Opportunities: CfA Postdoctoral Fellows Program
Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?
Applications are accepted online from September 1, 2017 to October 30, 2017, 17:00 GMT, through our website.

Can I print the application form and mail it?
If you are unable to use the online application, contact postdoc@cfa.harvard.edu for more information.

How do I register online?
Go to the Fellowship Application Login page. Select "Update Account" then "Register". On the Registration page, enter your full email address and a password of your choice. Repeat the password for verification and select "Register Now."

How do I create my own bibliography, a new requirement on the application page?
Simply click on the following link Creating a Bibliography and drop down to "Creating a Bibliography" where you will find step-by-step instructions.

When is the deadline?
The deadline is October 30, 2017, 17:00 GMT, for the CfA Postdoctoral Fellowship. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all materials, including letters of recommendation, are received by the deadline. Incomplete applications -- and/or applications received after October 30, 2017 -- will not be considered.

When will an offer be made for the CfA Postdoctoral Fellowship?
Offers will be issued starting December 20, 2017. If you are not selected, you will be notified in early January via email.

Are there any requirements I must meet in order to apply?
In regard to academic qualifications, the CfA Fellowship accepts applications from those acquiring their Ph.D. between January 1, 2017 and September 1, 2018. Additionally, applicants are expected to pursue research programs of their own conception and design, and they should state clearly why they believe that their professional goals would be furthered through research opportunities at the CfA. Applicants are also expected to demonstrate their capability for original research through first-author refereed publications in major astronomy journals.

What type of visa will the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory issue me if I am selected for the CfA Postdoctoral Fellowships?
The CfA Fellowship is considered a non-service fellowship. It is not an employment position. Therefore, only J-1 visas are issued to international exchange scholars.

What is the length and compensation for a CfA Postdoctoral Fellowship appointment?
The CfA Fellowship is a three-year program, with renewal for a fourth year likely contingent upon satisfactory progress. In terms of compensation, the CfA offers an initial stipend rate of $68,000 per year and a research rate of $16,000.

Can I apply for the Clay Postdoctoral Fellowship Position as well the CfA Postdoctoral Fellowship?
Yes. If you meet the qualifications of the Clay and CfA Postdoctoral Fellowship, you may be considered for both programs. However, the CfA Postdoctoral Fellowship only accepts applications from those acquiring their Ph.D. between January 1, 2017 and September 1, 2018.

Can I use a single application to apply for the Clay and CfA Postdoctoral Fellowships?
Yes, in the online postdoctoral application form, you may select the CfA and Clay Postdoctoral Position.

How should letters of recommendation be submitted?
Letters of reference should be submitted by three "referees" familiar with your scientific abilities and must be received by the application deadline, October 30, 2017, 17:00 GMT. The name and email of each referee must be supplied in the application form. A message is emailed to each referee, which provides a unique URL. The referee uses that URL to upload the letter. Once the letter has been uploaded, the applicant will see "Complete" when checking the appropriate area of the application status page. NOTE: One letter of reference can be used for both the CfA and the Clay application. Your reviewer may make reference to both programs in the one letter they upload.

What format is required for uploading files?
Files should be in pdf format. If this is not possible, postscript or plain text is acceptable.

How do I submit my application?
Your application is considered complete when you use the "Application Complete" button. You can update information until the application deadline even after marking your application as complete.

Can I edit my application online?
Yes, you can access the application as many times as you want until the deadline. After entering the new information, click on the "Save" button. You can enter more information or edit existing information each time. You can upload new files to replace existing ones until the deadline.

If my password does not work, what should I do?
On the "Fellowship Application: Login" page select "Reset Password" and a new password will be emailed to you if you have already successfully registered.

How will I know if all my application materials have been received?
After logging in to the application, select "View Application Status" to check what remains incomplete in your application. In addition, when viewing your application online, you can check previously uploaded files by clicking on the numbered button provided.

What should I do if I notice an error in my application after I submit it?
Until the deadline, you can access the application to make corrections, including uploading new versions of the pdf files.

What if I decide to withdraw my application?
If you want to withdraw your application, send email to postdoc@cfa.harvard.edu stating your full name and which fellowship application you wish to withdraw.

What if I have other questions?
Please send an email inquiry to us at postdoc@cfa.harvard.edu.


Clay Fellow Warren Brown