Hosting & Mentoring a University Administrative Fellow

Overview of the UAF Program

Program Description

Created in 2014, the University Administrative Fellows (UAF) program provides enrolled graduate students (typically post-generals Ph.D. students) the opportunity to work in an administrative capacity for approximately six hours per week during the course of a semester.

UAF hosts craft their position descriptions in consultation with Assistant Dean James M. Van Wyck. The GradFUTURES team then circulates the posting to graduate students in the GradFUTURES Professional Development Newsletter, and on the GradFUTURES website. In most cases, graduate students apply directly to the host department and the host department selects the fellow.

The fellowship consists of working on a project under the direction of the host department, attending meetings when appropriate, and discussing with the host the various aspects of the host’s position, including specific responsibilities, organizational dynamics, external networks, etc.

Fellows receive a (which is covered by the host office, in most cases) in addition to their normal support. Before accepting the fellowship, selected students must receive permission from their dissertation adviser(s) and must be in good academic standing


Graduate students

  • gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for university administration
  • are mentored by a non-faculty member on campus
  • learn new skills or use existing skills to complete a project in a department outside their academic department
  • are introduced to a potential career field

Administrative mentors

  • work with graduate students on a discreet deliverable or an on-going project
  • gain a deeper appreciation of the many abilities Princeton graduate students have, and better utilize these talents in the context of their own offices


At the end of each UAF appointment, the fellows and mentors are surveyed regarding their experience and provide suggestions for further program development. The fellows and mentors also submit a short one-page document describing the outcomes for each UAF mentor/mentee pairing.


Adjustments are made to the program based on survey feedback. For instance, based on survey feedback after the first years of the program, we have added a professional development seminar series as a requirement of the program. Fellows are required to attend four out of six seminars. Seminar topics range from “Managing Up: How to Connect with your Mentor” to “Legal and Ethical Topics in Higher Education” to “Understanding the University as a Complex Organization."


On-boarding University Administrative Fellows

If you have interviewed a UAF candidate and would like to make a formal offer, use the form below to submit all the necessary information.

On-boarding University Administrative Fellows

Hear from Current and Former UAFs

Avery Agles, GS, CBE
University Administrative Fellow

"My experience has totally transformed my idea of academia into a place where meaningful change and empowerment can happen."

Kimberly Akano, GS, REL
University Administrative Fellow

Kimberly Akano is a Ph.D. student in Religion and a University Administrative Fellow with GradFutures. Using ethnographic and historical methods,…

Mai Alkhamissi, GS, ANT
University Administrative Fellow

Mai K. Alkhamissi is a second-year PhD student with an MA in Anthropology and Cultural Politics from Goldsmiths and a BA in…

Genevieve Allotey-Pappoe, GS, MUS
University Administrative Fellow
"The GradFutures program is a great initiative for the professional development of graduate students at Princeton."
Mary Bechler
Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Administration

Mary Bechler is a Senior Associate Dean in the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School. Her responsibilities there include supervision of…

Natalie Berkman, *18 (FIT)
University Administrative Fellow

"Organizing the first Grad Student Career Meetup helped me to start picturing myself doing other things, and now I am happily managing academics at a creative media school in Paris."

Marshall Brown
Director, Princeton Urban Imagination Center

Marshall Brown is an architect, urbanist, and scholar. Among other accomplishments, he has represented the United States at the prestigious…

Zoë Buonaiuto, *18 (HIS)
University Administrative Fellow

"Participating in the UAF program was one of the most formative experiences I had at Princeton. The program provided me important mentorship, a supportive community, and lasting connections that expanded my vision of what I could do post-PhD."

Caitlin Charos, *19, ENG
University Administrative Fellow
"As a UAF, I found the structure, skill-building, and community I was looking for to make my graduate school experience more intentional. I highly recommend the program not only to those seeking to acquire job skills but also for those on campus searching for a greater sense of purpose and voice in the university."
Sophie Chopin, GS, FIT
University Administrative Fellow

Sophie is a fifth-year graduate student in the Department of French and Italian. She also participated as a University Administrative Fellowship…

Phillip Clayman, GS, CHE
University Administrative Fellow

Phillip Clayman is a graduate student in the Chemistry department. He also was a University Administrative Fellow in Research Computing in Spring…

Charlotte Collins
Associate Director, Pace Center

At the Pace Center I focus on thinking about how we prepare students to do service well and learn from their experiences. My work on our…

Submit a Call for University Administrative Fellows


Until further notice, this Fellowship program (and all related activities) will be conducted remotely. For more information about COVID-19 policies, please consult the Princeton Spring2021 website.