Climate & Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship Selection Criteria & Program Policies

The following guidelines and policies are related to the NOAA Climate & Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.

Selection Criteria

Applicant Eligibility

  • Applicant must move to a new institution, except in compelling circumstances. Please add a justification statement, if applicable, to the cover letter.
  • Applicant has held a PhD for no more than three years from the application deadline.
  • Applicants should apply only if they anticipate finishing their PhD by 1 December of the award year.
  • Awardees must start their fellowship by the first Monday in December of the award year.
  • Applications that are not complete will not be reviewed by the steering committee, i.e. all the required documents must be present.
  • U.S. citizenship is not a requirement of the NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, and a PhD recieved from an international institution is accepted. Open to proposed U.S. Universities or Research Institutions, except those listed as "Ineligible": How Postdoctorates Apply

Application Assessment 

  • Relevance and fit within program goals and objectives - The proposal must fit within the scope of the NOAA Climate & Global Change Program and be of relevance to the NOAA mission. Your Research Plan must enhance and complement NOAA’s strategic directions outlined in the NOAA Strategic Plan and other relevant strategies (e.g., NOAA Weather, Water Climate Strategy)
  • Your Personal Statement must cover all topics required in the job description, including how you have demonstrated leadership such as organizing workshops or sessions, serving on committees, leadership within department, mentoring, public outreach, teaching (awards), serving on proposal/panel/journal reviews, and science communication. Also, be sure to include examples of past experience and contributions to diversity and inclusion, and describe how you plan to actively foster and encourage a diverse and inclusive environment in the future. 
  • Quality of proposal - The project description should address an important and novel scientific question. It should be ambitious, yet achievable. It should be clearly written and referenced.
  • Quality of academic record and research experience (includes publications) -   Positive factors are significant publications that have clearly been led by the candidate, research awards, invited presentations, and grants.


  • One or two page letter of intent from host indicating areas of focus, and curriculum vitae are required.
  • Preference is that no more than one postdoctoral fellow is hosted within a department at the same time. The following institutional departments currently host first-year C&GC Fellows and are ineligible to serve as hosts this year:
    • Boston College - Earth and Environmental Sciences
    • Brown University - Department of Earth, Environmental & Planetary Sciences
    • Columbia University - Columbia Climate School/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
    • Scripps Institution of Oceanography - Climate Sciences
    • Scripps Institution of Oceanography - INTEGR Oceanography Division
    • Stanford University - School of Sustainability
    • University of Arizona - School of Geography, Development & Environment
    • University of Arizona - College of Geosciences
    • University of Colorado, Boulder - Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
    • University of Hawai’i, Manoa - Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB)
    • University of Minnesota - Civil, Environmental, and GeoEngineering
  • Host is responsible for mentoring fellow, but fellow is an independent researcher.
  • Hosting institution must be in the U.S.A.
  • Hosts are expected to provide office space, telephone, computer, IT services, and office support for the fellow.

Climate & Global Change (C&GC) Committee Member Hosting Postdoc

  • C&GC Committee Members cannot directly host postdocs.
  • A postdoc may go to a committee member's institution, but may not work in a committee member's group.

Applicant from C&GC Committee Member's Institution

Members who are from the same administrative unit as an applicant should not take part in:

  • Voting
  • Advocacy (which could lead to promoting a candidate unfairly over another)
  • Committee member should leave room for deliberations and vote
  • Questions of fact are okay



The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer that strives to develop and maintain a diverse workforce. UCAR is committed to providing equal opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy.

Whatever your intersection of identities, you are welcome at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). We are committed to inclusivity and promoting an equitable environment that values and respects the uniqueness of all members of our organization.