General Requirements

  • Postdoc candidates must have obtained a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree within the last five years at the time of application
  • U.S. citizens, Legal Permanent Residents (LPR), and Foreign Nationals* are welcome to apply
    *The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a federal facility. Due to rules imposed by NASA, JPL will not accept applications from citizens of designated countries unless they are Legal Permanent Residents of the U.S or have other protected status under 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). The Designated Countries List is available at http://oiir.hq.nasa.gov/nasaecp/
  • Access to JPL (as a federal facility) is contingent upon the successful outcome of the security background checks


Specific Program Requirements

NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP)

  • NPP Eligibility – Current JPL postdocs are not eligible for an NPP award through JPL

  • An NPP Senior Fellow is an individual who is past 5 years their PhD. JPL considers a senior fellow to be an expert in their field and an individual who is an established researcher, which may include faculty on sabbatical or a researcher who is currently in transition between two institutions.  This designation is not the same as a senior postdoc at a university.


JPL Postdoctoral Program

  • The candidate must pass all pre-employment requirements, as follows: verification of the highest educational degree they hold; successfully pass a pre-employment drug test and criminal background check; if they are employed in a safety sensitive position they will be subject to and must pass periodic, unannounced random drug tests.


Visiting Postdoctoral Program

  • The candidate is a recipient of a non-NASA postdoctoral fellowship authorized for full-time appointment at JPL from 1 month to 3 years (e.g., Fulbright). This program is also for an individual who has a funded Postdoc appointment at a home institution and is authorized to conduct collaborative research at JPL. Individuals in this program are not employees of JPL and must provide proof of funding from their institution or fellowship program as a condition of the appointment.
  • An individual who is appointed under the Visiting Postdoc Program, but must return to their institution for a period of time may remain in the Visiting Postdoc Program, up to the end of their postdoc fellowship or 3 years, whichever comes first, provided there is a collaboration between the postdoc and JPL as evidenced by a letter from the postdoc’s institution. The evidence should clarify that the institution supports the visiting appointment at JPL and has continued the postdoc’s funding and status.
  • Individuals applying for postdoctoral funding through their home country or institution may request an invitation letter from JPL via postdocs@jpl.nasa.gov.


NASA Hubble Fellowship Program (NHFP)

  • Prospective applicants should visit the NHFP website for more information
  • Applicants should check with their prospective faculty sponsor to confirm whether JPL has reached its cap
  • NHFP Fellows at JPL are non-employees or “stipendees”. Prospective applicants should review NHFP’s Employee or Stipendee? Issues to Consider before selecting JPL as their host institution