Postdoctoral Fellows

Postdoctoral Fellows: Positions are filled by applying directly to principle investigators in the department and affiliated research organizations. Investigators typically consider strong candidates on an on-going basis. Check our research web site to find investigators whose research interest matches your own, or see our faculty directory if you are looking for contact information for a specific investigator. 

Current Open Positions:

  • Morrison Postdoctoral Fellowship

Attention: Jonathan Fortney, Professor

The University of California, Santa Cruz invites applications for the Morrison Postdoctoral Fellowship within the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. For the 2016 fellowship, we are specifically targeting exoplanetary science, in work that is either observational or theoretical.  Morrison Fellows are expected to carry out original research, independently or in collaboration with faculty, postdoctoral fellows, or students from Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and the University of California Observatories.  Exceptional candidates are encouraged to apply.

$57,000 – $62,000 annual salary, commensurate with qualifications and experience.
The successful candidate must have a Ph.D. in Physics, Astronomy, Planetary Sciences, or a related field by the start date of the position. Must be able to work independently yet collegially in a team environment.

This appointment is intended to be available for up to three years, with annual reappointment contingent upon positive performance review and availability of funding.

Start date:  September 1, 2016 (negotiable).

TO APPLY: Applicants should send a curriculum vitae, bibliography, and statement of research interests, and arrange to have three letters of recommendation sent to by December 7, 2015. Inquiries, applications, and letters may also be sent to

Position is open until filled. Initial consideration of applications will begin on December 7, 2015. Full consideration will be given to applications received by that date.

The University of California, Santa Cruz is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Employer, committed to excellence through diversity. We strive to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees.

Postdoctoral Fellowships: While most fellows are funded through research grants of the principle investigator, we strongly encourage postdoctoral candidates to apply for prestigious  fellowships prior to arriving at UCSC. Award of such such fellowships not only provide welcome funding, but also greatly benefit the subsequent professional career of the awardee. Below is a list of fellowship programs you might want to consider.

NASA Postdoctoral Programs

  • NAI Postdoctoral Fellowship Program: This program provides opportunities for Ph.D. scientists and engineers of unusual promise and ability to perform research on problems largely of their own choosing, yet compatible with the research interests of NASA and the member teams of the NASA Astrobiology Institute. Like the NPP, the NAI Postdoctoral Program is administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). Note that the NAI does not participate in every application/award cycle, so check the ORAU post-doc page for details.
  • The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP): One to three year post-doctoral fellowships for highly talented national and international individuals to engage in research at NASA Centers, or at a NASA-affiliated research institution. There are also opportunities via this program to perform science administration work at NASA Headquarters. Although primarily for recent doctoral graduates, ‘senior’ NPP fellowships can also be awarded to researchers who have been active in their field for a substantial amount of time.
  • Hubble Fellowships: For outstanding postdoctoral scientists whose research is broadly related to the scientific mission of the Hubble Space Telescope. The research may be theoretical, observational, or instrumental.
  • Chandra Fellowships: For recent Ph.D.s in astronomy, physics, and related disciplines for research that is broadly related to the goals of the Chandra satellite.
  • Sagan Fellowship Program: The Sagan Fellowship Program supports outstanding recent postdoctoral scientists to conduct independent research that is broadly related to the science goals of the NASA Exoplanet Exploration area. The primary goal of missions within this program is to discover and characterize planetary systems and Earth-like planets around nearby stars. Fellowship recipients receive financial support to conduct research at a host institution in the US for a period of up to three years (subject to annual review and availability of funds from NASA).

National Science Foundation