Carnegie's superb postdocs are at the heart of many of our phenomenal discoveries. They are innovators, collaborators, and community leaders who bring new perspectives to existing research and inspire colleagues to reconceive what is possible. 

Carnegie recognizes that well-trained, well-supported postdoctoral fellows are not only more satisfied and productive but that they also leave the Institution with greater professional skills and broader professional networks. Year after year, Carnegie is able to recruit a remarkable cadre of young researchers because of our unique ecosystem: one where postdocs are encouraged to independently pursue bold investigative paths while also navigating new professional responsibilities.

Carnegie postdoctoral fellowships are extremely competitive and highly coveted. Our postdocs go on to achieve remarkable success in academia, government, and industry. And as alumni, they burnish our reputation as an organization that provides unparalleled opportunities for early career researchers to pursue their own paths to discovery. 


Exceptional Alumni

Tasuku Honjo

Nobel Laureate

Tasuku Honjo, who was a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie's Department of Embryology in the early 1970s shared the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery a protein on immune cells called PD-1. Honjo revealed that this protein operates as a brake, preventing the immune system from perceiving its own body as a threat— which is called an autoimmune response. But it also holds the body back from fighting cancer as hard as it can. This breakthrough has revolutionized cancer therapy. 

Jane Rigby with JWST courtesy of NASA

JWST Leadership

Jane Rigby, the Operations Project Scientist for JWST, spent four years at the Observatories as both a Carnegie fellow and Spitzer fellow. She is also an astrophysicist in the Observational Cosmology Lab at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Her own research focuses on the evolution of star-forming galaxies and their central supermassive black holes

What Our Postdocs Say


In Their Own Words

I chose to come to Carnegie for a number of reasons. One: research wise, it’s an amazing place to answer the questions that I want to answer. In particular, I really wanted to work with Alycia Weinberger. I never had a chance to have such an awesome female mentor before, and getting to work with someone like her was just like a dream.

Meredith MacGregor Former Earth & Planets Laboratory Postdoc

Carnegie has a top class instrumentation program, and the chance to build instruments for Las Campanas Observatory sets Carnegie so far apart. Our engineering group and machine shop allow us to design and build many parts for instruments on-site instead of having to send out for parts. I was able to build an instrument in 4 years, whereas most instruments take a much longer time.

Rosalie McGurk Former Observatories Postdoc

The vibrant multidisciplinary environment that I have experienced at the Caldeira Lab has empowered me to challenge conventional ideas and pursue paradigm-shifting scientific research. His generosity in teaching me how to be an effective contributor to comprehensively addressing the most pressing societal issues has impacted me beyond my expectations.

Edgar Virgüez Current Biosphere Sciences & Engineering Postdoc
Daniel Kelpsch photo 2021
Daniel Kelpsch photo 2021
Daniel Kelpsch photo 2021