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Postdoctoral Fellowship Grants and Funding in North America


'Purgatory' or 'the best year(s) of my life'? Purgatory: ... Lots of freedom in your lifestyle. How to Fund It? Apply for an advertised position ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Postdoctoral Fellowship Grants and Funding in North America

Post-doctoral Fellowship Grants and Fundingin
North America
  • Jordan Karubian
  • UCLA

The Post-doc Paradox
  • Purgatory or the best year(s) of my life?
  • Purgatory
  • Uncertain future, status and respect issues.
  • Best Year(s) of My Life
  • Little responsibility
  • Focus on research
  • Lots of freedom in your lifestyle

How to Fund It?
  • Apply for an advertised position
  • Obtain your own funding
  • Co-PI on a grant with a professor
  • PI on your own grant

Advertised positions
  • An established scientist has already obtained
    funding for an established project.
  • Pros
  • Dont have to worry about funding the position
  • You step into an already established project with
    successful and established scientists
  • This should increase quality of research and
    number of publications
  • Cons
  • You have a boss
  • Potential for conflicts of interest,
    micro-managing, etc.
  • Suggestion elaborate a written agreement with
    post-doc advisor, speak to former advisees, etc.

Advertised Positions, contd.
  • Teaching post-docs
  • Offered by departments and/or professors
  • Explicitly include teaching at least one class
  • Pros
  • Gain valuable teaching experience while
    continuing research
  • Cons
  • Teaching will detract from research
  • A good option if you plan to focus on teaching in
    the future

Funding Your Own Post-doc
  • Write a grant with an established scientist
  • Identify appropriate collaborator and secure
    approval and involvement
  • Write the grant (NSF, NASA, NIH, large foundation
    or NGO)
  • Pros
  • Design your own project
  • Greater leverage in relationship with advisor
  • Cons
  • These proposals take a long time to write, have a
    long turn-around time, and are extremely
  • You need to start this early and have full
    support and active involvement of potential

Funding Your Own Post-docGet your own money
  • International Research Fellowship
  • NSF, must work outside USA
  • 2 years salary plus funding
  • You are the PI on this grant
  • Fulbright Fellowship
  • Must work outside USA
  • Shorter term funding ( 1 yr max)
  • You are PI

Funding Your Own Post-docGet your own money
  • Smith Fellowship
  • Society for Cons Biology (formerly TNC)
  • 2 years salary plus funding
  • Work must have conservation focus and take place
    within USA but applicants need not be from USA
  • Work closely with a mentor from a
    conservation-oriented NGO.
  • University-specific opportunities with varying
    degrees of autonomy.
  • National Association for University Women (NAUW)

Latin American Post-docs
  • Most Latin Americans conduct post-docs abroad or
    with funding from abroad but there are also some
    good sources in Mexico.
  • Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología
  • 1-3 yr, repatriation program for students who
    conducted their PhD abroad.
  • Instituto de Ecología AC
  • 1-2 yr, usually for people they are thinking of
  • UNAM, must identify faculty sponsor.

European post-docs
  • Most are restricted to EU members, but there are
  • some options for foreigners
  • NATO Fellowships
  • Marie Curie Fellowships
  • However, the best option for research in Europe
  • Is probably to get an NSF or other funding within
  • your own country.

Research Funds NGOs
  • National Geographic Society
  • Research only, 15-25,000 per year.
  • Wildlife Conservation Society Research Fellowship
  • Research Only - 20,000 max

Research FundsFoundations
  • Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund
  • 20,000 / yr., conservation oriented project
  • Conservation, Food and Health
  • 25,000 / yr., conservation oriented project
  • Moore, MacArthur, Packard
  • Large projects, several years, multiple
    collaborators, conservation focus.

Research Funds Zoos and Museums
  • Usually smaller (1 - 5,000) awards
  • Lincoln Park Zoo
  • Chicago Zoological Society
  • Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
  • American Museum of Natural History

Take Home Messages
  • Plan your post-doc in the context of your future
    professional goals
  • Do you want to end up at a teaching college or an
  • Start looking early
  • Identify suitable post-doc advisors and projects
  • Write them or introduce yourself early on
  • Salary can be tough to find on your own but there
    are some sources
  • NSF Intl. Research Fellowship
  • Smith Fellowship (Soc. For Cons. Biol.)
  • Fulbright Fellowship
  • University-specific opportunities

  • Coro Arizmendi, Elena Berg (european specialist),
    Regina Macedo, Borja Mila, Katherine Renton,
    Oscar Rios Cardenas, Melissa Rowe, Ernesto Ruelas