Columbia University in the City of New York

Enhancing the experiences of postdoctoral researchers

Postdoctoral researchers move science and the scientific enterprise forward. The Zuckerman Institute Postdoc Program provides postdocs with an enriched research environment to advance their scientific training and support their professional growth.

This Program integrates opportunities from across the Institute and across Columbia to provide postdocs with an enhanced level of institutional support that complements the research training received from their main advisor.

Postdocs are active members in this training community through opportunities to advocate for their concerns, build a professional network and join the many workshops and seminars that support their growth and training as future leaders in science. A selection of programs and opportunities is listed below.

Attendees at a Zuckerman Institute Postdoctoral Seminars event (Credit: Sirin Samman) 


Zuckerman Institute Postdoctoral Fellows Program

The Zuckerman Institute Postdoctoral Fellows program at Columbia University provides an opportunity for talented early-career scientists to pursue pioneering research into understanding how the brain work: how it evolves, performs, endures and recovers. Fellows will be welcomed into the institute's vibrant intellectual community with broad-ranging collaboration opportunities. The institute welcomes Fellows from a diversity of disciplines and encourages them to carry out collaborative research under the mentorship of one or more faculty members. Apply here.


Building a Professional Network

Postdocs are encouraged to build a professional network of mentors and peers. The Personal Board of Advisors framework provides guidance for finding complementary advisership – within and outside of the Institute and the academic world – to enhance their scientific and career development, ensuring a robust system to receive scientific, technical and career support. The Zuckerman Institute Postdoc Network provides a platform where postdocs can build relationships of mutual support among peers, thus fostering a personal sense of community, collegiality and belonging at the Institute.

Research Development
Postdocs find support and advice from a dedicated team of pre-award and research development specialists, who work one-on-one with postdocs to identify funding opportunities and to help them to develop and submit fellowship and career development applications. Support includes many resources such as detailed checklists, a library of funded proposals, strategic advice, and editing. The funding map below shows the most common opportunities for postdocs in neuroscience and related fields. 

Leadership Opportunities

Zuckerman Institute Trainee Advisory Committee. The Zuckerman Institute Trainee Advisory Committee (ZTAC) promotes the scientific training, professional development, and general welfare of all students and postdocs at ZI, advising the Institute leadership about the students and postdoc population’s needs and concerns.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Board
The Zuckerman Institute’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Board includes representation from postdoctoral researchers. The Board advises Institute leadership on the best practices and structures that contribute to a more inclusive and diverse place of scientific discovery.


Postdocs benefit from access to programs and materials targeted to their discipline and career stage. Zuckerman affiliates can access the full list here. Workshop offerings include:

Academic Application Boot Camp. An annual training course in which postdocs prepare for the faculty job application and interview process.

Mentor and Mentee Training. A workshop series to maximize the effectiveness of the mentor-mentee relationship.

Science Communication Training. A workshop series to craft a persuasive scientific message and engaging stories for both scientific and public audiences.

Early career researchers gather in one of the many common spaces in the Jerome L. Greene Science Center


Public Engagement

Researchers connect with the local Harlem and South Bronx communities through a host of public programs aimed at sharing the challenge and excitement of learning how our minds and brains work. Volunteer and paid opportunities to engage with public programs are available all year.

Columbia University Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs supports and assists all Columbia Postdocs in their professional training and development. It offers in-depth guidance and resources to the Columbia University community on all matters pertaining to postdoctoral affairs.

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Work with Us
Postdocs are pivotal members of the scientific community - we create our programs to accelerate their growth as scientists and as professionals.
Chiara Bertipaglia, PhD
Scientific Programs Manager