Postdoc Fellowship, paleobiology - Washington DC, USA

The Deep Time Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellowship is available at the Department of Paleobiology at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, USA.


Preferred starting dates for the fellowship are between 1 September and 31 October 2021, and all formal requirements for a PhD must be completed before the end of this time interval.

The appointment provides a stipend ($55,000/yr), research/travel allowance ($4000/yr), support for health insurance ($5000/yr), and a one-time relocation allowance ($1000).


Applications are invited for a two-year Research Fellowship (postdoctoral) in paleobiology relating to the goals of the Deep Time Initiative at the National Museum of Natural History.

This fellowship involves 75% time commitment to research and 25% time commitment toward advancing science education and outreach for the public.

The successful applicant will be expected to conduct independent research in paleobiology, take part in various scholarly activities of the museum, and become involved in public outreach and education focused on enhancing visitor experiences in our Deep Time exhibit.

Research in any aspect of paleobiology will be considered, however, priority will be given to applications that:

- propose innovative research on a collections-based, exciting topic in paleobiology,
- indicate a high standard of research productivity, creativity, and interactivity,
- show experience in communicating about a broad range of science topics with the public through a variety of media.

The Deep Time (DT) initiative is focused on understanding connections between 4.6 billion years of environmental change, the diversity of life, and the future of our species on Earth.

The four focal themes are: 1) evolution of organisms, 2) evolution of ecosystems, 3) earth processes, 4) connections among these and our human past, present and future.

The Deep Time Initiative seeks to inform and inspire the global community about the importance of fossils and the history of life, and to help educate citizens for a changing planet.

The Deep Time Peter Buck Fellow will join a diverse intellectual community at NMNH, which includes two other Deep Time Peter Buck Fellows as well as other Smithsonian Fellows involved in research, education, and outreach activities relating to the Deep Time exhibition (opened in June, 2019).


Applications open 15 March 2021 and close 25 April 2021.

To apply, send, in pdf format:

- curriculum vitae;
- pdfs of recent publications (maximum of three);
- proposed research for the two-year interval (up to five double-spaced pages, including figures, 11-point font type; list of cited references may be on a separate page);
- a one-page education and outreach statement of interests and accomplishments in communicating science to the public, and
- contact information for three referees who could provide letters of reference should an applicant be chosen for the next stage of the selection process.

All application materials should be submitted to Dr. Brian Huber: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Interviews and the decision about the next Deep Time Fellow are expected to occur in May 2021.

Further information

Questions regarding the fellowship should be emailed to Dr. Anna K. Behrensmeyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Dr. Brian Huber: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Information about the Paleobiology Department:

Information about other research departments:

Information on the Deep Time Exhibition:

Information on NMNH Office of Education:

Note that this Deep Time Fellowship call is separate from the Smithsonian’s regular Fellowship Program, which has an annual deadline of 1 November and is 100% research.

The Smithsonian Institution is an Equal Opportunity Employer.