University of Wisconsin–Madison

Career Opportunities

Grainger Distinguished Postdoctoral RESEARCH Fellowship in Engineering

The Grainger Distinguished Postdoctoral Research Fellowships provide inquisitive, passionate engineering scholars with a creative and collaborative space to tackle unanswered questions and solve critical technological and societal challenges. Grainger Postdoc Research Fellows collaborate across disciplines and seek solutions to complex problems that are likely to impact industry and society in a big way. Fellows will learn how to extend their academic research into the commercial sector through multidisciplinary faculty mentorship, industry partnerships, and professional development opportunities.


  • Within 3 years of PhD completion
  • All scholars with a PhD in engineering or a related field are encouraged to apply
  • Candidates currently enrolled in a PhD program at UW-Madison are also eligible to apply, but their thesis advisor(s) may not also act as their postdoctoral research fellowship advisor(s)

Program structure

  • Up to two candidates will be selected
  • Fellows will have at least two mentors:
    • One with a primary appointment in COE and affiliated with Grainger Institute for Engineering
    • One with a primary appointment in a different COE department or in a non-engineering department at UW-Madison
    • Additional co-mentors can be industrial collaborators
  • Open to all research topics aligned with one or more of GIE’s research initiatives. New innovative research ideas with the potential to generate large-scale interactions will also be considered. Current GIE research initiatives:
    • Engineering and the Health Highway
      • Biomanufacturing
      • Smart and Connected Healthcare
      • Neuroengineering
    • Resources and Production Engineering
      • Advanced Manufacturing
      • Energy and Sustainability
      • Infrastructure Resiliency
    • Data, Decisions and Control
      • Big Data and Machine Learning
      • Sensors and Sensing
  • Development committee
    • Professional communications and presentation skill development
    • Professional training for mentoring students
    • Understanding funding landscape and preparation of grant proposals
  • GIE-sponsored Early Career Development Activities
    • Early Career Seminar Series
    • Early Career Workshops

Salary and Benefits

  • Starting salary: $50,000-$65,000
  • Excellent insurance and benefits
  • Discretionary research/travel funds: $20,000
  • Two-year term with official title of Research Associate
  • FTE: 100%


The Grainger Institute for Engineering (GIE) serves as a research incubator within the College of Engineering (COE) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW-Madison).  The Institute fosters a trans-disciplinary research and educational environment and provides the infrastructure to address grand technological challenges. Current areas of focus are advanced manufacturing, energy and sustainability, biomanufacturing, neuroengineering, big data and machine learning, sensors and sensing, and smart and connected healthcare. New research directions will continue to be launched and nurtured within the Institute. UW-Madison currently ranks 6th in the Nation for volume of research, and our research centers and institutes play a valuable function in organizing activities for groups of people who wish to work together in teaching, research and outreach on specialized topics. UW-Madison has 40 centers housed within the College of Engineering, 15 in the College of Ag and Life Sciences, six in the Law School, 26 within the School of Medicine and Public Health and 17 through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. Centers and institutes offer our industrial partners direct access to students – the future of any business, workforce development, research relationships and trust, speed to market ideas, master service agreements to advance efforts, and other important agreements to protect the inventions. UW-Madison has over 15 consecutive years of more than 100 patent disclosures. Over 120 engineering faculty have received some of the most prestigious honors in the country including NSF Presidential Young Investigator, PECASE and CAREER Awards. Historically, over 30 of our faculty have been members of the National Academies of Engineering.

Application Process

Applications are due on November 1, 2018 at 9am. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. To apply, please email the following to

  1. Cover letter with statement of interest (2-page max)
  2. CV
  3. Research statement: description of the goals, significance and potential societal impact of the proposed interdisciplinary research (1-page max)
  4. Mentor statement - a letter of support from your proposed mentor (faculty from College of Engineering) (1-page max)
  5. 3 letter(s) of recommendation emailed by the letter writer to

Questions about the position may be directed to Page Metcalf