Postdoctoral Fellowships in Earth, Environmental, and Climate Sciences

Lamont Rock Mechanics Lab Postdoc Catalina prepares a sample for carbon mineralization while Ted looks on. Credit: Jacob Tielke

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University invites applications for Postdoctoral Fellowships in the fields of Earth, environmental, and climate sciences. Candidates should have recently completed their Ph.D. or should expect to complete their degree requirements by September 2024.

Researchers at the Observatory work to understand the dynamics of the Earth’s chemical, physical and biological systems, from the core to the upper atmosphere, including Earth-human interactions. Our scientists lead research in the fields of solid Earth dynamics; ocean, atmospheric and climate systems; cryospheric dynamics; paleoclimate; biogeoscience; and solutions to air, water or soil contamination impacting communities.

The principal selection criteria for Fellows are scientific excellence and a clearly expressed plan to investigate problems at the forefront of Earth science. Applications from all related fields are welcome. Interested candidates are encouraged to contact potential faculty mentors as early as possible.

Fellowships are supported institutionally for 24 months, include a $7,500 research allowance, and carry an annual salary of $66,000. Successful candidates will be encouraged to apply for external funding and may be eligible for further internal awards and positions. Lamont is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive culture. Applications from members of underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged.  

The deadline for applications is November 3, 2023. We accept online applications only.

Contact: The Office of the Director, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964 | 845-365-8546 | [email protected]

Note: Related postdoctoral opportunities are available at the Columbia Climate School.

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer – Race/Gender/Disability/Veteran. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory values diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage applicants of all identities, including dimensions such as culture, national origin, ability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, language, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.

Instructions for Applicants: Lamont-Doherty Postdoctoral Fellowships, 2024-2025

1. Deadline: The deadline for submitting application materials, aside from recommendation letters, is November 3, 2023. The deadline for referees to submit letters of recommendation is November 10, 2023. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early and to request that their referees send in letters in a timely manner. Letters received after the deadline will be considered as time allows at the discretion of the selection committee.

2. Application website: Applications must be submitted on the Columbia University online application system. After reading all of the instructions, scroll down to the bottom of this page and click the "Apply for Fellowship" button, which will take you to the website where you can submit your application.

3. Application materials: Applicants must submit a CV, including a list of publications; a research proposal; and a list of three referees who will provide letters of recommendation. A current email address must be provided for each referee. Lamont will contact referees for letters of recommendation.

4. Research proposal: The research proposal (called the “Statement of Research” on the application website) should describe the research you propose to conduct at Lamont, as well as your general research interests and goals. You must include a title for your research proposalPlease limit your research proposal to no more than 3 pages, excluding references. Mention your name on the first page on your proposal. Please use a 12-point font. In the interest of fairness to all applicants, the page limit will be strictly enforced.

5. Primary area of research: On the application website, you will be asked to select one of six areas of research: solid Earth dynamics; ocean, atmospheric, and climate systems; cryospheric dynamics; paleoclimate; biogeoscience; and solutions to air, water or soil contamination impacting communities. If your areas of interest span more than one of these fields, select the one that most closely matches your research proposal.

6. Current research at Lamont: Applicants are encouraged to learn about current research programs at the Observatory. Visit the Research pages of our website.

7. Contacting Lamont scientists prior to applying: Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact potential mentors at Lamont as early as possible to discuss the possibility of working with them. Visit the People pages of our website.

8. Requesting letters from referees: When you submit your application, your referees will automatically receive a request from Lamont. Please inform your referees to expect the request with a deadline of November 10, 2023 for letters of recommendation. Please also communicate the following guidelines for what to include in a letter of recommendation for a Postdoctoral Fellowship, including how important it is to utilize personal anecdotes of the applicants for each of these points below. Remember to be specific and avoid being vague or general:

  • Who are you and how do you know the applicant? 
  • What are the applicant’s most important research accomplishments? 
  • What are they like to work with and do they take ownership of projects? 
  • Why are they a good fit for this Fellowship?
  • What sets them apart from the rest of the students or employees you have known?
  • Please help explain any gaps or discrepancies the applicant may have.
  • Please identify any possible areas of growth for the applicant.
  • Be sure to end with a very clear, concise recommendation.

9.  Selection criteria: The principal selection criteria are scientific excellence and a clearly expressed plan to investigate one or more problems at the forefront of Earth science.

10. Number of fellowships: The number of fellowships awarded can vary from year to year, ranging from 2 to 4 fellowships per year.

11. Fellowship details: Fellowships are supported institutionally for 24 months and for the coming year will provide an annual salary of $66,000 and a one-time research allowance of $7,500. A portion of the research allowance may be used to cover moving costs, subject to the Director’s approval.

12. Columbia housing: Fellowship recipients are eligible to apply for Columbia University housing; housing slots are limited, however, and a waiting period is often required.

13. Expected start date: The expected start date should be in the fall semester of 2024 or spring semester of 2025.

14. Contact: Applicants can send additional questions to [email protected].

Apply for the Lamont-Doherty Postdoctoral Fellowship.