home Funding, MoBE Postdoctoral Fellowship, Sloan MoBE Program Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunity: Microbiology of the Built Environment

Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunity: Microbiology of the Built Environment

(posted on behalf of Paula Olsiewski and the Sloan Foundation)

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announces a funding opportunity in its Microbiology of the Built Environment (MoBE) program.


The Foundation seeks to further the development of talented early stage Ph.D. scientists and engineers through the Microbiology of the Built Environment (MoBE) Postdoctoral Fellowship program.  The program will provide support for postdoctoral researchers in laboratories currently engaged in research in the U.S. or Canada.  Three awards of $120,000 each will be made in 2016.  Successful fellows will have developed an innovative project proposal in consultation with an established advisor.


Deadline for applications:     September 1, 2016

Announcement of awards:    October 2016


Research Area of Interest
Applicants should describe innovative fundamental research in the microbiology of the built environment, very broadly defined. In addition, longitudinal intervention and controlled environment studies that focus on fundamental processes familiar to those in the indoor air sciences (e.g., emissions, transport and fate, survival, building systems and control) are encouraged. Examples include investigations into the influence of built environment factors (e.g., air exchange, interzonal flows [including between interstitial and occupied spaces], indoor environmental conditions, filtration and other control processes, dynamic interactions between microbial particles or VOCs with indoor materials, and occupancy characteristics) on microbial community characteristics, or measurements of microbial community progressions over building-relevant time scales.  If prospective applicants have any questions as to whether their proposed research topic will be considered responsive to this request for applications, they are encouraged to contact Dr. Roberto Kolter, Chair of the Selection Committee at roberto_kolter@hms.harvard.edu.



Applications will be accepted from graduate students for a first postdoctoral fellowship only, and the fellowship must begin within one year of completion of the Ph.D. degree.  Awards are open to applicants in academic and other not-for-profit organizations, the states, districts, provinces, and territories of the United States of America and Canada.  Graduate students will initiate the applications for the fellowships but these applications must include a letter of commitment from the potential postdoctoral advisor.  Successful applicants must be committed to conduct research on the microbiology of the built environment during their postdoctoral fellowship. Applicants do not have to be U.S. citizens. However, successful foreign applicants will need to obtain appropriate visa documentation, as required by U.S. Immigration.



Awards will be based on several factors:  assessment of the proposed research, the arrangements for the interdisciplinary educational broadening of the fellow, and the previous research records of the potential fellow and advisor.  Distinguished scientists and engineers who are knowledgeable in the field will review the applications.  The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is committed to enhancing diversity in the science and engineering communities and applications from graduate students from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged.



The MoBE Postdoctoral Fellowship program provides a $120,000 award, payable in two $60,000 installments.  Funds are normally expended over a period of two years after the appointment of the fellow.  Charges associated with indirect costs or institutional overhead are not allowed.  The stipend support for the fellow should be at least $48,000 of the total annual award amount (stipends may be supplemented from institutional or other sources).  $2,000 is provided as a stipend to the fellow for travel or research expenses.  Fringe benefits from this award may not exceed $10,000 per year.  In the event that institutions/laboratories receiving the MoBE Postdoctoral Fellowship award have higher rates for fringe benefits, the institution must provide the difference.


Application Procedure

All application materials must be received electronically by the deadline of September 1, 2016.  Winners will be announced in October 2016.


Required Information

Application package:  The application should be formatted on 8-1/2 x 11-inch paper, using 12-pt. font size and submitted electronically to olsiewski@sloan.org with copy to wolf@sloan.org.


The application package has to be assembled as a single pdf file in the following order:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Proposal Cover Sheet
  3. Short research proposal addressing an important aspect of the microbiology of the built environment (typically 3-5 single spaced pages, 12-pt. font size, but no more than 5 pages plus references)
  4. CV of applicant (limited to 5 pages)
  5. CV of postdoctoral advisor (limited to 5 pages)
  6. Letter of support from postdoctoral advisor.

If you have specific questions regarding the application process, please feel free to contact me at olsiewski@sloan.org.


Thank you for your consideration.  I look forward to hearing from you.



Paula J. Olsiewski, Ph.D.


David Coil

David Coil is a Project Scientist in the lab of Jonathan Eisen at UC Davis. David works at the intersection between research, education, and outreach in the areas of the microbiology of the built environment, microbial ecology, and bacterial genomics. Twitter

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: