2 year postdoctoral fellowships are available at the Earth Institute at the Columbia University starting  September 2020.

Columbia University, established 1754 is a private research university located in New York city. The university employs 40 staff members and has an enrollment of 33,000 students.  The university is known for its research and academic prowess and is ranked #18 by the QS Top world university rankings. As per the statistics in 2017-19, 10,785 international students from 151 countries  (45% of them being Chinese) were studying at Columbia, 3,300 scholars from 108 countries (24% of them being Chinese) were working at Columbia University.

Columbia University offers excellent bachelors, masters and PhD degree opportunities, in 2017-2018, 13,343 students graduated from the university. There are 3 undergraduate schools, 13 graduate/professional schools, 4 affiliated colleges/seminaries, a world-class medical center, 25 libraries, and more than a 100 research centers and institutes. The university has an impressive list of alumni and affiliates, including; 5 founding father of USA, 3 US presidents, 29 foreign heads of state, 10 US Supreme court Justices, US Constitution author, co-author of the Declaration of Independence, 11 Olympic Gold Medalists, 39 academy award winners, 125 Pulitzer prize recipients, 101 National Academy Members, 96 Nobel laureates and 38 living Billionaires.

Earth Institute (EI) consists of 850 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, staff members and students. EI was established in 1995 for the advancement of earth science and to apply the knowledge gained to governments and businesses worldwide. 12 research institution are working under the Earth Institute, including;

  • Sustainable Engineering Lab
  • Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
  • Columbia Water Center
  • Center for Sustainable Development
  • Center for International Earth Science Information Network
  • The Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability
  • Center for Climate Systems Research
  • International Research Institute for Climate and Society
  • Center for Sustainable Urban Development
  • Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity
  • National Center for Disaster Preparedness
  • Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy

Columbia University also includes 6 joint units, 6 affiliates/consortia and 3 program units; Program on Sustainability Policy and Management,Program on Child Well-Being and Resilience, Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions.

Postdoctoral fellowships at the Earth Institute

Candidates who are selected for research fellowships at the Earth Institute receive a salary of US$67,530 and a stipend of US$12,000 (which can be used for expenses related to travel, computer, conference, software, equipment, journal and books). EI does not provide any housing for postdoctoral candidates, but candidates can contact the university’s housing office for guidance and queries regarding accommodation. The university grants limited-term J1 visas for non-US citizens.

Postdoctoral research program at EI involves a series of events exploring interdisciplinary issues, which includes; orientation, symposia, postdoctoral seminars, retreats and special events and seminar series, more information can be found via email. The selected candidates will be informed in February 2020. The deadline to apply for this positions is October 30, 2019, the last date to submit reference letters is November 8, 2019. A blog regarding Life as an Earth Institute Postdoctoral Fellow can be found here.


The postdoc position is open to both US and non-US citizens who have earned a doctoral degree (earned within 5 years prior to the appointment). People who currently have a position above post-doctoral researchers are not eligible for this position. People who are currently employed as a post doctoral research should contact the office to determine their eligibility. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply.

How to apply

The documents required for application includes; Online Application, CV, Brief Personal History, Research Proposal and 3 Recommendation Letters. Applicants are also encouraged to contact their mentoring team (2 or more senior faculty members or research scholars) at Columbia University.

Brief history should be a (max.) 2 page, double spaced, 11 sized font and 1 inch margins. Brief history letter should include personal statement, research statement, discussions with potential mentors, explanation of gaps in studies/employment, prior research experience and postdoctoral research fellowships held.
Research proposal should include (max.) 5 page including references, double spaced, one inch margins, 11 sized fonts.

The applications will be reviewed by EI postdoctoral selection committee, the selection will be made upon; educational merit, professional skills, experience, quality of recommendation letters and research proposal.