The Biodiversity Postdoctoral Fellowship program provides funding to postdoctoral researchers at Harvard University‘s Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) to explore the discovery and formal taxonomic description of Earth’s animal species. Fellows will report to one or more MCZ faculty curators, who will provide office space, access to lab facilities, and research support. The program’s goal is to obtain broad taxonomic coverage and is not limited to any specific taxon.
Originally known as the Edward O. Wilson Postdoctoral Fellowship (2019-2022), this program was launched with substantial seed financing from the late Faculty-Curator Emeritus and University Research Professor Emeritus and support from other contributors. The name change demonstrates our dedication to encouraging diversity, equity, and inclusion activities as critical values. Memorial recognition awards disproportionately honor a small number of scholars, typically those from privileged backgrounds, as well as individuals whose personal viewpoints may, over time, be at odds with the MCZ’s mission to foster a diverse and vibrant community of active zoologists who feel supported, respected, and able to do their best work.
- $55,000 annual stipend
- Yearly research and travel allowance of $4,000 is provided.
- After the fellowship is awarded, the relocation allowance is negotiable.
Who can apply?
Applicants meeting the following criteria can apply to E.O Wilson Biodiversity postdoctoral fellowship:
- Hold a Ph.D. with relevant research experience in taxonomy and/or systematics
- Meet all formal requirements for the doctoral degree before fellowship.
- Both US and Non-US citizens can apply to this fellowship
- Applicants should identify a minimum of one faculty curator who has agreed to supervise the fellowship.
- Applicant must live in the Cambridge area during the fellowship.
- A cover letter no longer than ONE page
- Research Proposal (max 4 pages) describing:
- the nature and scope of the proposed research project;
- the approach and methods to be employed;
- how existing MCZ collections would be utilized and augmented with new specimens;
- laboratory and equipment requirements;
- the proposed MCZ faculty-curator sponsor
- likely products (publications, etc.) to be completed by the end of the fellowship period.
- Research Budget anticipation (one page )
- CV (max 3 pages)
- Up to five pertinent publications (optional)
- Three recommendation letters from non-Harvard scientists (submitted separately through an online system).
Criteria for Selection:
A committee of Harvard faculty will examine applications and prioritize the following factors in the selection process:
- The proposed investigation will probably result in the discovery and official taxonomic description of previously unknown animal species.
- Research projects that are fully established and thoroughly thought out, with the value of proposed research clearly underlined.
- The use of integrative approaches to solving taxonomic problems by combining many data kinds.
- A solid academic track record in taxonomic/systemic research.
Other factors to consider:
- Applicants who are not already affiliated with Harvard University and who have acquired their doctorate within the last three years will be given preference.
- To promote diversity of expertise within the MCZ, priority will be given to those researching taxonomic groupings that are not currently being investigated by an active Biodiversity Postdoctoral Fellow (please refer to the list of active fellows).
- The selection committee will not consider proposals stressing the taxonomy and systematics of fossil/extinct taxa at this time.
How to apply?
Applicants should apply online through Harvard academic recruiting information system (ARieS).