Three PFTF fellows proudly show their certificate of completion


Professors for the Future is a competitive, professional development and leadership program for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars at UC Davis.

Each year we select 15 Ph.D. candidates and postdoctoral scholars to participate in this yearlong fellowship.

We encourage Ph.D. candidates and postdoctoral scholars of any discipline and background who have demonstrated a commitment to professionalism, integrity and academic service to apply.

Through PFTF you will:

  • Enhance your leadership and professional skills
  • Learn more about the university system
  • Gain insider’s knowledge of the nuances of academia as an institution
  • Develop and execute a project that benefits the graduate community at UC Davis

You must be currently enrolled as a Ph.D. candidate or employed as a postdoctoral scholar (title codes: 3252, 3253, 3254, 3255, 3256) at UC Davis to be eligible. (Your Ph.D. candidacy must begin no later than the start of the fellowship year or you must be a current UC Davis postdoctoral scholar from the start of the program and throughout the fellowship year.)
You also must attend all required PFTF meetings, retreats, courses and reception.

(See this year’s schedule of PFTF events)

To apply for this competitive fellowship,
follow these three steps:


1. Fill out this application form.

Be sure to include your:

  • Potential for leadership and academic service
  • Commitment to the academy and scholarly pursuits
  • Desire to contribute to graduate education and/or postdoctoral training by designing and completing a project beneficial to other students and scholars

2.  Secure a nomination

Secure a nomination from a UC Davis faculty member, administrator, fellow graduate student or postdoctoral scholar using this nomination form. 

3. Obtain letters of recommendation

Obtain two letters of recommendation using this recommendation form. Recommendations must be submitted online by the person making the recommendation.

Important Note: If you are a graduate student, one recommendation must come from your major professor; if you are a postdoctoral scholar, one recommendation must come from your current principal investigator.

Application Timeline
  • Early January: PFTF application process opens.

  • Mid-February: PFTF application process closes.

  • April: PFTF fellows selected. A new Class of PFTF fellows is announced.

Contact Us

  • Office Phone: 530-754-1457
  • Email: