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Rackham Postdoctoral Fellows Emergency Funds

The Rackham Postdoctoral Fellows Emergency Fund is intended to help meet the financial needs of postdocs who encounter an emergency situation or one-time, unusual, or unforeseen expenses. Situations eligible for funding must be related to COVID-19 and will include such events as:

  • Medical, dental, or mental health emergencies for the student or, in some circumstances, for immediate family members who live with the postdoc
  • Major accidents and events
  • Expenses related to the death of an immediate family member
  • Childcare expenses that are directly related to or have been impacted by COVID-19. Eligible expenses might include, for example, a new need for childcare due to pandemic-related online schooling or a new childcare need due to the university shift schedule.

Normal living expenses such as rent, car repairs, utilities, taxes, insurance, pet-related expenses, and computer/laptop replacement are generally not covered by this fund.

Definition of Immediate Family

The immediate family consists of a postdoc’s spouse or other qualified adult (shares a primary residence with you and has done so for the previous six continuous months, other than as your employee or tenant); the son, daughter, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister (or the spouse of any of them), of either the student, the student’s spouse, the other qualified adult, or any other related person living in the student’s household. We acknowledge that students have family relationships that extend beyond their household. Our focus is on assisting the greatest number of postdocs, and with limited funds at our disposal, requests must adhere to this guideline.


Must be a current postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan. Postdoctoral Fellows are eligible one time during their postdoc period.


Awards will be made until all funds are dispersed. In general, these are intended to be for one-time use.

Award Description

Awards may be up to $2,000 each.

Application Process

Postdocs should apply online and include a brief statement describing the emergency situation or one-time, unusual, or unforeseen expense and the total dollar amount of emergency funds being requested. Please email or attach any documents that will help to support your application (300 words).

Apply for Rackham Postdoc Emergency Funds