Fellowship Essentials


Cornell University launched the Cornell Presidential Postdoctoral Fellows program in 2018 with its first class of fellows—an exemplary group of researchers and scholars. Their projects range from helping to find solutions to the world’s plastic waste problem to the art of media making. The program offers significant independence and resources to top-tier postdoctoral researchers and scholars in all areas of study.

As part of the Cornell University’s Radical Collaborations Initiative, the 2019–2020 academic year begins an additional offering. Each year thereafter, a number of postdoctoral positions will be reserved for applications that focus on a thematic area of Radical Collaboration, as outlined by the Cornell Provost Office. For 2019–2020, the topic will be “Advancing Genome Biology.” The topic aligns with the Provost’s Task Force on Genome Biology

Only some of the positions will be reserved for the themed topic. All other areas of research and scholarship will still be part of the program, and applicants from any study can apply.

Scope and Eligibility 

Candidates from all areas of research and scholarship—who are no more than two years past the award date of their doctoral degree at the time of the appointment—are eligible for the Cornell Presidential Postdoctoral Fellows program.

Successful candidates may affiliate with more than one Cornell faculty sponsor as well as have access to the full range of talent and resources at Cornell. The program encourages fellows to interact broadly with the Cornell intellectual community, in addition to their postdoctoral research with their faculty sponsor and the research group.

Length of Appointment

An appointment is up to three years, subject to the faculty sponsor’s annual evaluation of scholarly progress. Depending on the interest and career goals of the postdoctoral fellow, an appointment can include a teaching component. A teaching commitment can be no more than 25 percent averaged over the length of the appointment.

Stipend and Benefits

The stipend for the 2018–2019 academic year is $68,000 plus full Cornell University employee fringe benefits. Each fellow also receives $5,000 annually for discretionary research expenses, which include travel.

Selection Process

The Cornell Provost appoints an annual committee of up to 20 tenured, research-active faculty, chaired by the Vice Provost for Research, to review applications and nominations and make awards. Deans and the Vice Provost for Research submit faculty nominations for the selection committee to the Provost.

Program Size

The program supports a steady state of 18 postdoctoral fellows, with six to nine new appointments each year.