Applying for a Sagan Postdoctoral Fellowship

Applications and Letters of Reference are due Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015 at 4 pm PST


Sagan Postdoctoral Fellowships

The NASA Exoplanet Science Institute solicits applications for Sagan Postdoctoral Fellowships to begin in the fall of 2016.

The Sagan Fellowships support outstanding recent postdoctoral scientists to conduct independent research that is broadly related to the science goals of NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program. The primary goal of missions within this program is to discover and characterize planetary systems and Earth-like planets around nearby stars. Sagan Fellowships are joined by two other NASA astrophysics theme-based fellowship programs: the Einstein Fellowship Program which supports the Physics of the Cosmos research, and the Hubble Fellowship Program which supports Cosmic Origins research.

We anticipate awarding 5 fellowships for 2016.

The proposed research may be theoretical, observational, or instrumental. This program is open to applicants of any nationality who have earned (or will have earned) their doctoral degrees on or after January 1, 2013, in astronomy, physics, or related disciplines. The fellowships are tenable at U.S. host institutions of the fellows' choice, subject to a maximum of one new fellow per host institution per year (see note on host institutions below). The duration of the fellowship is up to three years: an initial one-year appointment and two annual renewals contingent on satisfactory performance and availability of NASA funds.

We accept the submission of up to three host institutions. The purpose of designating of more than one host institution in the application is to provide the program with flexibility should there be several highly ranked applications at any single institution. Barring this circumstance, it is expected that awardees will use their Fellowships at their first-choice institutions.

Meet current and past Sagan fellows here.


A complete application will include:

  1. A completed application submission form.
  2. Curriculum vitae and list of major publications and all first-author papers (do not include reprints).
  3. Summary of previous and current research (not to exceed 3 pages including figures, tables, and references).
  4. Research proposal (not to exceed 3 pages including figures, tables, and references). Note: If you are submitting more than one choice host institution, you may increase the length of your research proposal by 1 additional page for each host institution, for a total of up to 5 pages (including figures, tables, and references) if three host institutions are submitted.
  5. Three (3) letters of reference each not to exceed two pages. One of the reference letters may come from the applicants advisor, however this is not a requirement. These letters are submitted through a web interface.

The deadline for applications and all letters of reference is Thursday, November 5, 2016 at 4 PM PST. Offers will be made before January 20, 2016, and new appointments are expected to begin on or about September 1, 2016.

For inquiries, email us at: