming leading experts in biomedical and molecular medicine research. Each Keck Postdoctoral Fellowship consists of a competitive stipend and an extra amount for research supplies. It is open to scholars from different scientific disciplines, regardless of their citizenship or immigration status.

Every year, nominations are open in February and are due in March. The Selection Committee meets in April and notifications are sent no later than May 1st. The starting date of the Fellowship is July 1st. The Keck Postdoctoral Fellowship is administered by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.

Faculty Mentor Eligibility

Postdoc Nominee Eligibility

  • Nominee must have less than two years of postdoctoral experience (including previous experience at other institutions) as of the start date of the fellowship (July 1st).
  • Nominee should hold a PhD, MD/PhD, or MD degree, and show considerable promise for a career in biomedical science.
  • Nominee must propose a research project within the areas of biomedical or molecular medicine research.
  • Nominee must be scheduled to continue or begin their appointment with a DBBS faculty mentor by July 1st in a primary appointment at Washington University in order to receive the fellowship award.
  • Nominee must not hold any other fellowship. Priority will be given to applicants who do not have pending fellowship awards from other sources.
  • U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and temporary visa holders are all eligible for nomination.

Nomination process

DBBS faculty mentors nominating an incoming or current postdoctoral appointee should submit the following documents:

  • Complete application form
  • Postdoc nominee’s CV
  • 1-page research statement prepared by the nominee (not the nominating faculty) describing the proposed project to be carried out during the tenure of the fellowship. The document must not include figures or references.
  • Letter of recommendation prepared the nominating faculty describing the postdoc nominee’s qualifications, the value of the nominee’s research project, and the training and mentorship plan for the duration of the fellowship.

Submit a nomination for the 2023 cycle

***Application for the 2023 cycle is now closed.***

  • Nominations for the 2023 W.M. Keck Postdoctoral Fellowship are open from February 20 through March 20, 2023.
  • Four (4) 1-year fellowships will be awarded, with $60,000 for stipend and up to $4,000 for research support.
  • We welcome nominations from scholars from different scientific disciplines, regardless of their citizenship or immigration status. We especially encourage nominations of those from underrepresented groups and international scholars.
  • The Selection Committee is expected to release decisions by May 1, 2023.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I nominate a graduate student?

You can nominate a grad student only if they will complete all the requirements for their doctoral degree by the start date of the Keck Postdoctoral Fellowship. If the doctoral degree has not been conferred at the time of the application, you need to provide proof that the degree will be completed soon together with the expected date of degree conferral.

Can I nominate a scholar from my own lab?

Yes. If the nominee will stay in the same lab as the one in which they conducted graduate or previous postdoctoral work, please specify how the research project and the training and mentoring will be different

What if I’m waiting for the results of my DBBS faculty affiliation?

If you have applied for a DBBS affiliation as faculty and are still waiting for the confirmation letter, please submit proof of informal approval as a DBBS affiliated faculty.

What counts as postdoctoral experience?

Postdoctoral experience includes research experience (including industrial), previous postdoctoral appointments at WashU or other institutions, teaching assistantship, previous faculty career, on-the-job training, and in general any other time spent in an academic- and research-oriented field beyond that of the qualifying doctoral degree. Clinical appointments do not count as postdoctoral experience.

What should the research statement include?

The research statement must be written by the nominee (and not the nominating faculty) and should specify the research project that will be conducted during the fellowship tenure. The focus of the project should lay within the areas of biomedical or molecular medicine research. This document is limited to 1 page. Do not include figures or references.

Who can I contact for questions?

Direct questions to Dr. Paola Cepeda, Director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, at paola.cepeda@wustl.edu