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Cornell Postdoctoral Fellowship Programs

In addition to the many postdocs positions available on Campus, Cornell offers endowed postdoc programs.

KIC Postdoctoral Fellowships

KIC POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS are high-profile, two to three year postdoctoral positions with significant independence and resources. The KIC Fellows program is designed to attract the best and brightest young researchers in nanoscale science to Cornell, and previous KIC Fellows have gone on to professorships at major universities around the world. Fellows will work in partnership with Cornell faculty sponsors on projects consistent with the KIC mission. Funds for expendables and travel will be available.

Applications will be judged on the qualifications of the candidate, the quality and originality of the proposed research, and its suitability to the KIC mission. Approximately three fellowships will be awarded per year. All Fellows agree to put the KIC byline on all publications and presentations during their appointment.

KIC Fellows will also receive lifetime membership in the Society of Cornell Fellows, along with the participants in other named prestigious and competitively awarded Cornell postdoctoral fellowships. 

KIC postdoctoral Fellowship Website

Questions? Email or call 607-255-5580.

Bethe/KIC Postdoctoral Fellowship

Cornell University’s Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics is soliciting applications for the Bethe/KIC Postdoctoral Fellowship. This prize fellowship will provide an outstanding theoretical physicist the opportunity to work with theorists and experimentalists in Cornell’s physics department. Our group has broad interests in hard and solid condensed matter physics, including: cold atom physics, biophysics, statistical physics, hydrodynamics, electronic structure theory, materials science, strongly correlated electrons, nanoscience, computational physics, and superconductivity. We also have growing efforts incorporating machine learning into studies of condensed matter physics.

We actively encourage applications from diverse and historically underrepresented candidates.

Bethe/KiC postdoctoral fellowship website

Mong Fellowships

The Mong Fellows program will nurture the next generation of scientists and projects at the interface between technology and studies of the function and dysfunction of the brain.

Funding will be provided to exceptionally talented postdoctoral fellows (Mong Senior Fellows) or graduate students (Mong Junior Fellows) pursuing risky, highly creative, projects focused on the development and application of novel technologies for understanding neural function. Appropriate proposals will involve work at early stages, when traditional funding mechanisms are inadequate. The projects, if successfully demonstrated, should have significant potential for future external funding of their continued development and application. Two fellows from different collaborating laboratories must be sponsored by a faculty team. One of the laboratories could be at Weill Cornell Medical School. Successful applications will be awarded up to half time support for each of the two fellows. The Fellows will have the opportunity to engage in work at the forefront of studies of the brain with mentorship by teams that might include engineers, physicists, chemists, computational scientists, and biologists. Funding for project equipment and materials must be available in the laboratories.

For additional information, visit the Mong Fellowships Program page.

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Society for the Humanities will sponsor two postdoctoral teaching-research fellowships in the humanities, each awarded for a two-year period beginning in July. While in residence at Cornell, Mellon Fellows hold department affiliations and have limited teaching duties and the opportunity for scholarly work. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships are available in two areas of specialization each year.

For additional information, visit the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships page.

Atkinson Postdoctoral Fellowships in Sustainability

The Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future seeks outstanding, creative, and highly-motivated individuals to work with Cornell faculty in collaboration with external partners to discover and implement sustainable solutions to world needs. The center connects nonprofit, government, and industry partners with the research capacity at Cornell in order to jointly develop and test evidence-based solutions. Current collaborators include CARE, The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defense Fund, Avangrid, OXFAM, and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

The center’s emerging strategic plan focuses resources on programs and projects with the overarching theme of building resilient rural-urban systems – including the food, water, energy, and economic systems – that connect the lives of rural- and city-dwellers.

  • Increasing Food Security: Improving the systems of agriculture, aquaculture, and wild food harvest to meet the nutritional needs of all people while enhancing the quality of life of those who produce the food – and the land and aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems on which they depend.
  • Reducing Climate Risks: Innovating technology, financial instruments, and policy to reduce greenhouse gas concentrations and adapt infrastructure, agriculture, and health systems to equitably protect human health, safety, and prosperity from the impact of increasingly catastrophic droughts, floods, storms, and wildfires.
  • Accelerating Energy Transitions: Connecting research with for-profit corporations, non-profit organizations, and government to enhance the generation, distribution, and storage of clean energy for heating and cooling, electricity, and transportation.
  • Achieving One Health: Incorporating our understanding of the inextricable dependence of human health and happiness on the health of nature into the development of agriculture and infrastructure systems.

More information is available on the Atkinson website.

Runway Postdoctoral Program

The Runway Postdoctoral Program at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute is an innovative one-year program for recent Ph.D.s interested in technology entrepreneurship to apply their research and launch new ventures. “Runway” postdocs are provided with significant resources from the Jacobs Institute to transform a new technological idea or a novel combination of existing technologies into a viable product.

For additional information, visit the Runway Postdoctoral Program page.

Cornell Energy Systems Institute (CESI)

The CESI Postdoctoral Fellows is designed to attract the best and brightest young researchers in energy science, engineering, and materials to Cornell. The goal is to create a cohort of independent scholars pursuing frontier research in energy. Fellows will work in partnership with Cornell faculty sponsors on projects consistent with the CESI mission. 

The mission of the Cornell Energy Systems Institute (CESI) is to “Make smart energy systems with low carbon footprint the norm through innovations in materials, technology, and systems design.” In pursuit of this mission, the Institute supports an ambitious agenda spanning discovery research to technology translation and systems integration. The goal is to catalyze the frontier research on materials, devices, data analytics and algorithms, and intelligent systems architectures required to lower cost, improve performance, and reduce the carbon footprint of energy systems. The Institute also serves as a hub for subject matter experts, programs, and multi-user facilities that translate energy-focused research discoveries to prototypes and prototypes to commercial practice.  While CESI is interested in proposals in all areas of energy systems and technology research, we have particular interest in the following areas:

Carbon Capture, Sequestration and Reuse: Approaches involving the design of novel material systems, and molecular and/or process systems design and engineering that integrate electrochemical, chemical and microbial pathways for CO2 capture and utilization are highly encouraged. Candidates should have an interest in advancing the molecular-scale basis underlying carbon transformations by harnessing novel experimental methods and modeling approaches. Nature- or earth-inspired and unconventional approaches that aid in the design of energetically or atomistically favorable pathways for the reactive separation, directed synthesis of novel and high value products, or environmentally benign use and storage of CO2 from point source emissions and distributed sources (e.g., direct air or ocean capture) are of interest. Synergistic integration of nature- and engineered strategies for carbon removal are encouraged, for example the use of systems biology to leverage natural microbial communities to accelerate natural CO2 mineralization.

Energy Generation, Distribution, Buildings and System Integration: The very nature of our electric power generation system is evolving; replacement of fossil-based sources with renewables, rapid growth of distributed energy\resources and storage, and the growth in consumer participation in load flexibility (e.g., grid-interactive efficient buildings) and peer-to-peer trading programs. Our ability to meet changing needs for electric power under increasing renewable penetration and wide-spread electrification (notably both the transportation and the heating sectors) is contingent optimal investment and operations. Candidates in this area should have specific interest in modeling and optimization of complex networks (including, but not limited to, power systems, building systems, transactive energy systems) under uncertainty, and the sociotechnical challenges of large-scale infrastructure transitions.

Electrified and Sustainable Transportation: Energy efficiency in transportation from broad modeling perspectives including approaches that would foster broad adoption of electrification of vehicles. Candidates with specific interest in the design and control of coordinated electric vehicle charging or optimal deadline scheduling of residential charging are encouraged. Candidates could also be interested in using systems modeling approaches to the socio-technical transition to sustainable transportation that can produce optimal, flattened loads that would improve reliability of the power system as well as reduce system costs and emissions. Candidates with interest in power electronic hardware modeling, design and development for electrified transportation applications, such as onboard and fast wired charging and stationary and dynamic wireless charging, are also encouraged to apply.

Materials for Renewable Energy Applications: Transformational ways in how we more efficiently, cheaply and sustainably generate, store and transport energy require continued innovations for new materials and devices. Join world-leading research efforts in discovering and developing a wide range of energy-related materials, such as photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, advanced battery materials and catalysts, membranes and supports for mobile fuel cells. Research is also conducted on materials processing that minimizes environmental impact.

To find more information about our faculty and identify potential advisors, visit the CESI website.

•    The CESI Fellowships are two-year appointments and provide up to 50% of the cost associated with sponsoring a postdoctoral scientist at Cornell, with the faculty advisors providing the other 50%.
•    Two to three fellowships will be awarded for a two-year period beginning in 2022.
•    The start date for new fellows will be between January and August 2022. This is flexible and based on agreement between the candidate’s advisers and CESI
•    The fellowships carry a salary of $58,000 per year, full Cornell University employee benefits, and $5,000 per year for research- and travel-related expenses
•    The fellowship term is two years. The second year is contingent on performance and mutual agreement between the fellow, the adviser, and CESI
•    Postdoctoral fellows can spend variable portions of their fellowship period at Cornell, in other relevant facilities, or in the field as dictated by their research.
•    All fellows will have access to Cornell’s Office of Postdoctoral Studies, which provides career services, including CV and resume writing, interview preparation, workshops designed specifically for postdocs including a postdoc leadership program, and social activities.
•    The fellow’s appointment will be in CESI.

Applications will be evaluated in a competitive process designed to evaluate their qualifications, the quality and originality of the proposed research, and the potential of the work to facilitate new research collaborations among CESI faculty. Applicants should not already be in a targeted research group at Cornell. Successful applications must have at least two Cornell faculty sponsors, at least one of whom should be an active CESI faculty member (see Successful applicants should also have a demonstrated record of research excellence evidenced by external metrics appropriate for their field, such as high-impact publications, awards, patents, and invited talks at international meetings.

All fellows agree to include the CESI byline on all publications and presentations during their appointment.
CESI Fellows will also receive lifetime memberships in the Society of Cornell Fellows, along with the participants in other named prestigious and competitively awarded Cornell postdoctoral fellowships.


September 3, 2021 Applications opens
September 25, 2021 LOI due (optional)
October 25, 2021 Full application due
November-Dec, 2021 Interview selected candidates
January, 2022 Winners Announced


A letter of intent (LOI) is recommended to applicants that have not yet identified advisors at Cornell and could benefit from faculty match making to prepare a Full Proposal. The letter should outline the project and if possible preliminarily identify a potential Cornell advisor. The letter must include contact details for the applicant, current university or other affiliation and position.

1.    Introduction – short summary of your application (maximum 1 page)
2.    Personal Statement that includes a brief description of the applicant’s PhD research project and a discussion of the applicant’s career goals. (maximum 1 page)
3.    Candidate CV, including list of publications and presentations. (maximum 2 pages)
2.    Proposed research which should explicitly address the relationship between the proposed work and CESI research mission. The proposal should also list the names, email address, and affiliation of the Cornell faculty sponsors. (maximum 2 pages)
3.    Letters of support from Cornell sponsors. A single letter co-signed by multiple sponsors is acceptable. (maximum 1 page per letter)
4.    Letter of Recommendation: At least one (e.g., from thesis advisor, collaborators).

Please submit applications via AcademicJobsOnline at:

Questions or concerns can be directed to:

Klarman Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Klarman Fellowships in Cornell University’s College of Arts & Sciences provide postdoctoral opportunities to early-career scholars of outstanding talent, initiative and promise. The premier program offers the Fellows independence from constraints of particular grants, enabling the recipients to devote themselves to frontline, innovative research without being tied to specific outcomes or teaching responsibilities.

Recipients may conduct research in any discipline in the College, including the natural, quantitative, and social sciences, humanistic inquiry, and the creative arts as well as emerging, cross-cutting fields that transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries and hold particular promise for broader impact. The Fellows will be selected from a global pool of applicants based on their research accomplishments, potential for future contributions and alignment of scholarly interests with those of potential faculty mentors in Arts & Sciences. The candidates will also be assessed on how their work can benefit from and contribute to the momentum in strategic research areas in the College.

For additional information and to apply go to the Klarman Postdoctoral Fellowships webpage.

CIHMID Cornell Institute of Host-Microbe Interactions and Disease Postdoctoral Fellows Program

CIHMID invites applications for our postdoctoral training program with appointments to begin Fall 2020. CIHMID postdocs are supported to develop independent and interdisciplinary research programs in collaboration with two or more labs at Cornell. CIHMID postdocs will have intellectual ownership of their projects and may use their support to build bridges across different disciplines of study. 

For additional information go to: CIHMID Postdoctoral Fellows Program