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Thompson Postdoctoral Fellowship

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The generosity of alumni and friends allows us to honor Professor Thompson’s legacy by supporting the research of an exceptionally creative, early-career scientist.

How to Apply

Please note: we are no longer accepting applications for this academic year.

Thank you for your interest.  Please download our current advertisement or see our job posting here. Applications received by 12/15/22 will receive fullest consideration, but the position will remain open until filled.  We always invite strong candidates to contact faculty with whom they are interested in working.

The Department of Geophysics at the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability has established the Thompson Postdoctoral Fellowship to be awarded to a candidate preferably within two years of receipt of the Ph.D. A candidate applying before completing their Ph.D. must have been awarded their degree before taking up the Fellowship. Our fellowship is open to applicants (whatever the discipline of their Ph.D.) in any area of geophysics, including new areas of research that cross classical disciplinary boundaries. Our department studies the surface and interiors of the Earth, Moon, and planets through laboratory experiments, computational and theoretical modeling, remote imaging, and direct observation.  Our research has both fundamental and applied elements.

The successful candidate will demonstrate exceptional academic achievement and promise, and they will contribute to the growth and diversity of the Department. We seek candidates who have their own independent research agenda but have common interests with one or more existing faculty (who will serve as a formal mentor(s)) to participate in their research group activities. We encourage prospective applicants, before applying, to communicate with prospective faculty mentors.

This postdoctoral fellowship will be awarded for a one-year period that can start any time between September 1st 2023 and June 30th 2024 with an anticipated extension for a second year. The compensation package includes a salary of $65,000–75,000/year (depending on experience), benefits, and a $15,000 research allowance.
Applications received by December 15th, 2022 will receive fullest consideration, but the position will remain open until filled. A short list of candidates will be interviewed in February/March 2023.

Required Application Materials

Please download and submit this datasheet and return by email to together in a single .pdf document that combines the required application materials below.

  • Curriculum Vitae: including list of publications, presentations and other research products, teaching experience, and service (related to research, education or outreach) inside and outside your home institution.
  • Summary of Doctoral Dissertation: Summary (abstract) (one-page maximum) of your doctoral dissertation.
  • Statement of Research: A concise statement (three-page maximum), describing research and other interests you would like to pursue at Stanford, and how a fellowship at Stanford would complement your existing experience.
  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity: A one-page summary of your experiences with diversity, equity, inclusion and access in research, teaching, and/or service, and your potential to advance Stanford’s ‘IDEAL’ vision of diversity as a postdoctoral fellow.
  • Names and email addresses of three individuals from whom the search committee may request letters of reference.
  • Three published papers or preprints or other research products


Stanford is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.



Jeremy Samos

Recipients of the Thompson Fellowship

Shujuan Mao (2022-2023) works with Greg Beroza, Bill Ellsworth and Rosemary Knight. PhD with Rob van der Hilst and Michel Campillo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research interests include environmental seismology, hydrogeophysics and clean energy. At Stanford, she develops and applies seismic interferometry techniques to monitor groundwater in Central California and oil & gas operations in West Texas.

Nate Lindsey (2020-2021), worked with Lucia Gualtieri and Biondo Biondi.  PhD U.C. Berkeley.  His research developed new methods to record seismic waves, which he uses to solve open questions in Earth science. He used offshore and onshore telecommunications cables with Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) to capture earthquake and ambient seismic wavefields with 1,000 - 10,000 sensing points at watershed apertures. Nate was promoted to Research Scientist in the Department of Geophysics before leaving to join FiberSense.

Matt Siegfried (2017-2018), worked with Dusty Schroeder and Jenny Suckale. PhD with Helen Fricker, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, U.C. San Diego. His research interests include subglacial hydrology, ice sheet grounding zone dynamics, ice sheet mass balance, and remote sensing method development and ground-truthing. At Stanford, he focused his research on Antarctic sub-glacial hydrology. Matt recently joined the Colorado School of Mines as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geophysics.
Norimitsu Nakata (2013-2015), worked with Greg Beroza and Jesse Lawrence. PhD with Roel Snieder, Center for Wave Phenomena, Colorado School of Mines. Nori's research interests include crustal and global seismology, exploration geophysics, volcanism, and civil engineering. In particular, he studies subsurface and civil structures by using seismic interferometry and attenuation estimation, bandwidth enhancement, and auto-focusing methods. Nori joined the School of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Oklahoma as the Wagner Assistant Professor.

Lin Liu (2011-2013), worked with Howard Zebker and Rosemary Knight. PhD with John Wahr, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder. Lin's research interests include cryosphere geophysics, near surface geophysics, geodesy, remote sensing, and interactions of the solid earth with the atmosphere, ocean, and cryosphere. In particular, he has been studying the dynamics of the active layer of ice-rich permafrost on the North Slope of Alaska using InSAR. Lin is currently Assistant Professor of Earth System Science at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Darcy Ogden (2008-2010), worked with Paul Segall. PhD with Gary Glatzmaier, U.C. Santa Cruz. Darcy's research interests are in computational fluid dynamics, predicting the hazards of supersonic volcanic eruptions using numerical simulations, supersonic turbulent entrainment, and shock waves. She was most recently an Assistant Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

German Prieto (2007-2008), worked with Greg Beroza on seismic tomography and ground-motion predictions using the ambient seismic field.  PhD with Peter Shearer, U.C. San Diego. German received the 2010 Keiiti Aki Young Scientist Award.  He is currently Associate Professor in the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, as well as Visiting Professor at M.I.T., focusing on understanding the diversity of earthquakes and their associated ground motions.

Charlie Wilson (2003-2004), worked with Simon Klemperer and Biondo Biondi on crustal- and local-scale seismic imaging. PhD with Craig Jones, University of Colorado Boulder. Charlie currently works as a portfolio manager at Thornburg Investment Management.

Anupama Venkatamaran (2002-2003), worked with Greg Beroza on seismological attenuation measurements. PhD with Hiroo Kanamori, Caltech.  Anu currently works as a Geophysical Associate for ExxonMobil in Houston.

About George Thompson

George Thompson with his wife, Anita, at their mountain cabin, the ’Thompson Tree Farm’

George was an incredible, influential scientist who produced seminal research on tectonics and mineral deposits, a leader, and a man with great personal warmth. George is remembered for his intellectual achievements, considerable and often honored, but even more for his life exemplary in generosity and mentorship.

George’s career at Stanford began as a grad student in 1946, and he taught the university’s first geophysics class while still a student – well before there was a department of geophysics. He became a faculty member, he built the Geophysics Department, attracting junior faculty who brought additional breadth and depth, and forging partnerships with industry.  He served as Chairman of the Geophysics Department for many years, and also of the Geology Department, showing his breadth of interest and ability.  He became our School’s fifth Dean in 1987; and when he finally stepped down to accept an emeritus title, it was only so he could return to his research and mentoring.  George never stopped.  He published his last paper, at age 97, shortly before his death.

George is remembered for his mentorship, his leadership, his generosity, and his humility.  The last is well-expressed in George’s own words as he accepted the Penrose Medal:

“I humbly accept as the representative of all those in the geoscience community whose creative insights continue to make geology inspiring. They include many students, colleagues, mentors, my lifelong partner Anita, and our family.  I cannot begin to name them all or even their institutions, but my appreciation is expressed by a quotation of unknown origin:

“I have warmed by fires I did not build

           I have drunk from wells I did not dig.” 

We have confidence that our Thompson Fellows will continue George’s legacy!