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Cornell Postdoctoral Fellowship Programs

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

Presidential Postdoctoral Fellows

CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTIAL POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS are high-profile postdoctoral research positions with significant independence and resources to attract some of the world’s best young scholars to interact deeply with faculty and students on Cornell’s campuses. Candidates from all areas of research and inquiry, who will be no more than two years past the award date of their doctoral degree at the time of the appointment, are eligible for this program. Successful candidates will have access to the full range of talent and considerable resources available at Cornell, and will be encouraged to interact broadly with the Cornell intellectual community, in addition to their postdoctoral research with a tenured or tenure-track faculty member (sponsor) and their research group. Cornell Presidential Postdoctoral 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.

Approximately six Presidential Fellowships are awarded each year, with the inaugural cohort of 10 fellows chosen in the academic 2017-2018 year. Appointments will be for up to three years, dependent on positive annual evaluations and may include a teaching component where appropriate of no more than 25 percent averaged over the length of the appointment.  The stipend for appointments in the 2018-2019 academic year will be $68,000 plus full Cornell University endowed employee fringe benefits. Each Fellow also will be provided $5,000 annually for discretionary research expenses including travel. Interested individuals can contact any tenure-track or tenured Cornell faculty member(s), i.e. assistant, associate or full professor, who, if agreeable to serve as the lead sponsor(s), will endorse the candidate’s application. A tenure track assistant professor may serve as a primary sponsor only if a tenured professor serves as secondary sponsor. Cornell faculty may only sponsor one postdoctoral candidate application as primary or secondary sponsor.

Applications will be judged on the qualifications of the candidate, including their ability to be an ambassador for Cornell University, and the quality and originality of the proposed research and its potential impact. Review and ranking of applications will be performed by a representative faculty committee, and decisions are expected between December 2018 and February 2019.

More information can be found on our website.

Application Procedure

Interested individuals can contact any tenure-track or tenured Cornell faculty member(s) who is agreeable to serve as the sponsor(s), to request sponsorship and the required letter of recommendation.  It is recommended to contact the Cornell faculty member well in advance of the deadline, as faculty may receive multiple requests to sponsor applicants. Applications will be submitted using the online submission portal. To submit an application, please visit our website, and click on “How to Apply”, or apply directly to our online application system.

Application Materials

1. Candidate CV (4 page max), including publication list and date of Ph.D. graduation. If not yet graduated, please note the estimated date for graduation. Applicants graduating before October 1st 2016 will not be considered.

2. A one-two page description of proposed research that should include a clear statement of objectives and of the significance and expected impact of the proposed research if successful. This page limit includes figures, citations, references, tables, etc. Font size should be no smaller than 11pt. Applications exceeding this limit will be rejected without review.

3. Two Letters of Recommendation (2 page max. for each letter), including one that must be from the candidate’s Ph.D. thesis advisor, which provides detailed assessments of the candidate’s qualifications and potential for innovative, ground-breaking independent research.

4. A letter of support from Cornell lead (and secondary if applicable) faculty sponsor(s) (2 page max.) including a brief statement of any financial and logistical support of the proposed research that will be provided by the faculty sponsor(s). These letters are critical and will be taken into careful consideration by the review committee. No other letters should be included.

Application materials should be submitted by the postdoctoral applicant to the online application portal.

Deadline for all materials:  TBD. Late applications will be rejected without review.

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities.

If you have questions about this program, please refer to our FAQs on our website. If you have other questions or comments, please contact:

Cornell Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowships
Office of Sponsored Programs
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14850

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. 

A KIC FELLOW APPLICATION must have at least two Cornell faculty sponsors, as well as the pre-approval of a KIC executive committee member (Paul McEuen, David Muller, Grace Xing, Dan Ralph, Hector Abruna or Abe Stroock.) The KIC executive committee member need not be a sponsor, but he/she will play a role in overseeing the Fellow’s progress and helping to integrate them into the activities of KIC.

Please forward all materials (pdf format preferred) to:<



  1. CV, including publication list.
  2. One-page description of proposed research. The proposal should have a major component developing or utilizing next-generation tools for imaging/control at the nanoscale. Names of the Cornell faculty sponsors, including the KIC executive committee member, must be listed at the top of the proposal. Applicants must consult with their Cornell faculty sponsors before submitting any materials.
  3. Letters of support from Cornell sponsors. A single letter cosigned by multiple sponsors is acceptable.
  4. Two additional general Letters of Recommendation (e.g., from thesis advisor, collaborators).

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.

Applicants should submit a CV, publication list, and a 1-3 page research statement. Applicants should arrange to have three letters of reference sent to the same website- one of which should be from the candidate’s Ph.D. advisor. Applications received by November 3, 2017 will receive full consideration. Applications received by September 22, 2017 may also be considered for the Cornell University Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.

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 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.

CESI POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS are high-profile postdoctoral fellowships 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 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 advisor providing the other 50%. Two to three fellowships will be awarded for a two-year period beginning in May 2021.

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 put 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.

Required Application Materials

1. Candidate CV, including list of publications and presentations.
2. Two-page description of 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.
3. Letters of support from Cornell sponsors. A single letter co-signed by multiple sponsors
is acceptable.
4. Two additional general Letters of Recommendation (e.g., from thesis advisor,

Please submit applications via AcademicJobsOnline at:

Questions or concerns can be directed to Brittney Snyder (

Receipt deadline for all materials is January 6, 2021.

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