Career Opportunities

CESI Postdoctoral Fellowship 2022 Request for Proposals

The CESI Postdoctoral Fellows is designed to attract the best and brightest young researchers in energy science, engineering, and materials to Cornell. The goal is to create a cohort of independent scholars pursuing frontier research in energy. Fellows will work in partnership with Cornell faculty sponsors on projects consistent with the CESI mission. 

The mission of the Cornell Energy Systems Institute (CESI) is to “Make smart energy systems with low carbon footprint the norm through innovations in materials, technology, and systems design.” In pursuit of this mission, the Institute supports an ambitious agenda spanning discovery research to technology translation and systems integration. The goal is to catalyze the frontier research on materials, devices, data analytics and algorithms, and intelligent systems architectures required to lower cost, improve performance, and reduce the carbon footprint of energy systems. The Institute also serves as a hub for subject matter experts, programs, and multi-user facilities that translate energy-focused research discoveries to prototypes and prototypes to commercial practice.  While CESI is interested in proposals in all areas of energy systems and technology research, we have particular interest in the following areas:

Carbon Capture, Sequestration and Reuse: Approaches involving the design of novel material systems, and molecular and/or process systems design and engineering that integrate electrochemical, chemical and microbial pathways for CO2 capture and utilization are highly encouraged. Candidates should have an interest in advancing the molecular-scale basis underlying carbon transformations by harnessing novel experimental methods and modeling approaches. Nature- or earth-inspired and unconventional approaches that aid in the design of energetically or atomistically favorable pathways for the reactive separation, directed synthesis of novel and high value products, or environmentally benign use and storage of CO2 from point source emissions and distributed sources (e.g., direct air or ocean capture) are of interest. Synergistic integration of nature- and engineered strategies for carbon removal are encouraged, for example the use of systems biology to leverage natural microbial communities to accelerate natural CO2 mineralization. 

Energy Generation, Distribution, Buildings and System Integration: The very nature of our electric power generation system is evolving; replacement of fossil-based sources with renewables, rapid growth of distributed energy\resources and storage, and the growth in consumer participation in load flexibility (e.g., grid-interactive efficient buildings) and peer-to-peer trading programs. Our ability to meet changing needs for electric power under increasing renewable penetration and wide-spread electrification (notably both the transportation and the heating sectors) is contingent optimal investment and operations. Candidates in this area should have specific interest in modeling and optimization of complex networks (including, but not limited to, power systems, building systems, transactive energy systems) under uncertainty, and the sociotechnical challenges of large-scale infrastructure transitions. 

Electrified and Sustainable Transportation: Energy efficiency in transportation from broad modeling perspectives including approaches that would foster broad adoption of electrification of vehicles. Candidates with specific interest in the design and control of coordinated electric vehicle charging or optimal deadline scheduling of residential charging are encouraged. Candidates could also be interested in using systems modeling approaches to the socio-technical transition to sustainable transportation that can produce optimal, flattened loads that would improve reliability of the power system as well as reduce system costs and emissions. Candidates with interest in power electronic hardware modeling, design and development for electrified transportation applications, such as onboard and fast wired charging and stationary and dynamic wireless charging, are also encouraged to apply.  

Materials for Renewable Energy Applications: Transformational ways in how we more efficiently, cheaply and sustainably generate, store and transport energy require continued innovations for new materials and devices. Join world-leading research efforts in discovering and developing a wide range of energy-related materials, such as photovoltaics, thermoelectrics, advanced battery materials and catalysts, membranes and supports for mobile fuel cells. Research is also conducted on materials processing that minimizes environmental impact.

To find more information about our faculty and identify potential advisors, visit the CESI website

Program Structure 
•    The CESI Fellowships are two-year appointments and provide up to 50% of the cost associated with sponsoring a postdoctoral scientist at Cornell, with the faculty advisors providing the other 50%. 
•    Two to three fellowships will be awarded for a two-year period beginning in 2022.
•    The start date for new fellows will be between January and August 2022. This is flexible and based on agreement between the candidate’s advisers and CESI 
•    The fellowships carry a salary of $58,000 per year, full Cornell University employee benefits, and $5,000 per year for research- and travel-related expenses
•    The fellowship term is two years. The second year is contingent on performance and mutual agreement between the fellow, the adviser, and CESI 
•    Postdoctoral fellows can spend variable portions of their fellowship period at Cornell, in other relevant facilities, or in the field as dictated by their research. 
•    All fellows will have access to Cornell’s Office of Postdoctoral Studies, which provides career services, including CV and resume writing, interview preparation, workshops designed specifically for postdocs including a postdoc leadership program, and social activities. 
•    The fellow’s appointment will be in CESI. 

Application Process
Applications will be evaluated in a competitive process designed to evaluate their qualifications, the quality and originality of the proposed research, and the potential of the work to facilitate new research collaborations among CESI faculty. Applicants should not already be in a targeted research group at Cornell. Successful applications must have at least two Cornell faculty sponsors, at least one of whom should be an active CESI faculty member (see Successful applicants should also have a demonstrated record of research excellence evidenced by external metrics appropriate for their field, such as high-impact publications, awards, patents, and invited talks at international meetings.

All fellows agree to include the CESI byline on all publications and presentations during their appointment. 
CESI Fellows will also receive lifetime memberships in the Society of Cornell Fellows, along with the participants in other named prestigious and competitively awarded Cornell postdoctoral fellowships. 


Program Timeline

September 3, 2021

Applications opens
September 25, 2021 LOI due (optional)
October 25, 2021 Full application due
November-Dec, 2021 Interview selected candidates
January, 2022 Winners Announced

Letter of Intent (maximum 2 pages):
A letter of intent (LOI) is recommended to applicants that have not yet identified advisors at Cornell and could benefit from faculty match making to prepare a Full Proposal. The letter should outline the project and if possible preliminarily identify a potential Cornell advisor. The letter must include contact details for the applicant, current university or other affiliation and position. 

Full Application (Required Application Materials senT as a single PDF file, maximum 10 pages):
1.    Introduction – short summary of your application (maximum 1 page)
2.    Personal Statement that includes a brief description of the applicant’s PhD research project and a discussion of the applicant’s career goals. (maximum 1 page)
3.    Candidate CV, including list of publications and presentations. (maximum 2 pages)
2.    Proposed research which should explicitly address the relationship between the proposed work and CESI research mission. The proposal should also list the names, email address, and affiliation of the Cornell faculty sponsors. (maximum 2 pages)
3.    Letters of support from Cornell sponsors. A single letter co-signed by multiple sponsors is acceptable. (maximum 1 page per letter)
4.    Letter of Recommendation: At least one (e.g., from thesis advisor, collaborators).

Please submit applications via AcademicJobsOnline at:

Questions or concerns can be directed to:

Senior Faculty Position in Plasma Science and Engineering

The College of Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca Campus, invites applications for a tenured professor and the Director of the Laboratory of Plasma Studies (LPS) from outstanding established plasma and fusion research scientists and engineers. The LPS is known internationally for its world-class High Energy Density Laboratory Plasma (HEDLP) research and has been the home of a research Center of Excellence sponsored by the National Nuclear Security Administration in this field of research for nearly 20 years. The Cornell College of Engineering is a premier institution of applied science and technology research and education, including in several areas of energy related research and development. The successful applicant is expected to be a leader in plasma science and/or fusion engineering and to have aspirations to expand Cornell’s footprint in fusion-related plasma science, engineering and technology research.  In addition to all LPS research facilities, the successful candidate can expect to benefit from the use of such Cornell research facilities as CHESS (Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source) CCMR (Cornell Center for Materials Research) and CNF (Cornell Nanofabrication Facility) as well as from collaboration with many faculty experts in such areas as Advanced Manufacturing (“3D Printing”) and advanced electromagnetics (metamaterials).  The successful candidate can expect a competitive level of support for the start-up of broadened HEDLP and/or fusion technology research programs. For additional information about the position, please contact

The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. and several years of experience as an HEDLP or fusion plasma research project leader. A candidate with an established record of raising funds for such research is of special interest to us. Experimentalists, theorists and computationalists are all welcome to apply. A broad background is desirable, including experience with diagnostics for pulsed plasmas, plasma theory, the tools of data analysis, and computer simulation codes that can be used to help design and understand experiments. Doctorates can be in electrical engineering, physics, applied physics, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, astrophysical sciences or another technical field that is consistent with a tenured appointment in a Cornell College of Engineering department. There is an expectation that the successful applicant will be willing and able to teach courses in the College and will have demonstrated promise for excellence in this skill. Salary and rank will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

The College of Engineering is especially interested in qualified candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching and/or service, to the diversity of the academic community and to creating a climate that attracts students of all races, genders and nationalities. Diversity and inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage and we especially encourage applications by members of underrepresented groups in science and engineering.  We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities.  We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian Reservations. 

Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae, a research statement, a leadership vision statement for broadening Cornell Engineering’s footprint in fusion science and engineering, a teaching statement, three recent publications, complete contact information for at least 3 references, and a Statement of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  Applications must be submitted online at Review of applications will begin in April 2021, and applications received by the end of May 2021 will receive full consideration.  However, applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled. For additional information about the application process, please contact  Information on the LPS can be found here:   

Cornell University seeks to meet the needs of dual career couples, has a Dual Career program, and is a member of the Upstate New York Higher Education Recruitment Consortium to assist with dual career searches.

Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work.  There is a wide array of fringe benefits, programs and services to help advance academic careers as well as to enhance the quality of all employees’ personal lives, including employee wellness, childcare and adoption assistance, parental leave and flexible work options.  Our inclusive community of scholars, students and staff impart a sense of larger purpose and contribute creative ideas to further the university’s missions of teaching, discovery and engagement.  While Cornell’s main campus in Ithaca, NY will be the location of the position discussed in this ad, Cornell’s Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City, and the Weill Medical Colleges in Manhattan and Doha, Qatar, serve to broaden the reach of Cornell far beyond Upstate NY.