Atkinson Center launches postdoc fellowships

To help solve the world’s significant environmental problems, Cornell’s David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future announces new Atkinson Postdoctoral Fellowships.

Transcending traditional disciplines, challenges related to energy and environment and economic development have become interdependent and interconnected. “This program is designed to attract the most creative and passionate young minds into solving critical challenges facing the planet and humanity,” says Frank DiSalvo, director of the center and the John A. Newman Professor of Physical Science.

For the two-year commitment, each fellow will have two advisers, a lead faculty member from Cornell and one from an external organization. The focus subject areas include sustainable agricultureand food systems, energy, health, sustainable communities, new materials and computational sustainability.

Says DiSalvo: “We are particularly excited by this program because it will link Cornell postdocs to an external, nonacademic partner, which will help translate research to make a real and lasting difference.”

Selection factors include intellectual merit, creativity, originality, broad impacts, project feasibility, expected work outcomes, applicant qualifications and accomplishments, and the applicant’s potential for intellectual and professional growth.

Applicants must submit a letter of intent by Aug. 22 and the full application by Oct. 13. Applicants will be notified of acceptance Nov. 17, and the fellowships will commence January 2015.

The Atkinson Center started in 2008, following a multiyear, cross-campus dialogue on energy and sustainability. The center facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration by offering financial resources and support for scholars investigating sustainability. It has more than 360 faculty fellows and it has seeded more than 70 research efforts, generating more than $100 million in follow-on funding.

“The postdoctoral plan has long been a dream of the Atkinson Center,” says DiSalvo. “The idea came from our leadership team years ago when we thought about enhancing our ability to create and implement solutions to complex sustainability challenges.”

This program is possible because of the support of David R. ’60 and Patricia Atkinson.

For information on the fellowship, view the proposal (PDF) at

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Melissa Osgood