Klarman postdoctoral fellowship program announced

The College of Arts and Sciences has announced a new postdoctoral fellowship program aimed at supporting early-career scholars of outstanding talent, initiative and promise.

The Klarman Fellowships, the first of their kind at the college, will create a cohort of elite postdocs who pursue leading-edge research across departments and programs, including researchers in science and math disciplines, the humanities and social sciences. Up to six fellows will be chosen for three-year terms each year, for a total of up to 30 fellows over five pilot cohorts.

They will be supported by a significant gift from Seth ’79 and Beth Klarman.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Klarmans, we’ll now be able to recruit and support the very best emerging scholars from around the world,” said Ray Jayawardhana, the Harold Tanner Dean of Arts and Sciences. “Support for premier postdoctoral fellowships has emerged as a top priority for the college in my first year as dean of Arts and Sciences. The Klarman Fellowships will attract and nurture exceptional intellectual talent and help to recruit and retain extraordinary faculty as well.”

“A vibrant program that attracts exceptional scholars from around the globe complements Cornell’s long-standing commitment to promote excellence and diversity at the highest ranks,” said Seth Klarman, who is CEO of the Baupost Group LLC. “Beth and I are proud to support this series of fellowships that will invigorate intellectual enterprise and accelerate research in the arts and sciences.”

The Klarman Fellowships will be among the most competitive in the country, providing generous salaries, benefits and research support to the fellows. The program will give the fellows independence from constraints of particular grants, enabling the recipients to devote themselves to frontline, innovative research without being tied to specific outcomes or teaching responsibilities.

The Klarman Fellowships will foster innovation across the college, including in emerging fields that transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries and hold particular promise for broader impact. The fellows will be selected from a global pool of applicants, based on their research accomplishments, potential for future contributions and alignment of scholarly interests with those of potential faculty mentors at Cornell.

The candidates will also be assessed on how their work can benefit from and contribute to the momentum in strategic research areas in the college.

“We expect the impact on the intellectual enterprise at Cornell will be profound and will ultimately reach far beyond our campus,” Jayawardhana said. “The fellowships will offer a tremendous boon to the next generation of scholars, thanks to the elevated levels of creative freedom, financial support, cross-disciplinary stimuli and professional uplift they will provide.”

“We are deeply grateful to Seth and Beth Klarman for extending their support for Cornell in such a valuable and timely way,” said President Martha E. Pollack. “As philanthropists with a strong interest in collaborative research, they have a special understanding of the role postdocs can play in igniting high-impact research within and across disciplines.”

The Klarman fellows will meet on a monthly basis and will participate in an annual symposium. Other benefits for the fellows include numerous opportunities for professional development and enrichment, such as workshops on presentation skills, interdisciplinary networking events and media training.

Seth and Beth Klarman are among the College of Arts and Sciences’ strongest proponents. Previously, they gave the lead gift to construct Klarman Hall, significantly advancing the humanities at Cornell.

Linda B. Glaser is a staff writer for the College of Arts and Sciences.

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