The Center on Global Energy Policy’s Postdoctoral Fellowship program supports interdisciplinary research and understanding about key global energy issues through partnerships across the Columbia University community.

CGEP awards fellowship positions to innovative postdoctoral scholars focusing on one of its core disciplines including: renewable energy, oil and natural gas, geopolitics, energy markets and finance, climate change and the environment, technology and innovation.

As an affiliate of the Columbia University Earth Institute, the Center on Global Energy Policy currently offers Postdoctoral Fellowship opportunities through the EI Fellows program. Interested applicants should apply via the EI Fellows application page and select “Center on Global Energy Policy” under the Prospective Earth Institute Research Unit dropdown section.

Start Date and Duration

Fellows are appointed for twenty-four months and appointments typically begin September 1. However, depending on individual circumstances, as well as the needs of a fellow’s host research unit, appointments may begin as early as July 1.


Applications through the Earth Institute Fellows program are currently closed. They are typically open August - October for positions starting the following year. 


Fellows will receive an annual salary of $61,800. They are also awarded a research stipend of $12,000 over the two-year term for reimbursable expenses related to the fellowship. These funds can be used for relocation and moving expenses, as well as for computer, travel, conference, journal, book, software, equipment, and other research costs.

Application guidelines

Applications are currently closed and are expected to reopen August 2019. Please use this information as guidance only. 

Brief Personal History Format 
Two (2) page maximum, double-spaced; one-inch margins, minimum 11 point standard font. The personal statement should include the following elements based on their relevance to the applicant's situation:

  • Brief personal introduction and research statement.
  • Summary of any discussions you have had with potential mentors. Note: endorsement from a faculty member or researcher does not guarantee acceptance into the program.
  • Gaps in employment or studies will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Prior postdoctoral positions - Columbia University policy only allows a cumulative maximum of 3 years in a postdoctoral position, whether held at or outside of the university. If you have prior postdoc experience, please contact Samantha Ostrowski to discuss your application.

Research Proposal Format 
Five (5) page maximum; double-spaced; one-inch margins; minimum 11 point standard font. References are required but not counted toward the 5-page maximum. They should be included in the same document.

The research proposal should address how the proposed work will contribute to the goal of global sustainable development. Proposals may suggest participating in, contributing to, or extending existing multidisciplinary Earth Institute projects. Candidates are also encouraged to develop new, innovative projects that connect Earth Institute expertise.

    Recommendation Letters 
    Three (3) recommendation letters are required by November 9, 2017, 5 p.m. EST. Once an application is successfully submitted, the references listed will receive an email with the Applicant ID and the link to upload their letter.

    Note: We strongly recommend informing your references of the request for a letter in advance of submitting your application. We also recommend following up with your references after you have applied to ensure that they have received the information to upload their letter. 

    Additional Information

    External Funding: Fellows are encouraged to participate in the development and submission of research proposals in cooperation with their mentors, host research units, or other researchers. When doing so, they must follow all Columbia University rules applicable to postdoctoral scholars.

    Visas: Columbia University ONLY grants limited-term J1 visas for non-US citizens. Read more information on Columbia’s visa eligibility policies online.

    Benefits: Fellows are considered Officers of Research and are eligible for benefits provided by Columbia University for full-time employees. For more information, please visit Columbia's Office of Human Resources online. The rules, regulations and policies that govern employment at Columbia are also listed on the website.

    Housing: The Earth Institute / CGEP does not provide housing allocation for postdoctoral fellows. Fellows may contact Columbia's Housing Office for informal guidance on acquiring housing in the areas near the university.

    Program Activities: The Fellows program hosts a series of activities that explore interdisciplinary issues in sustainable development, bring the fellows together as a community, and introduce the fellows to a diverse array of Columbia faculty and researchers.

    • Orientation: A weeklong series of information sessions and visits to Earth Institute research units.
    • Spring and Fall Symposia: Two public symposia per year in which both first-year and second-year fellows present their research and participate in discussions with the audience. The symposia provided a great opportunity for fellows to engage the Columbia research community as well as the larger public in innovative research in sustainable development.
    • Earth Institute Fellows Seminars: A weekly seminar series in which each fellow presents her or his ongoing research. Visiting speakers also participate in the seminars. Fellows may also coordinate group projects that are designed, discussed and implemented during these times. The meetings are informal and designed to foster interdisciplinary and problem-solving discussions among Fellows, faculty and researchers. Lunch is provided. Two second-year Fellows coordinate the seminars each year.
    • Earth Institute Fellows Retreats and Special Events: Special outings to unique locations in the New York City area that seek to create a sense of community among the Fellows, to connect them to New York, and to provide intellectual stimuli.Other Earth Institute Seminar Series: Fellows receive invitations to other events and speaker series at Columbia, including those sponsored by the Earth Institute's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC), Earth Engineering Center (EEC), Center for Global Health and Economic Development (CGHED), Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development (CGSD), Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), and Center for Hazards and Risk Research (CHRR).

    Please email inquires to

    PostDoctoral Spotlight: Dr. Michael Waite

    The Center on Global Energy Policy, in partnership with Professor Vijay Modi at Columbia’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, welcomed Dr. Michael Waite as the first CGEP Postdoctoral Fellow in July 2017. Dr. Waite’s research focused on technological, policy and market needs for large-scale renewable energy growth in India, as well as the development of integrated approaches to transition to a low-carbon energy regime within the U.S. context. His research methods include identifying technologies, analyzing systems from local to regional scales, and developing computational models to optimize large-scale renewable energy utilization.

    Dr. Waite holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University. His dissertation research incorporated analyses of regional energy infrastructure serving a dense urban area with emphasis on opportunities and challenges for wind power, building systems and distributed generation. Prior to his doctoral work, he was a building technology design and consulting engineer, during which time he was a member of the international committee responsible for the most widely used building energy standard; he is a licensed Professional Engineer.