Applicant FAQ


What is the difference between the NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) and the JPL Postdoctoral Program?

  • NPP Fellowships are awarded competitively. Applications for research opportunities are accepted at anytime, but are evaluated only three times a year beginning November 1, March 1, and July 1. The program is administered for NASA by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA).  NPP Fellows are not JPL employees. Refer to the NPP Application FAQ for more information.  Applicants must submit their application to a specific research opportunity on the NPP site.
  • The JPL Postdoctoral Program is a temporary employment program for individuals to perform their postdoctoral work at JPL. Applications are accepted year-round. Applicants must submit their cv and other application materials to the specific postdoc job posting on the JPL job site.  



Can I apply before I receive my PhD?

  • NPP applicants should refer to the NPP Application FAQ.
  • JPL Postdoctoral Program applicants may submit an application before completing their PhD. If the applicant receives an offer from JPL, the degree must be verified within 90 days from the start date of the appointment. 



How long is a JPL postdoc appointment?

Postdoctoral appointments are typically for 12 months. Appointments may be renewed up to a maximum duration of 3 years.



Where can I get an invitation/support letter for my fellowship application?

Individuals who are planning to submit an application to their institution or government fellowship may request an invitation letter from the JPL Postdoc Office via



How do I apply?

  • NPP applicants should refer to the application information on the NPP site. Applicants should contact the JPL advisor before submitting an application.
  • JPL applicants should submit their application to the JPL job site.



Who do I contact for more information?

  • Potential NPP applicants can send questions to the NPP helpdesk: A full list of NPP contacts is available on the contact page.
  • JPL Postdoctoral Program applicants can send question to