CIHMID Postdoctoral Fellows Program


CIHMID invites new applications for our postdoctoral training program.

Appointments can begin any time between July 2021 and February 2022.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning May 7, 2021.

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Download program description flyer: CIHMID Postdoctoral Training Program 2021

Program Overview

The Cornell Institute of Host-Microbe Interactions and Disease is pleased to announce a new call for postdoctoral fellows to study host-microbe interactions. CIHMID postdocs are supported to develop research programs in collaboration with two or more labs at Cornell and will be provided with professional development opportunities during the academic year and summer (potential projects are listed here). CIHMID postdocs are expected to have intellectual ownership of their projects and may use their support to build bridges across different disciplines of study. Studied host-microbe interactions may be pathogenic or beneficial; microbial partners may be bacterial, viral or fungal; eukaryotic hosts may be animal or plant. Supporting a diverse portfolio of research systems and questions is an explicit goal of the training program.

Appointments to the training program are made through competitive application, and appointments may begin any time between July 2021 and February 2022. The program is supported by a training grant from the US National Institutes of Health (T32 AI145821). Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis, beginning May 7, 2021.

Please direct all questions about the program to

**Applicants are required to confer with prospective host labs prior to application.**


Trainee Support

  • Trainees will be supported for up to 3 years of appointment, conditional on continued satisfactory progress and meeting of program expectations.
  • Trainee salary is paid on the NIH scale with health benefits provided. (
  • Trainees will be provided with up to $10,000 per year in discretionary spending. If the trainee obtains an external fellowship that covers the cost of their appointment, the discretionary allowance will be increased to $15,000 per year for the portion of the CIHMID training program appointment that is supported externally.


Mentoring Structure

  • Prior to applying to the program, trainees will identify two or more labs with which to collaborate, selected at the discretion of the trainee. Rationale for choosing labs may include opportunity for complementary training experience, cross-disciplinary skills development, access to distinct technologies, or other attributes. The Principal Investigator of the primary lab must be a CIHMID faculty member. Minor labs can be drawn from the entire Cornell community. The Plan of Proposed Research should address the logic for choosing the collaborating labs, making clear that the trainees has intellectual independence and ownership of their projects. Project effort associated with the minor lab(s) can vary from 10% to 50%, and may vary over the duration of the project. If the PI of the primary lab is an Assistant Professor, then the PI of a minor lab must have tenure and a mentoring commitment of at least 30%.
  • Within two months of initiating the appointment, trainees will identify a 3-member faculty mentoring committee, at least one of whom is not a formal advisor. The mentoring committee will develop an Individual Professional Development Plan with the trainee and will meet with the trainee at least twice per year to discuss professional progress and goals.

Program Features and Expectations

  • All program participants are required to complete approved training in ethics and responsible conduct of research.
  • Trainees are encouraged to join the CIHMID Postdoctoral Association. The Postdoctoral Association is a social and professional community organized by postdocs in CIHMID labs.
  • CIHMID postdocs are encouraged to participate in, and take leadership roles in, journal clubs and supergroups such as Virology Journal Club, Microbiology Journal Club, Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease (EEID) Journal Club, Microbiome Supergroup, and Symbiosis & Cooperation Supergroup.
  • Trainees are offered the opportunity to mentor undergraduate students in research, in collaboration with the CIHMID Undergraduate Research Experience
  • All trainees are expected to give at least one oral presentation per year, either on the Cornell campus or at a national or international conference. Program leadership will help trainees identify and access appropriate venues.
  • Logistical and financial support is provided for trainees to invite external speakers to visit Cornell. Trainees serve as the hosts for these visits and members of the postdoctoral and graduate communities have priority access to meeting with speakers. 
  • Trainees may be offered voluntary opportunity to teach small undergraduate courses and/or lead topical workshops according to their interest and career goals.
  • The training program enables additional career and professional development opportunities, including:
    • Guidance in applying and interviewing for academic and nonacademic jobs to follow the postdoctoral appointment, including multiple rounds of feedback on application materials, opportunity to give practice job talks and chalk talks, and practice interviews with faculty,
    • Workshops on writing grants and fellowship applications, as well as on the grant review process at federal funding agencies,
    • Workshops on practical elements of running a research lab, with topics including mentoring strategies and styles, financial aspects of running a lab, and strategies for establishing priorities and objectives and maintaining focus on them,
    • Training in leadership and mentoring,
    • Training and experiential workshops on diversity, equity and inclusion in the STEM fields and beyond.


Application and Eligibility

  • Review of applications will begin on May 7, 2021, and will continue until all positions are filled. Applications will consist of a Cover Letter, CV, Plan of Proposed Research (3 pages maximum, excluding references), and a brief statement describing how the applicant will contribute to Cornell’s campus culture of Diversity and Inclusion ( The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply. Cornell as an institution has an expectation that all members of our campus community support diversity and inclusion, and applicant statements should describe their philosophies and activities or proposed activities in that regard. The Plan of Proposed research should be targeted at a general but knowledgeable audience of biologists and should include explanation of how the proposed research contributes to the applicant’s ultimate career goals. Additionally, brief Statements of Support are required from each prospective advisors (to be submitted directly by the advisors to the program director). These statements should describe how the mentoring team intends to foster intellectual independence and achievement of career goals by the applicant. Finally, two Letters of Reference that do not come from prospective mentors should be submitted directly by the recommenders into the application portal.
  • Applicants must hold a Ph.D at the time the appointment begins. Applicants who are already established at Cornell will be considered only if they are changing labs or substantially changing projects. Candidates will be selected based on track record and career promise, merit of the proposed project, and alignment with CIHMID priorities.
  • Because this program is funded by the US National Institutes of Health, it is only open to US citizens and permanent residents.
  • We encourage applications from scholars who affiliate with underrepresented groups, come from backgrounds of disadvantage, or are differently abled. Cornell is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.


Questions about the program should be directed to