NHAES Postdoctoral Scientists Support Program

Updated September 2019

As a part of the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station’s (NHAES) goal to enhance the productivity and impacts of its funded research, to strengthen the abilities of our faculty scientists, and to help train the next generation of agricultural scientists, NHAES will support a modest number of postdoctoral scientists (postdocs) to work with highly productive faculty members on their NHAES-funded research projects.

Funding Amount, Duration and Timing

The NHAES Postdoctoral Scientists Support Program will provide up to two years funding for a single individual per award (i.e., not for time- or FTE-portions of multiple individuals), at a maximum rate of $48,000 salary plus fringe. Operations, travel and other support must come from the faculty mentor’s NHAES and/or appropriate extramurally funded projects. The postdoctoral scientist must work full time on the NHAES project to comply with federal time and effort reporting regulations. If you know the name of the intended postdoc, be sure to specify it in the proposal as this will allow the advertising/search requirement for the position to be waived.

Proposals are submitted by and awards made to individual faculty members, not postdoctoral applicants. If a potential postdoc has been identified, their qualifications may be included in the proposal (below). For a number of reasons including net cost, priority for funding will be given to PDs who are tenured or tenure-track faculty within COLSA Faculty

PDs will be notified of postdoctoral funding awards during late winter so they may accept a new postdoc to begin the following October 1 (at earliest). Funding will necessarily correspond to the NHAES federal fiscal year budget allocations of October 1 through September 30.


Funding is available to faculty having active NHAES projects that are awarded through the regular competitive review process. The preferred time for faculty to apply for GRA or postdoctoral scientists funding is when sufficient time remains in their approved research project; generally concurrent with a new or revised Hatch, Hatch-Multistate or McIntire-Stennis project proposal submission or the first year of their project to ensure at least two years remaining funded project duration to accommodate the (conventional) two-year GRA or postdoc.

Note: Only one NHAES personnel position will be supported in any laboratory or research program at a time. If you currently have two-year NHAES GRA or Postdoc support that starts this fall, you are not eligible to apply for additional funding at this time.

Due to the popularity of this program and limited funds, project directors may receive no more than two rounds of personnel funding (two years each), followed by a gap of at least two years.

For Federal Fiscal Years (FFY) 2020 and 2021, all our McIntire-Stennis funds are fully encumbered through project awards. Thus, there will be no competition for new GRA or Postdoc awards within McIntire-Stennis program for the next two years.

Postdoctoral scientists and graduate students who are not U.S. citizens are eligible for this program. Noncitizens must have proper documentation allowing them to work in the United States to be paid from NHAES federal funds. Potential faculty sponsors should contact the UNH Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) to ensure that all required preparations and documentation are completed. The OISS website is https://www.unh.edu/oiss/. Such individuals would presumably be J-1 Exchange Visitors; see the tabs for Faculty/Staff and Departments on the OISS website.

Award Criteria

The NHAES half-time GRA must work at least 20 hours a week on the PD’s NHAES research.  For postdocs, the candidate is expected to work full time (>40 hours a week) on the PI’s NHAES research.  Award criteria therefore focus on the PD’s demonstrated past and anticipated future research productivity, demonstrated ability to leverage NHAES funds with external grant dollars to support GRAs and postdocs, including a mixture of the following:

  • professional accomplishments
  • record of scholarly publications (last five years)
  • record of research impacts and outcomes
  • leveraging of resources through extramural funding
  • graduate students mentored and their outcomes
  • the supported GRA or postdoc’s proposed research role and activities
  • the supported GRA or postdoc’s research relevance to local/regional and national priorities
  • potential for individual and programmatic productivity and impacts
  • other considerations that advocate for a sound investment of NHAES funds

Based on funding and institutional strategies to grow doctoral student numbers, we may fund relatively fewer postdoctoral scientists in favor of supporting a greater number of GRAs in this round of the competition for personnel. If you request a Postdoc but are also willing to cover a doctoral GRA should the postdoc award not be funded, please note this prominently in your proposal document.

Proposal Timing and Format

An annual request for GRA and postdoctoral funding proposals will occur each year, following the annual request for NHAES project proposals. This year the proposals must be submitted by November 12. Award decisions will be made shortly following review of new NHAES project proposals, so those PIs receiving approval for new projects may be considered for GRA or postdoc support funding.

The proposal must be single-spaced 11-point font or larger. They should clearly address each of the award criteria listed above, beginning with a statement of what the GRA or Postdoc will contribute to new or current NHAES research.  The proposal must not exceed 4 pages including the abbreviated CV for the PD.  For postdoctoral scientist proposals, where an individual has already been identified for the position, two additional pages are permitted to include an abbreviated CV for the potential postdoc.

For more information, please see the NHAES Research Projects Manual.