Office of Polar Programs Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (OPP-PRF)

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Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after October 4, 2021. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 22-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.

Supports postdoctoral researchers performing interdisciplinary polar research that develops partnerships across polar regions or with nonpolar research communities. Fellowships also support researchers who have had limited access to polar research resources.


The Office of Polar Programs (OPP) offers postdoctoral research fellowships (PRF) to provide opportunities for early career scientists, including social scientists, to accomplish one or more of the following goals: expand their work across traditional disciplinary lines, develop new partnerships connecting the polar regions and/or non-polar research communities, and provide entry to researchers who have traditionally had limited access to polar research resources, sites and facilities. The fellowship program encourages the integration of new investigators who have not previously worked in polar regions and/or innovative techniques that have not previously been applied to polar science into polar research. Additionally, the OPP-PRF aims to support beginning investigators with experiences that will establish them in positions of leadership in the scientific community. During their tenure, Fellows will affiliate with a host research institution(s) and conduct research on topics supported by OPP. Successful proposers will participate in a professional development program that will promote mentoring skills and coordinate their involvement in activities that increase the engagement of groups that have previously had limited engagement in polar Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Prospective fellows must be U.S. citizens, nationals or permanent residents. Proposers who are women, veterans, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities in STEM, or who have attended community colleges and minority-serving institutions (e.g., Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Alaska Native Serving Institutions, and Hawaiian Native and Pacific Islander Serving Institutions) are especially encouraged to apply.

Fellowship proposals must be submitted by individuals. However, if an award is recommended, the proposal will be transferred to the host institution where the postdoctoral Fellow will be named as the PI. The award will be issued to the host institution as a regular research award, and the award will be administered by the host institution(s).

Program contacts

For general questions or more information, contact (OPP-PRF email)
General Program Contact 703-292-8030
Colene M. Haffke
Program Director, Arctic Natural Sciences (703) 292-8030 GEO/OPP
Erica Hill
Program Director, Arctic Social Sciences (703) 292-4521 GEO/OPP
Allen J. Pope
Program Director, Polar Cyberinfrastructure (703) 292-2858 GEO/OPP
Elizabeth L. Rom
Polar Education Liaison (703) 292-7709 GEO/OCE
Maria Vernet
Program Director, Antarctic Sciences (703) 292-5308 GEO/OPP

Awards made through this program

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Map of recent awards made through this program