CSHL Fellows Program

The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Fellows (CSHL) Program is a unique research opportunity that provides an accelerated path to becoming an independent investigator for exceptional scientists who have recently completed graduate school. Founded in 1986, the Fellows Program has launched the career of numerous thought-leaders in the biological sciences. In short, Fellows run their own independent laboratories with the full institutional support of CSHL, with an expectation that they will make a fundamental discovery that will advance the field and their own academic career.

The goals of the CSHL Fellows program are:

  • To recruit early career scientists to pursue high-risk/high-return research in the areas of molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, structural biology, cancer biology, neuroscience, plant biology, or computational biology.
  • To support the scientific and personal growth of talented early career scientists by providing generous financial and mentoring support.
  • To provide scientific flexibility that allows Fellows to leverage their prior research experiences to explore new frontiers. Successful Fellows will often collaborate with CSHL faculty to expand their experimental toolbox in pursuit of their own scientific vision.
  • To support Fellows who bring a diversity of perspectives, identities, and backgrounds, including those from groups who are underrepresented in the sciences.
  • To foster community around research challenges. CSHL is a highly collaborative and collegial environment, and Fellows are expected to inspire scientific trainees and faculty through their non-conventional career path.

Founded in 1890, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has an extensive history in shaping contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in molecular biology, cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology. Home to eight Nobel Prize winners, the private, not-for-profit Laboratory employs 1,100 people including 600 scientists, students, and technicians. The Laboratory is internationally known for its highly interactive and stimulating environment. Its Meetings & Courses program brings nearly 10,000 scientists to the campus each year, presenting the entire CSHL community with the unique opportunity to interact with scientists in a wide range of fields. The Laboratory’s education arm also includes an innovative graduate school, an academic publishing house that includes biorXiv, and several STEM programs for middle and high-school students and teachers.

The CSHL Fellows Program in an integral part of the CSHL community and its distinguished history, as evident by the illustrious list of CSHL fellow alumni (hyperlink to alumni tab). This is an excellent opportunity for outstanding scientists who have recently received their Ph.D. degree to pursue a period of independent research before taking a faculty position. Fellows direct their own research program in pursuit of their scientific vision. They have their own laboratory space and technician, as well as opportunities to grow through access to all of the resources of the Laboratory. Fellow appointments are for three years, which can be extended for an additional one or two years. Following completion of this program, Fellows are highly competitive in obtaining faculty positions, either within CSHL or at outside institutions. The central philosophy of the Fellows Program is a pure focus on research, without administrative or teaching burdens. While there is no requirement to write grants, Fellows may do so.

Semir Beyaz

Semir Beyaz

Are you really what you eat? Our goal is to uncover the precise mechanisms that link nutrition to organismal health and disease states at the cellular and molecular level. A particular focus in our lab is to understand how dietary perturbations affect the immune system and contribute to the risk of diseases that are associated with immune dysfunction such as cancer.

Hannah Meyer

Hannah Meyer

A properly functioning immune system must be able to recognize diseased cells and foreign invaders among the multitude of healthy cells in the body. This ability is essential to both prevent autoimmune diseases and fight infections and cancer. We study how a specific type of immune cells, known as T cells, are educated to make this distinction during development.

Jason Sheltzer

Jason Sheltzer

Nearly all tumors exhibit a condition known as aneuploidy—their cells contain the wrong number of chromosomes. We’re working to understand how aneuploidy impacts cancer progression, in hopes of developing therapies that can specifically eliminate aneuploid cancers while leaving normal cells unharmed.

Lingbo Zhang

Lingbo Zhang

Proper balancing of self-renewal and differentiation in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells is a central question in hematopoiesis. My laboratory investigates how growth signal and nutrient coordinate to regulate this key process and aims to develop novel therapeutic strategies for hematological diseases and malignancies.

Year CSHL Fellow Current Position
1986 Adrian Krainer St. Giles Foundation Professor
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
1988 Carol Greider Daniel Nathans Professor
Molecular Biology & Genetics
Professor, Department of Oncology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
1989 Eric Richards Professor
Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research
1991 David Barford Group Leader
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
1994 Ueli Grossniklaus Professor and Head of Plant Development Genetics
Department of Plant and Microbial Genetics
University of Zürich
1995 Scott Lowe Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Member and Chair, Cancer Biology & Genetics Program
Chairman of the Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Center
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Professor, Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences
1998 Marja Timmermans Professor, Department of Developmental Genetics
Centre for Plant Molecular Biology (ZMBP)
University of Tübingen
2000 Terence Strick Group Leader, Biomolecular Nanomanipulation
Institut Jacques Monod
2000 Lee Henry Research Investigator
Zador Laboratory
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
2004 Ira Hall Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Director of the McDonnell Genome Institute
Washington University
2004 Patrick Paddison Associate Member, Human Biology Division
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
2008 Dinu Florin Albeanu Associate Professor
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
2008 Ivan Iossifov Associate Professor, Simons Center for Quantitative Biology
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
2008 Christopher Vakoc Professor
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
2010 Justin Kinney Assistant Professor, Simons Center for Quantitative Biology
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory


The CSHL Fellows Program is intended for exceptional early-career scientists with great promise, who have recently been awarded their Ph.D. Candidates are sought who intend to pursue research in the biological disciplines of molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, structural biology, cancer biology, neuroscience, plant biology, or computational biology.

Successful candidates will have a strong record of scientific achievement, clear intellectual drive to advance scientific understanding, and a commitment to engage collaboratively with a diverse community of scholars and transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries. International scholars are eligible to apply.

Application Process

Graduate student advisors are encouraged to make nominations during the student’s final year of graduate studies, or graduate students may apply directly. Nominations can also be made after a student earns their Ph.D., but not after 2 years of earning their degree. M.D./Ph.D. students are also encouraged to apply as an alternative to clinical training.

  • Curriculum Vitae [including publications, full legal name, contact information, and (expected) date of Ph.D., which must be received by the start of the fellowship].
  • Three letters of recommendation, including one letter from the candidate’s graduate advisor
  • 2-page description of research accomplishments
  • 2-page description of future research plans, addressing the following questions:
    • What is the research problem?
    • What could be accomplished on a 3- to 5-year timescale?
    • How can CSHL help facilitate these accomplishments?

All applications will be evaluated by a committee of CSHL faculty. Each applicant is encouraged to use their research statement to identify faculty members with whom they wish to potentially collaborate. The selection process includes interviews with the most promising candidates identified by review of the application materials.

Terms of Appointment

  • Fellow appointments are for three years, with the possibility of an extension of one to two years. Start dates are flexible.
  • Fellows will direct their own research program. They will have their own laboratory space and technician, administrative support, and access to all of the resources of the Laboratory.
  • Fellows will have access to CSHL’s community-building and professional development activities, which include lecture series, training workshops and extramural events.
  • A committee of CSHL faculty will select the Fellows and regularly meet with them to provide mentorship and assistance throughout the duration of the Program.

Further inquiries may be directed to fellows@cshl.edu.