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Smithsonian Biodiversity Genomics Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

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Background:

The Smithsonian Institution (SI) Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biodiversity Genomics promotes collaborative research in these fields involving comparative genomic approaches such as phylogenomics, population genomics, metagenomics or transcriptomics, and have a component that involves significant bioinformatics analysis. The Smithsonian’s molecular research facilities are located at National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute/National Zoological Park (SCBI/NZP), Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in the Republic of Panama. Collaboration among SI facilities is encouraged.

 

Eligibility:

Applicants must propose to conduct research in-residence for a period of 12 to 24 months. Applicants must have completed or be near completion of the Ph.D. Recipients who have not completed the Ph.D. at the time of application must provide proof of completion of the degree before the fellowship begins. Applicants interested in conducting research at these facilities are strongly encouraged to contact potential advisors/hosts at any of the Smithsonian’s various Museums and Research Institutes prior to proposal preparation and submission, as well as the Biodiversity Genomics Steering Committee.

The application, consisting of the proposal, academic records, and two supporting letters (see below for details), will be reviewed by members of the Smithsonian’s research staff. Applications will be evaluated on the basis of the proposal’s merit, the ability of the applicant to carry out the proposed research and study, and the extent to which the Smithsonian, through its staff members and resources, can contribute to the proposed research.

The number of appointments made each year is determined by the availability of funds for the program. The Smithsonian Fellowship Program does not discriminate on grounds of race, creed, sex, age, marital status, condition of handicap, or national origin of any applicant.

Applicants must propose to conduct research at the Smithsonian in one of its areas of research as outlined in the publication, Smithsonian Opportunities for Research and Study.  Past or current fellowship recipients are eligible to apply for another award.

No employee or contractor of the Smithsonian Institution may hold a Smithsonian fellowship during the time of his/her employment or contract, nor may an award be offered to any person who has been employed by or under contract to the Institution in the previous year, without the prior approval of the Office of Fellowships and Internships.

Applicants whose native language is not English are expected to have the ability to write and converse fluently in English. All application materials must be presented in English (foreign transcripts may be translated, see below).

 

How It Works:

The stipend for Postdoctoral and Senior Fellows is $48,000 per year (twelve months). Stipends are prorated for periods of less than twelve months.

In addition to the stipend, allowances to assist with the fellow’s research related expenses and for temporary relocation to the Smithsonian are possible. A maximum research allowance of $4,000 is available. The amount awarded will be determined based upon the budget and justification presented by the applicant. The budget for the research allowance should not include costs for relocation to the Smithsonian, which is awarded separately. The Office of Fellowships and Internships cannot provide funds for the travel or living expenses of dependents. All funds provided under Smithsonian fellowships, including stipends and research and travel allowances, are subject to tax.

In submitting an application for a fellowship at the Institution, the applicant does not incur any obligation to accept the appointment if selected.

 

How To Apply:

All applications must be submitted by December 1st through SOLAA. Notification of decisions will be made no later than the first week in April.

The publication, Smithsonian Opportunities for Research and Study outlines Smithsonian research activities and lists research staff. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact staff members to help identify potential advisors, determine the feasibility of the proposed research being conducted at the Smithsonian Institution, and the availability of relevant resources such as staff, collections, archives and library materials during the proposed tenure dates.

Proposals consist of the following:

Abstract

Abstract of the proposed research and outreach, not more than one page.

Research (and Outreach) Proposal

The full statement of your research and outreach plan, (Maximum six pages typescript, double spaced, excluding all other parts of the application, such as the abstract and bibliography.) Please use paper size of approximately 8 1/2 by 11 inches (210 mm x 297 mm). Type or print legibly in dark ink. Do not use type smaller than 12 point or 10 pitch. In preparing your proposal, be sure to provide and address the following:

  • A description of the research you plan to undertake at the Smithsonian Institution, including the methodology to be utilized.
  • The importance of the work, both in relation to the broader discipline and to your own scholarly goals.
  • Justification for conducting your research at the Smithsonian and utilization of research facilities and resources.
  • Identification of the member of the Smithsonian’s research staff who might serve as your principal advisor/host. Also identify potential co-advisor(s) and/or consultant(s) if applicable. The publication, Smithsonian Opportunities for Research and Study contains the necessary information on staff research specialties and current departmental interests to help you determine which staff members are best suited to your research needs. The Smithsonian’s molecular research facilities are located at National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), National Zoological Park (NZP), Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in the Republic of Panama. Collaboration among SI facilities is encouraged. Research staff may be named by applicants to serve as principal advisors, co-advisors or consultants. Affiliated research staff may be named as co-advisors or consultants if they will be in residence during at least a portion of the tenure period proposed. You are strongly encouraged to correspond with your proposed advisor(s) as you prepare your proposal.

Time Table

Estimate of time period for each phase of the research and outreach proposed.

Budget and justification

Budget and justification for equipment, supplies, research-related travel costs, and other support required to conduct the research itself (excluding stipend and relocation costs). You are encouraged to discuss potential research costs with your proposed advisor(s) before submitting your application. If the funds required to support the research exceed the maximum research allowance of $4,000, please explain the source of additional funds.

Bibliography

Bibliography of literature relevant to the applicant’s proposed research.

Curriculum vitae

Curriculum vitae, including previous and current fellowships, grants, and/or awards, and a description of your research interests. Also, if English is not your native language, describe the level of your proficiency in reading, conversing, and writing in English.

Transcripts (unofficial are acceptable)

Transcripts (or other materials when transcripts are not issued) from all appropriate institutions are required, except for senior fellowship applications.  Applicants postdoctoral fellowships need only submit graduate transcripts. If transcripts or other materials are not in English the applicant should provide translations.

References

You will need the names and email addresses of two persons familiar with your work. Please note that all reference letters are considered confidential unless confidentiality has been specifically waived by the referee. Do not list Smithsonian staff members as your referees; they will have the opportunity to review your application after it is submitted.

Please provide a copy of your proposal and a copy of Letter to Referee to your referees. Through the system (SOLAA) you will send an email to these referees so they can provide references through the web.

All reference letters will be considered confidential and the contents will not be revealed to the applicant unless confidentiality has been specifically waived by the referee. Therefore, please have the reference submit in sufficient time to meet the application deadline date.

The application, consisting of the proposal, academic records, and two supporting letters, will be reviewed by members of the Smithsonian’s research staff. Applications will be evaluated on the basis of the proposal’s merit, the ability of the applicant to carry out the proposed research and study, and the extent to which the Smithsonian, through its staff
members and resources, can contribute to the proposed research.

If you have any questions please contact the Office of Fellowships and Internships at 202-633-7070 or send an email to siofi@si.edu .

Apply: https://solaa.si.edu

 

Selection Criteria:

Applications are evaluated and fellows are selected by scholars in appropriate fields, on the basis of

  • the proposal’s merit
  • the applicant’s ability to carry out the proposed research and study
  • the likelihood that the research could be completed in the requested time
  • and the extent to which the Smithsonian, through its research staff members and resources, could contribute to the proposed research.

Included in the proposal evaluation will be its relevance in terms of the Smithsonian’s Strategic Plan and how the research reflects one or more of the Four Grand Challenges outlined in the plan. The number of appointments made each year is determined by the availability of funds for the program.

The Smithsonian Fellowship Program does not discriminate on grounds of race, creed, sex, age, marital status, condition of handicap, or national origin of any applicant.