Postdoctoral Fellowship Program Overview
The Earth Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship program is the premier program in the world for those dedicated to a better understanding of critical scientific and social issues in global sustainable development. Earth Institute Postdoctoral Fellows, often referred to as the EI Fellows, will join multidisciplinary teams of outstanding, committed scientists from across the Earth Institute and Columbia University.
The EI Fellows program provides innovative postdoctoral scholars with the opportunity to build a foundation in one of the core disciplines represented within the Earth Institute (i.e. social, earth, biological, engineering, and health sciences), while at the same time acquiring the breadth of cross-disciplinary expertise needed to address critical issues related to sustainable development. Specific areas of research include food security, energy systems, climate change impacts, poverty reduction, disease, and environmental degradation. The program offers a unique intellectual surrounding that fosters cross-disciplinary interaction, research and education.
To apply, candidates must complete the online application and submit a proposal for research that would contribute to the goal of global sustainable development. Proposals may suggest participating in, contributing to, or extending existing multidisciplinary Earth Institute projects. Candidates are also encouraged to develop new, innovative projects that connect Earth Institute expertise. In addition to submitting the application and proposal, candidates are encouraged to identify and contact their desired multidisciplinary mentoring team, i.e. two or more senior faculty members or research scientists/scholars at Columbia University with whom they would like to work during their appointment.
Start Date and Duration: EI Fellows are appointed for twenty-four months and appointments typically begin September 1. However, depending on individual circumstances, as well as the needs of a fellow’s host research unit, appointments may begin as early as July 1.
Application Opens: August 28, 2017
Application Deadline: October 31, 2017 by 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Reference Letter Deadline: November 9, 2017 by 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Funding: EI Fellows will receive an annual salary of $61,800. They are also awarded a research stipend of $12,000 over the two-year term for reimbursable expenses related to the fellowship. These funds can be used for relocation and moving expenses, as well as for computer, travel, conference, journal, book, software, equipment, and other research costs.
External Funding: EI Fellows are encouraged to participate in the development and submission of research proposals in cooperation with their mentors, host research units, or other researchers. When doing so, they must follow all Columbia University rules applicable to postdoctoral scholars.
Visas: Columbia University only grants limited-term J1 visas for non-US citizens. Read more information on Columbia’s visa eligibility policies online.
Benefits: EI Fellows are considered Officers of Research and are eligible for benefits provided by Columbia University for full-time employees. For more information, please visit Columbia's Office of Human Resources online. The rules, regulations and policies that govern employment at Columbia are also listed on the website.
Housing: The Earth Institute does not provide housing allocation for postdoctoral fellows. Fellows may contact Columbia's Housing Office for informal guidance on acquiring housing in the areas near the university.
Program Activities: The EI Fellows program hosts a series of activities that explore interdisciplinary issues in sustainable development, bring the fellows together as a community, and introduce the fellows to a diverse array of Columbia faculty and researchers.
Orientation: A weeklong series of information sessions and visits to Earth Institute research units.
Spring and Fall Symposia: Two public symposia per year in which both first-year and second-year fellows present their research and participate in discussions with the audience. The symposia provided a great opportunity for fellows to engage the Columbia research community as well as the larger public in innovative research in sustainable development.
Earth Institute Fellows Seminars: A weekly seminar series in which each fellow presents her or his ongoing research. Visiting speakers also participate in the seminars. Fellows may also coordinate group projects that are designed, discussed and implemented during these times. The meetings are informal and designed to foster interdisciplinary and problem-solving discussions among EI Fellows, faculty and researchers. Lunch is provided. Two second-year EI Fellows coordinate the seminars each year.
Earth Institute Fellows Retreats and Special Events: Special outings to unique locations in the New York City area that seek to create a sense of community among the Fellows, to connect them to New York, and to provide intellectual stimuli.
Other Earth Institute Seminar Series: EI Fellows receive invitations to other events and speaker series at Columbia, including those sponsored by the Earth Institute's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC), Earth Engineering Center (EEC), Center for Global Health and Economic Development (CGHED), Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development (CGSD), Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), and Center for Hazards and Risk Research (CHRR).
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