Prospective Applicants


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The National Center for Atmospheric Research

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is a federally funded research and development center devoted to service, research and education in the atmospheric and related sciences. NCAR's mission is to understand the behavior of the atmosphere and related Earth and geospace systems; to support, enhance, and extend the capabilities of the university community and the broader scientific community, nationally and internationally; to foster the transfer of knowledge and technology for the betterment of life on Earth. The National Science Foundation is NCAR's main sponsor, with significant additional support provided by other U.S. government agencies, other national governments and the private sector. Through its Advanced Study Program (ASP), NCAR offers a continuing program of postdoctoral study in the atmospheric and related sciences.

Research Opportunities and Service Requirements

The ASP postdoctoral fellowships provide successful applicants with considerable freedom to pursue their own research interests. Fellows develop research projects in collaboration with NCAR scientists and engineers, but all are expected to choose their own research directions and are responsible for the design and conduct of their projects. If you would like assistance connecting with an NCAR scientist to work on your research plan, please contact Scott Landolt ( and Scott Briggs (

Besides research in core atmospheric sciences, NCAR has a strong interdisciplinary mission to bring other fields to bear on complex problems in climate, weather and related disciplines. Thus there is also significant opportunity for projects in computational science, data science, social science, engineering, software engineering and science education.  To learn more about NCAR’s work and Strategic Goals see, and the 2018-2024 NCAR Education & Outreach Strategic Plan.

Fellows are expected to participate in ASP activities including seminars, lecture series,  research reviews, and professional development workshops. All fellows are  expected to provide community service such as outreach, mentoring of undergraduate students or committee work during their term. 

Residence at NCAR

Fellows are expected to relocate to Boulder, CO and work in residence full time at NCAR. Due to COVID-19 relocation to Boulder may be delayed in agreement with ASP.


An applicant must have a Ph.D. or Sc. D. degree granted in an area related to NCAR work or must be able to complete such a degree and finish all thesis revisions and defense before starting the NCAR appointment. Primary criteria used in the selection of postdoctoral fellows are the applicant's scientific capability and potential, especially as indicated by originality and independence, the match between the applicant's interests and the research opportunities available at NCAR, the potential for leadership in the field, and the applicant’s commitment to contributing to a diverse, equitable and inclusive STEM workforce. Applicants that have been awarded their degree more than 5 years before applying for the ASP program will be considered on a case by case basis but in general are not encouraged to apply.

The ASP strives to have diverse representation of universities and student backgrounds in the postdoctoral fellows cohort each year; and encourages applications from individuals who are members of a group that is historically under-represented in the atmospheric and related sciences, including students who are Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Hispanic or Latino, female, LGBTQ, first generation college students, veterans, and people with disabilities. There are no special restrictions for foreign applicants.

Stipend and Benefits

Successful applicants receive a stipend of $76,650 in the first year, and $79,300 in the second year, plus a minimum of $3500 for annual scientific travel support. All fellows are eligible for life and health insurance. Each postdoc that lives outside of the IRS 50 mile relocation rule, will be provided with a relocation package to help cover the cost of moving to Boulder, Colorado.

Deadlines, Number and Terms of Appointments (For 2024)

Application deadline is October 31, 2024. Offers will be made no later than April 2025. Fellowships typically start in October, but may start earlier if funds are available.  Fellowships must begin by 1/27/2026. ASP hires approximately ten new postdoc fellows a year. Appointments are for a maximum of two years. By applying to this position you may also be considered for other postdoctoral fellowship positions within NCAR. Reference letters will only be requested for candidates that make it to the second round. Reference letter requests will be sent on January 6, 2025 with a deadline of January 24th, 2025.

Your application consists of the following components (Note, all components are required):

  1. Personal statement 

    Tell us about yourself. What's special, unique and/or impressive about you? What skills (for example leadership, communicative, analytical) do you possess? What are the most compelling reasons you can give the search committee to be interested in you? Why are you specifically interested in an ASP postdoctoral fellowship? How does your research plan address the NCAR strategic plan? (max. 2 pages, 12 pt font, single spaced)
  2. Research statement

    Your statement of research should clearly articulate what you propose to research at NCAR and why you would benefit from doing this work at NCAR and with guidance from NCAR staff. Your proposed research should further and complement the research being conducted at NCAR. For more information about NCAR's research and our new Strategic Plan, please go to Please limit your proposal to no more than three pages (12 pt font, single spaced, including figures and references).
  3. Broader impacts statement

    Please describe the broader impacts of your research. Broader impacts may be accomplished through your research itself, through the activities that are directly related to your research, or through activities that are complementary to your proposal. The National Science Foundation and NCAR value the advancement of scientific knowledge and activities that contribute to the achievement of societally relevant outcomes. For guidance on broader impacts, see: (, (max. 1/2 page, 12 pt font, single spaced)
  4. Inclusion statement

    NCAR and the ASP embraces a work environment that is inclusive, diverse, and equitable. Our employees come from diverse backgrounds, and we strive to create the kind of inclusive, supportive, and welcoming workplace that will attract and retain an even greater diversity of individuals in the future. As part of this commitment, we require an “Inclusion Response Statement” from applicants that addresses the role of inclusion, diversity, and equity in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. The written statement will include a discussion of an applicant’s past leadership in this area and plans for future contributions to support diversity, equity, and inclusion.  For more information please download the pdf below (Note that while you can write up to a page, the ASP application only requires 1/2 page, 12 pt font, single spaced).

    Guidance for ASP applicants regarding your inclusion statement.
  5. Curriculum Vita
  6. Transcripts

    We only need your graduate transcripts, and they can be unofficial. If you attended a US institution and your transcript contains your social security number, please be sure to block out that number before scanning. Note: If you attended graduate school at an institution that does not have transcripts, please provide a list of your graduate coursework and any grades/marks received.

Components 1-6 must be uploaded in PDF format as a single file. This file will be placed in the "resume" field in the application system.

In addition to the components listed above, you will also be required to provide the following as part of the questionnaire when applying.

  1. Select a preferred NCAR unit

    In order to help us properly route your applications materials for review, you will be required to identify at least one lab at NCAR that is relevant to your research. You may select a second lab if your interests span multiple programs. Please provide some reasoning for your choice. Click here to see an overview of the organization, along with links to specific programs. You will select these units during the questionnaire portion of the application process, do not include this list in your applications materials except while describing your proposed research.
  2. References

    As part of the application process, we may ask for a recommendation from your references. You will need to provide email addresses and names for this purpose we only ask for two references. We will not solicit additional references. Do not include your references in your application file mentioned above. Reference letter requests will be sent on January 6, 2025 with a deadline of January 24th, 2025.


If you have any questions please contact the Advanced Study Program at