Launched in 2021, the Stanford School of Medicine’s Propel Postdoctoral Scholars Program is a program for incoming and early postdoctoral scholars who come from backgrounds historically underrepresented in academia, and who have a strong desire to become faculty in the biological, biomedical, or population-based sciences. 

Propel postdoctoral scholars demonstrate previous research excellence, a commitment to an academic career, a desire to engage with a robust community of diverse colleagues (broadly defined), and show promise in leadership that will enhance their contributions to Stanford and the world. 

The foundational goals of the Propel Postdoctoral Scholars Program are:

  1. Attract and train a cohort of biological, biomedical, and population-based scientists drawn to academic careers from populations historically underrepresented in the biosciences, in order to address the acute need for greater diversity within the professoriate
  2. Train future faculty leaders by: supporting Propel scholars in developing research independence through top-notch mentoring, rigorous scientific training, networking, and strategic collaborations; and providing intentional training in skill sets required to be successful in academia.
  3. Champion a culture of belonging and inclusion in science and academia, in the Propel community, within Stanford broadly, and into the larger academic community.

The Propel Program provides scholars with:

  • funding support, including salary, full benefits, and supplemental professional development funds;
  • community-building activities and support to foster a sense of belonging at Stanford and in the larger academic community; 
  • career, professional, and personal development opportunities designed to prepare scholars for success as postdocs, on the academic job market, and in faculty positions.

What are the expectations of a Propel Scholar? 

  • Engagement in the Propel and Stanford community
  • In person attendance at various scheduled community and professional development events
  • Represent the program both at Stanford and in the larger academic community

Mission Statement

Recruit and develop a distinguished group of postdoctoral scholars at Stanford to build an inclusive, diverse, and equitable professoriate.


The Propel Program is built from three foundations, each of which is vital to the success of the scholars and embodies the core values of the program. These three foundations include career and professional development, community and support among other diverse (broadly defined) scientists, and access to resources, networks, and opportunities to enhance scholars’ professional toolkit.