Postdoctoral Fellowship Announcement

Research Opportunities
Stipend and Benefits
How to apply

The Advanced Study Program is not currently accepting applications. Please check back in November 2016 for instructions on how to apply. The application deadline will be in early January 2017, with offers made in March 2017. Fellowships typically start October 2017, but may start earlier if funds are available.  Fellowships must begin by 1/31/2018.

If you would like to be notified when the next competition begins, please fill out the form here.

A Program for Postdoctoral Support in the Atmospheric Sciences

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is a research institution located in Boulder, Colorado, operated by the nonprofit University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) under sponsorship of the National Science Foundation (NSF). Through its Advanced Study Program (ASP), NCAR offers a continuing program of postdoctoral study in the atmospheric and related sciences.


The postdoctoral program provides an opportunity for Ph.D. scientists to pursue their research interests in atmospheric and related science. The program also invites postdoctoral physicists, chemists, applied mathematicians, computer scientists, engineers, and specialists from related disciplines such as biology, geology, science education, economics, and geography, to apply their training to research in the atmospheric sciences.

The primary goal of the program is to develop the careers of Ph.D. graduates. The ASP also encourages independence and creativity while providing an environment in which fellows collaborate with and are mentored by experienced scientists at NCAR.

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Research Opportunities

The postdoctoral fellowships provide successful applicants with considerable freedom to pursue their own research interests. Most fellows develop research projects in collaboration with NCAR scientists, but all are expected to choose their own research directions and are responsible for the design and conduct of their own projects.
Research at NCAR includes studies of atmospheric dynamics (on all scales), climate science, cloud physics, atmospheric chemistry and radiation, turbulence, upper-atmosphere physics (including ionosphere studies and aeronomy), solar physics, oceanography, and societal impacts related to these scientific areas. There are related programs in atmospheric technology and in computational science and applied mathematics. The NCAR program also includes studies of the interaction of the atmosphere with the oceans, the cryosphere, the earth's surface, and human society. Scientists that are interested in applying their knowledge of biology, ecology, geology, economics, and political science to atmospheric issues are encouraged to apply. An extensive discussion of NCAR science is featured in the NCAR Annual Scientific Report, which can be found at and in the NCAR Strategic Plan at Additional information on the NCAR scientific program can be found here, Each fellow in ASP is encouraged to pursue research objectives which take maximum advantage of the opportunities available at NCAR. Fellows have direct access to the NCAR computers and the library, and can obtain appropriate access to other research facilities by mutual agreement with the appropriate project or facility. Special needs (e.g., for laboratory facilities) can often be met but should be arranged in advance through the appropriate project or facility at NCAR. A description of NCAR facilities can be accessed at

Fellows are expected to participate in ASP activities including seminars, lecture series, and research reviews and in community service activities during their term. Fellows are also expected to be an active member of one of the three standing ASP committees listed here, Due to these expectations, ASP postdoctoral fellowships must be carried out in residence at NCAR.

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An applicant must have a Ph.D. or Sc. D. degree granted in an area related to NCAR science or must be able to complete such a degree and finish all thesis revisions and defense before starting the NCAR appointment. We encourage applications from women and minorities. There are no special restrictions for foreign applicants.

Primary criteria used in the selection of postdoctoral fellows are the applicant's scientific capability and potential, especially as indicated by originality and independence, and the match between the applicant's interests and the research opportunities available at NCAR.

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Stipend and Benefits

Successful applicants currently receive a stipend of $60,000 in the first year, and $62,000 in the second year. These stipends are adjusted annually in October based on surveys of like institutions. All appointees are eligible for life and health insurance. Travel expenses to NCAR will be reimbursed according to UCAR relocation guidelines for the fellow and his or her family. ASP also provides allowances of $750 for moving and storing personal belongings, and a minimum of $3500 for annual scientific travel support.

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Number and Terms of Appointments

The number of new appointments varies somewhat from year to year. This year we anticipate that up to nine new positions will be available. Appointments are for a maximum of two years. Most fellows begin their appointments between June and October, but earlier or later arrivals can usually be accommodated. (Applicants expecting to start later than January 2016 should apply to the 2016 competition.)

If you have any questions please contact the Advanced Study Program at

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How to Apply

Your application consists of 4-5 components:

1. Statement of Research (Must be a PDF document)
2. Curriculum Vita (Must be a PDF document)
3. Transcripts (Must be a PDF document)
4. Cover Letter/Other (optional) (Must be a PDF document)
5. The names and email addresses of up to four references who can provide a letter of reference.

In order to help us properly route your applications materials for review, you will be required to identify at least one research group at NCAR that is relevant to your research. You may select up to three if your interests span multiple programs. To see an overview of the organization, along with links to specific programs, please visit You will also be asked to upload documents, and provide us with the names the 4 references who will be sending us letters of recommendation on your behalf. The ASP will NOT accept applications via email.

Statement of Research

Your statement of research should be a 2-3 page document (12 pt font, single spaced, including figures and references) that provides information about what you propose to research at NCAR. Your proposed research should enhance and complement the research already being conducted at NCAR. For more information about NCAR's research and Strategic Plan, please go to Your statement of research should be a maximum of 3 pages, and you may include figures. The document MUST be a PDF file. For more information about creating a PDF document, please go here,

Curriculum Vita

Your Curriculum Vita must be uploaded to the application program as a PDF document. For more information about creating a PDF document, please go here.


Your transcripts must be uploaded to our system as a PDF document. We only need your graduate transcripts, and they can be unofficial. Please get a copy of your transcript and scan it as a PDF document. If you attended an American institution and your transcript contains your social security number, please be sure to block out that number before scanning. If you attended graduate school at an institution that does not have transcripts, please provide a list of your graduate coursework and any grades/marks received.

Cover Letter/Other (optional)

The application system allows you one additional upload. You may include a cover letter or some other document as long as it is a PDF. Your letter can be addressed to the Director of ASP, Dr. Christopher Davis.

Letters of Reference

As part of the application process, we ask for four letters of recommendation from your references. Your references will be able to upload their letters of recommendation for you directly into the application program. (The ASP Application Program will automatically send an email requesting a letter of reference to the email address that you enter into the system for a reference, the email is sent immediately after you click 'submit reference'.) The email will include an exclusive link that will allow them to upload a document. You will receive notice from the system when each of your references have successfully uploaded a letter on your behalf. It is extremely important that you enter the contact information for your references as soon as possible so that they will have time to write and upload the letter before the deadline!

If your reference has not received the automated email or has deleted it due to it being marked as spam (unsolicited bulk email) please have them send the letter via email to or

Review and Selection Process (please note: dates in the review and selection process document are from the 2012 search and may not reflect dates for the current year)

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Other NCAR/UCAR Postdoc Opportunities: