Application Process: HEDS Center Postdoctoral Fellowship

Stage 1: Start Your Application

The first step in the application process for the HEDS Center Postdoctoral Fellowship is submitting personal information via the fellowship job posting on LLNL’s career website. During this first stage of the process, you can upload a cover letter (optional) as well as required materials described below (project relevance statement, statement of interest, and transcripts). You will have an opportunity to add to or modify these materials after submitting your initial application.

Stage 2: Update Your Application File

Within 24 hours of initiating the application, you will receive an acknowledgement via email, which will provide instructions for accessing and updating your application file. You can complete, upload, or modify your materials, which must be received by October 16, 2023, in order to receive full consideration.

Project Relevance Statement. Using no more than three or four sentences, describe the scientific significance and potential impact of your proposed research. This section should clearly state why your work is important. In addition, you should state how your work is relevant to LLNL's mission. Be succinct and use plain language that can be understood by a general, lay audience.

References. You will need to provide names and email addresses for three references (one must be your thesis advisor, and the other two should be scientists who can speak with authority on your research). You are allowed to provide contact information for more than three references, but please be mindful that the review committee has many applications to review. Additional references are only recommended if you feel the extra letter provides key information that won’t be captured in the first three letters.

Transcripts. Digital copies of transcripts are preferred. If you are unable to obtain an electronic copy of your transcripts, hard copies can be scanned and uploaded with the application.

Statement of Interest. This statement is your research proposal. In this six-page document, describe the background, the aims and/or goals of the proposed research, why it is important, and how you plan to conduct your research at LLNL. In addition, specify the LLNL directorate(s) that you would be most interested in working in during your fellowship. HED science fellows typically work in Physical and Life Sciences, Strategic Deterrence, or National Ignition Facility and Photon Science.

You are welcome to include figures, graphs, and references in your statement of interest. The only formatting guideline is to keep your statement to six pages or less, including references. (You may want to limit your references to approximately ten items.) You will have the option to add your statement as plain text or as a PDF. Please be advised that a PDF document is preferred.

Since the selection committee is composed of scientists from many different HED science-related disciplines, the statement should be understandable to a broad technical audience, but it should also include sufficient details to satisfy experts in your field. It is important to convey why your research is important, why the work should be done at LLNL, and how you will carry out the research. Because of the emphasis that the committee places on the potential impact of your proposed work, it is recommended that you lead with the scientific and technological impact. The committee is looking for candidates with a vision, a plan, and a track record that indicates that the candidate will succeed. When writing your interest statement, it is important to be concise, clear, and readable. Remember to include a title.

Stage 3: Reference Letters

When you submit the names and contact information for the individuals who will provide recommendation letters, we will automatically send a request to each person via email, with instructions regarding how to submit the letters. These letters are a critical part of the committee's evaluation of applications. We highly recommend that you contact these references to confirm their availability to provide us with a letter on your behalf by the deadline. Application packages that do not include all reference letters will not receive full consideration.

Stage 4: Finalist Interviews

Selected finalists will be invited to LLNL for interviews and will be required to give a seminar regarding their current research.

Stage 5: Employment Offer

A pre-employment security background check must be completed for finalists before an employment offer can be made. Once the security background check is approved, the selected candidate will be contacted by an LLNL Recruiting and Employment representative with an offer of employment. Only the representative from LLNL’s Human Resources division is authorized to extend an official employment offer.

Selection Process Timeline

  • October 9. Application deadline.
  • October to December. Committee reviews applications and identifies a short list of finalists.
  • January to February. Interviews with finalists.
  • March. Final committee deliberations and selected candidate notified.

If you have any questions regarding the HEDS Center Postdoctoral Fellowship, contact Jessica Karlton, the HEDS Center Administrator, at karlton1 [at] (karlton1[at]llnl[dot]gov).