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Young Scientists

Luciano Marraffini and Wenyan Jiang in the lab

Young scientists bring many unique contributions to Rockefeller’s scientific community, which benefits the University as a whole.

  • bring invaluable expertise in new and emerging fields
  • embrace collaboration and interdisciplinary approaches
  • inspire Rockefeller’s senior scientists to think in new ways
  • contribute enormous energy to the intellectual life on campus

Assistant Professors

Laboratories at Rockefeller are headed by dedicated and highly creative researchers. They are selected for the breadth of their knowledge, the intensity of their focus, the ingenuity and effectiveness of their methods, and the significance of the questions they choose to tackle.

In seeking to hire assistant professor laboratory heads, Rockefeller’s philosophy is to hire the most visionary and imaginative scientists and give them the independence and resources they need to tackle the most challenging questions in the life sciences. We seek scientists capable of making transformative discoveries.

The University recruits the scientist, not the field—allowing Rockefeller to identify and hire the most outstanding candidates, regardless of their area of expertise. Our goal is to recruit incandescent scientists pursuing innovative and promising ideas.

In addition to providing its young researchers with generous start-up funding and access to the latest technological resources, Rockefeller encourages its young faculty members to focus on paradigm-changing research by providing a longer “tenure clock” than most other research institutions—up to 12 years.

Postdoctoral Investigators

Postdoctoral trainees make significant intellectual contributions to the scientific enterprise at Rockefeller. The University’s 350 postdoctoral investigators constitute the largest community of researchers on campus, serving as key members of every Rockefeller laboratory. These young scientists have already earned Ph.D. or M.D. degrees (or both) and are extending their scientific training by working in the laboratories of Rockefeller scientists, to whom they have directly applied for positions. Generally, they spend three to five years in a laboratory, pursuing their studies in the uniquely productive and supportive scientific environment that the University provides.

Only the most outstanding candidates are considered for postdoctoral research positions at the University.

Graduate Students

The David Rockefeller Graduate Program offers world-renowned training leading to a Ph.D. in the biomedical sciences, chemistry, and biophysics. Hallmarks of the program include close mentoring by faculty and the opportunity to be full participants in the research enterprise. Rockefeller also offers one of the nation’s top M.D.-Ph.D. programs with neighboring Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Medical College of Cornell University. The graduate program is flexible and individualized depending on a student’s needs, and provides full financial support, housing, and outstanding opportunities for intellectual growth.

A scientific education at Rockefeller can be the first step in a stellar career in academic research, or it can serve as a strong foundation for work in other relevant areas. While the majority of Rockefeller’s graduates go on to careers in research or teaching, others are drawn to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, business, or nonprofit organizations.