State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School


Earth Institute Postdoctoral Research Program Now Accepting Applications for 2022

The Earth Institute Postdoctoral Research Program in Sustainable Development is now seeking applications from innovative doctoral candidates or recent Ph.D., M.D., J.D. or Sc.D. recipients (within 5 years of degree receipt) who are interested in a broad range of issues in sustainable development to join its fall 2022 cohort. The Institute is especially interested in qualified candidates from historically underrepresented groups for its Diversity Fellowships.

The Earth Institute, which is now part of Columbia University’s Climate School, blends research in the physical and social sciences, education, and practical solutions to help guide the world onto a path toward sustainability. The Columbia Climate School will provide the scholarship needed to tackle climate change, and its related challenges

The Earth Institute Postdoctoral Research 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. The program provides scholars with the opportunity to acquire and apply the cross-disciplinary expertise needed to address critical issues of sustainable development such as 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. Earth Institute Postdoctoral Researchers join multidisciplinary teams of outstanding, committed scientists from across the Earth Institute and Columbia University. Candidates who have developed cross-disciplinary approaches during their graduate studies will find numerous opportunities to engage in programs at the leading edge of sustainable development research.

While we encourage research proposal for topics from all areas of sustainable development, for this cycle, we are particularly interested in the following subjects, which are initial thematic priorities/global challenges for the Climate School:

  • Coastal Viability
  • Decarbonization (particularly negative emissions and decarbonizing cities)
  • Disaster Resilience
  • Food for Humanity

In addition to the above broad themes, we also encourage applicants whose work focuses on the following:

  • environmental and climate justice
  • modeling and prediction
  • communication, policy, legal and financial tools

Application Requirements

Candidates must complete the online application and submit a proposal for research that would contribute to global, sustainable development. Candidates may suggest contributing to or expanding on existing Earth Institute programs or developing new projects that integrate the breadth of expertise of the Earth Institute.

In addition to submitting the application and proposal, candidates are strongly 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.

The deadline to submit an application is October 27, 2021. The program will start in the fall of 2022 and appointments are for 24 months.

The program is open to U.S. and non-U.S. citizens. All doctoral requirements must be fulfilled and the degree awarded within five years before the start of the appointment. Gaps in employment or studies will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Columbia University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply.

Columbia University policy only allows a cumulative maximum of three years in a postdoctoral position, whether held at or outside of the university.

For more information about the program, the diversity fellowship, or to apply, please or email

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments