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 second Monday in December of the award year.
  • Applications that are not complete will not be reviewed by the steering committee. For example, for an application to be complete, we must have all 4 letters, etc.

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. 
  • 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.
  • Reference Responses - Did references describe the candidate's high level of creativity, ingenuity, drive, and perseverance?
  • Leadership and Service - Positive factors are organizing workshops or sessions, serving on committees, leadership within department, mentoring, public outreach, teaching (awards), serving on proposal/panel/journal reviews, and science communication.
  • Diversity and Inclusion - The Inclusion Response Statement describes past experience and contributions to diversity and inclusion, and describes plans to actively foster and encourage a diverse and inclusive environment in the future.


  • One or two page letter of interest from host indicating areas of focus and vitae is required.
  • Preference is that no more than one postdoctoral fellow is hosted within a department at the same time.
  • Host is responsible for mentoring fellow, but fellow is an independent researcher.
  • Hosting institution must be in the U.S.
  • Hosts are expected to provide office space, telephone, computer, IT services, and office support for the fellow.

Reference Responses

  • Four responses from professional references are required. One must be from the thesis advisor.
  • A reference response cannot be from the potential host.

Committee Member Hosting Postdoc

  • Committee members cannot directly host postdocs.
  • Postdoc may go to a committee member's institution, but may not work in a committee member's group.

Applicant from 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



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