Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, 2021-22

Fellowship ID: MSRI-MSRIPD [#16192]
Fellowship Title: Postdoctoral Fellowship
Fellowship Location: Berkeley, California 94720-5070, United States [map]
Subject Area: Offsite Postdoctoral Fellowship 2021-22
Application Deadline: (posted 2020/08/24, listed until 2020/12/01)
Fellowship Description:    

MSRI seeks applicants for four Postdoctoral Fellowships (PD) beginning Fall 2021.

Because of the likely crisis in academic jobs caused by the pandemic, the Simons Foundation is generously providing support for one-year postdoctoral positions in the mathematical sciences, beginning in Fall 2021. Four of these positions will be distributed through the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI). The positions will not be hosted at MSRI in Berkeley, California; they will take place at a mentor's home institution in the United States.

As these fellowship are not affiliated with MSRI’s on-site scientific programs, there is no restriction on fields within the mathematical sciences. Fellowships will only be awarded to postdocs who do not have a job or offer from another institution by February 1, 2021. Applications from women and historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged.

Criteria for Eligibility:

  • Fellows must hold a Ph.D. in mathematics awarded between August 1, 2016 and August 1, 2021. 

  • Applicants must be based at a US institution at the time of application. (US Citizens who received their PhD in the US but are temporary based abroad at the time of application are also eligible)

  • The PD applicant must identify a mentor who will host the PD at the mentor’s home institution in the United States.

  • A letter of agreement from the proposed mentor must be supplied. The letter must confirm that the mentor's institution is willing to host the applicant for the academic year. The mentor should also confirm that they will follow the MSRI guidelines listed below.

  • If the applicant is a foreign national, the mentor must also confirm that their home institution will provide the appropriate work visa.


  • The award provides support for 11 months. 

  • The fellowship stipend is $7,750 per month (for a total of $85,250), with a travel subsidy for one round-trip from your current institution, up to a maximum of $600.

  • Additionally, PDs will have access to a research travel budget of $1000. 

  • Health, dental and vision insurance is also provided.

  • Postdoctoral Fellows cannot receive any other monetary compensation during the PD fellowship. 

Information for the Sponsoring Institutions:

  • The salary and health, dental and vision insurances will be paid through MSRI even though the applicant will be at the sponsoring institution.

  • The sponsoring institution will provide the usual amenities (office, telephone, computer, library access, etc…) to the PD.

  • If the PD is a foreign national, the sponsoring institution is responsible for providing the appropriate work visa.

Application Process:

All applications will be reviewed by the MSRI’s Scientific Advisory Committee and Human Resources Advisory Committee


Application Material Required:

  • Curriculum Vitae

  • Publication List

  • Statement of Purpose

  • 2 Reference Letters (to be submitted by the reference writers)

  • 1 Letter from Mentor (to be submitted by the mentor)

The "Statement of Purpose" is a critical document that must include the justification of the choice of mentor and sponsoring institution as well as a research statement.


The letter from the mentor must confirm that their institution is willing to host the applicant for the academic year. The mentor should also confirm that they will follow the MSRI mentorship guidelines listed below.

Application Deadline:

To receive full consideration, it is essential that all application materials, including letters of support, be in place at the MathJobs website by December 1, 2020.


Postdoctoral Fellows Duties: Most of the PD’s time should be spent on research activities including: paper writing, presentations at conferences or other institutions, and, if appropriate, preparing an NSF grant proposal.

Mentor’s Role: We require commitment from the mentor at the host Institution that they will follow MSRI mentoring guidelines. The mentor must agree to designate a weekly meeting, at which some or all of the following items will be discussed:

Establishing a research plan including:

  • Discussing, at the beginning of the semester, the project(s) the PD is pursuing and the choice of future projects

  • Introducing the PD to senior researchers in the PD’s area

  • Advising on writing paper and  giving feedback on paper drafts

  • Advising about publication (e.g. how quickly to publish a thesis, choosing and dealing with journals, etc.)

  • Advising on the writing of an NSF grant proposal; feedback on proposal drafts

Professional development; help with

  • Advising on the writing of an NSF grant proposal; feedback on proposal drafts
  • Writing a CV and a research and teaching statements
  • Preparing for interviews
  • Giving a good talk
  • Critiquing talks given by the PD; also advising on giving talks at national meetings
  • Discussing the aspects of an academic career (proportion of research/teaching/service at various stages of one’s career; etc.)

We will ask for a quarterly report from mentor and PD on their experience and progress addressing these points.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the fellowship description.

Further Info:
(510) 643-6040
Mathematical Sciences Research Institute
17 Gauss Way
Berkeley CA 94720-5070

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