Scholarships and awards

External Award: MarineGEO Postdoctoral Fellowship

November 07, 2016
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The Smithsonian’s Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network (TMON) invites proposals for the MarineGEO Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. Proposals should advance the goals of the Marine Global Earth Observatory. MarineGEO is a growing, long-term, worldwide research program focused on understanding geographic and temporal patterns and processes in coastal marine biodiversity and ecosystems using comparative approaches. By specializing in coastal systems, MarineGEO studies can reveal the role marine biodiversity plays in maintaining resilient ecosystems in the portion of the ocean where people and marine biodiversity are concentrated and interact most.

Research Proposals

We seek applications for postdoctoral research projects that directly address MarineGEO goals through at least one of these overarching research themes:

  1. How does marine biodiversity vary through space and time across habitats and the globe?
  2. How do natural and human forces (e.g. fishing, land-use, invasions, habitat loss) drive changes in marine biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and ecosystem resilience?
  3. What are the consequences of these changes in marine ecosystems for human well-being?
  4. How does anthropogenic alteration of carbon cycles affect coastal marine ecosystems and their service provision?
  5. How do dispersal and metapopulation dynamics connect marine ecosystems and influence responses to change?
  6. How do nearshore food webs change through space and time?
  7. How can the past—ancient through historic—help us understand the consequences of local human activities and global change in the present?
  8. Where are the critical tipping points that lead to rapid and unwanted shifts in marine ecosystems, and how can these best be avoided?

Proposals must focus on comparative research that directly addresses MarineGEO goals and questions above.  Projects must involve at least two Smithsonian TMON facilities. Projects should be scoped to a level that the fellow can accomplish alone or with limited assistance.  If field assistance is required (e.g., for diving), proposals should include estimates of those needs.

Postdoctoral fellows must collaborate directly with two or more Smithsonian scientists as named co-advisors (see Smithsonian Marine Research Staff) and must select co-advisors from more than one Smithsonian unit (National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Marine Station-Fort Pierce, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, National Zoological Park). Postdoctoral fellows must select one of these locations to be their primary in-residence unit. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact prospective co-advisors in developing their proposals.

Eligibility and Award Amount

Applicants must have completed their Ph.D. before commencing the fellowship. Individuals who have been Smithsonian employees or contractors within the previous year are not eligible. The award total is for $63,000 maximum per year, which is divided into stipend, research allowance, health insurance, and relocation expenses. The stipend is $48,000 per year, allowing up to $15,000 for the remaining expenses. The fellow may acquire private, open market, or Smithsonian health insurance, but should be aware of these costs. If additional funds are desired beyond the $15,000 for research, health insurance and relocation, the fellow should expect to find external opportunities to supplement the fellowship funds. Awards will be made for a maximum of two years, pending first-year performance review and funding availability.

Proposal Submission

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with Smithsonian staff scientists prior to proposal submission. Applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59 PM (EST) on December 15, 2016 to SOLAA. Each element of the application should be uploaded to SOLAA as its own document. Applications missing any elements will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.  Applicants must provide the names and email addresses of two referees through SOLAA. Referees should submit their recommendation letters into SOLAA by the application deadline.

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