Postdoctoral research in Earth and planetary sciences


Located in Washington, DC

Explore the universe with us!

Every Autumn, the Earth & Planets Laboratory (EPL) conducts international searches for outstanding early-career scientists to join our research programs. This cohort of postdocs brings fresh expertise, ideas, and abundant energy to campus. In return, we provide postdocs access to the excellent facilities on campus and mentoring that expands their expertise and prepares them for future careers.

We also bring postdoctoral fellows and associates on board throughout the year, so keep a lookout for open positions.

Jill Yang Helping Postdoc

Freedom to follow your next big idea

Postdoctoral fellows and associates at EPL are regarded as scientific colleagues and part of the strong scientific community here. Every fellow has access to the full staff on the EPL campus and the other departments of the Carnegie Institution, as well as to a group of non-resident collaborators and visiting investigators from all parts of the world.

Kathleen McKee Postdoc Volcano

Professional development

We believe strongly in ongoing training for postdocs.

The Postdoctoral Development Program includes workshops in preparing budgets, writing grants, giving talks, applying for jobs, mentoring, and management. Our postdoctoral scientists are now employed in research and educational institutions all over the world and form an extended network of connections for new postdocs; we aim to have the best-trained postdoctoral scientists in the field and to provide the most rigorous and positive scientific experience here at EPL.

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Postdoc Appreciation Field Trip to Rock Creek Park

Postdoctoral association

The Carnegie Institution Postdoctoral Association (CIPA) is an organization composed of all postdocs at Carnegie Science.

At EPL, CIPA serves to build community amongst campus postdocs, share useful resources, and collectively advocate for EPL postdoc-specific issues. EPL CIPA meets monthly and our elected representatives meet monthly with the department Director. EPL CIPA representatives can be contacted at

Apply with confidence!

We've collected several successful Carnegie Fellowship applications, which have been generously made available by previous postdoctoral fellows. Please note that these are only meant as examples, and they exhibit a variety of approaches—each of which was effective in its own way. We are not endorsing any particular approach but rather suggest looking at these for examples of good style, organization, and best practices.

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Postdoctoral Application Examples