Cornell Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship

Frequently Asked Questions

How are applications reviewed?

A special committee of 18 tenured faculty, representing each college at Cornell University, review applications.

What is the cut-off date of eligibility for applicants?

An applicant is required to have completed the PhD degree no earlier than September 1, 2017.

What is the start date for the postdoc position?

Postdoctoral fellows should ideally begin positions before June 30, 2020.

Can a non-tenured faculty member serve as a mentor?

Yes. However, a secondary sponsor—who is a tenured faculty member—is also required.

Can a specialty track faculty member, for example, a lecturer or research scientist, serve as a co-mentor?

No. All primary mentors are tenured or tenure-track faculty.

Can artists or artist scholars who can only achieve an MBA as their terminal degree apply?

No. Cornell policy states that all postdoctoral researchers are required to have a PhD, MD, DVM, or equivalent to be appointed.

How many fellowships will be awarded?

Six to nine per year.

Will the program sponsor postdoctoral fellows if they need a work visa?

Yes. This is done through the usual channels, in which the home department sponsors the applicant for a work visa.

Is this competition open to non-U.S. citizens?


Is this competition open to Weill Cornell Medicine?

Yes. This year, the competition is available for the Ithaca, Geneva, Cornell Tech, and Weill Cornell Medicine campuses.

When will successful applicants be notified?

We estimate that the reviews and notifications will be completed by December 2019 to February 2020.

Will you notify all unsuccessful candidates?

Yes. If applicants provide their email addresses during the application stage, they will be notified.

Are Cornell graduate students, nearing completion of their PhDs, or newly graduated postdocs, eligible for this award

Yes. All applications are reviewed equally, regardless of prior connection with Cornell University.

Can the fellow have a mentor outside of Cornell University?

No. Mentors are Cornell University faculty.

Does the dissertation need to be completed and awarded by the time of appointment?


Can a faculty sponsor more than one postdoctoral candidate application?

Each faculty member is limited to sponsoring one applicant as either a primary OR secondary mentor. A tenured faculty mentor can sponsor a second applicant, only if the primary mentor is an Assistant Professor.

Can a faculty currently sponsoring a presidential postdoc also sponsor a 2020 applicant?

No. All current sponsors are ineligible to sponsor another applicant.