NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
Growing the next generation of climate experts
The NOAA Climate and Global Change (C&GC) Postdoctoral Fellowship Program aims to help create and train the next generation of leading researchers needed for climate studies, to serve the Nation and support NOAA’s mission. Sponsored by NOAA Research’s Climate Program Office (CPO) and founded in 1990 by former CPO Director Dr. J. Michael Hall, the C&GC Program appoints fellows who are hosted by a mentoring scientist at a U.S. university or research institution to work in an area of mutual interest.
How to apply to be a Postdoc Fellow or host
The C&GC Postdoc Fellowship application period for both potential postdoc fellows and hosts is typically open from September until January. Appointments are announced by April 1st.
Potential Postdoc Fellows
Potential applicants must have held a PhD for no more than 3 years at the start of tenure and must contact a potential host prior to submitting an application. Applicants must apply online at UCAR’s Career Opportunities website.
Potential HostsPotential host scientists are required to submit a letter of intent to host, curriculum vitae, mentoring plan, and a list of current and pending research support as part of the selection process. Hosts are expected to mentor the fellow, provide a reasonable office environment, which may include a workstation, and cover any other unique research costs.
The fellows focus on observing, understanding, modeling, and predicting climate variability and change on seasonal and longer timescales. This includes the documentation and analysis of past, current, or possible future climate variability and change as well as the study of the underlying physical, chemical, and biological processes.
Over the past 30 years, the Fellowship Program has hosted more than 230 C&GC Fellows and has developed an outstanding reputation of attracting the best and the brightest PhDs in the sciences relevant to CPO’s mission. The program was originally created in response to a lack of trained specialists in a burgeoning NOAA research area, and since has continued investing in the climate and global change workforce.
The program traditionally also supports a NOAA Summer Institute every other year in July in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, as well as an annual alumni luncheon at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in December. These events help build a stronger global climate change community by introducing the postdoctoral fellows, who are hosted at research institutions throughout the U.S., to each other and to more senior scientists.
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research’s (UCAR) Cooperative Programs for the Advancement of Earth System Science (CPAESS) manages the C&GC Program on behalf of CPO. Appointed fellows are UCAR employees. They receive a fixed annual salary plus UCAR’s employment benefits.
View the recent External Review Report of the NOAA C&GC Postdoc Fellowship Program (February 2019).
Check out the CPAESS C&GC webpage to learn more about the program, how to apply to be a Postdoc Fellow or to host a fellow, see the C&GC current awardees and alumni database, and more.
Meet current and former C&GC Postdoc Fellows
“The NOAA climate and global change postdoctoral fellowship program is truly outstanding. Not only does this fellowship provide strong financial support to researchers at a crucial time in their early career, but it does so in a thoughtful, supportive, community-oriented way that has certainly had a lasting positive impact on me.”
“The NOAA C&GC Postdoctoral Program is…one of the best (in fact, probably the best) Fellowship around…one of the most amazing parts of the Fellowship is that there is an incredible network of alums extending back multiple decades that you get to interact with, network with and benefit from.”
“The NOAA Climate & Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship has given me the time to work with biometeorologists and learn from their methods, which now are part of my toolbox and give me more freedom/opportunities to work at the intersections of the two fields and better decide where I want to fit in this large field of environmental sciences and global change”
“This experience was fundamental to advancing my career.”
“The NOAA postdoc was an amazing opportunity for me to launch into the next stage of my career as a professor. It gave me flexibility to pursue ideas and projects with independence, and the resources to conduct my research, publish, and travel to share my results. It also connected me to a network of current and former NOAA postdocs.”
” When I was a NOAA postdoc, I had full control over the content and trajectory of my research. At times it was challenging to be the sole driver of the project, but now that I’m an assistant professor and find myself constantly in the role, I’m thankful that I had that training early on. Because of the freedom I was granted, the NOAA C&GC position helped me to become a more curious and confident scientist.”
“The thing I most appreciate about the C&GC fellowship was that it allowed me to form professional connections with a group of peers and mentors that I would have otherwise never had the opportunity to meet. The C&GC program does an excellent job at building community. Because of that I will value my relationships with the other fellows forever.”