Working at NSSL: NRC Postdoctoral Fellowships

The NSSL postdoctoral scientist program is operated by the National Research Council and funds two recent Ph.D. graduates each year to pursue their research interests in support of the NSSL mission. The program is open to recent Ph.D. graduates in radar engineering, meteorology, hydrology, physics, applied mathematics, computer science, and other related disciplines. Successful applicants are mentored by NSSL scientists (advisors) over their two-year tenure and are encouraged to take advantage of the unique and exciting opportunities found within the National Weather Center.

Research topics

NRC fellows enjoy considerable intellectual freedom and are expected to independently choose their own research direction and conduct their own projects under the supervision of their selected advisor. Research at NSSL covers all aspects of severe weather, hydrometeorology, and radar engineering and most fellows develop collaborations with local scientist both at NSSL and elsewhere in the Norman community. Candidates are strongly encouraged to read the NSSL mission statement and tailor their research project to support the primary goals of NSSL. Fellows are also expected to be involved in NSSL activities including attending meetings, providing seminars, and community service.

Qualifications and terms of awards

Only candidates who have earned their Ph. D within 5 years prior to applying will be considered. A maximum of 2 awards are made yearly. The award is guaranteed for 1 year with a second year contingent upon review. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

How to apply

A full description of the application procedure is available at The application includes the following: a description of previous publications and research activities, transcripts, 4 letters of recommendation, and a research proposal. The research proposal is the most important part of the application package. The proposed research must be an original idea of the applicant and should compliment the research currently being conducted at NSSL. Candidates are judged on the originality of their idea, the importance of the idea, their ability to do the proposed work, and the likelihood that it will result in publications. Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss the research proposal with their selected NSSL advisor early in the development of the proposal to make certain the proposed research is germane to the NSSL mission.

Candidates typically are screened only 1 time per year in response to the 1 February application deadline. All applications must be submitted directly to the National Academies. Exceptions may be made for candidates proposing to work on radar engineering research projects - contact your NSSL advisor for more information.

Characteristics of successful applicants

  1. Previous awardees took time to establish a collaboration with their prospective advisor well in advance of the application deadline and sought advice from that person when composing their proposal.
  2. Previous awardees tailored their proposal to fit with the aim and mission of NSSL as well as the division within NSSL to which they were applying.
  3. Previous awardees developed an independent research idea that could be completed within the 2-year time frame and had a demonstrated ability to bring their research ideas to fruition.

Past and present NSSL NRC postdocs: Who are they? Where are they now?

For more information

Please send additional questions to:

Dr. Harold Brooks
National Weather Center
120 David L. Boren Blvd.
Norman, OK 73072-7304
(405) 325-6083