Edward B. and Phyllis E. Reed Research Fellowship

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Fall 2023 application deadline extended to 7 January 2024    


This fellowship was established through a generous donation from the estate of Edward B. and Phyllis E. Reed to enable research on North American freshwater copepods. Dr. Edward Reed was a copepodologist in the Department of Zoology at Colorado State University, Fort Collins. Dr. Reed not only donated funds to support this fellowship, but also donated many specimens from his work to the NMNH Copepod Collection and identified many more specimens permanently housed in the Collection.


The Edward B. and Phyllis E. Reed Research Fellowship is available to fund independent research by graduate students through senior researchers on North American freshwater copepods. Proposals utilizing the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Copepod Collection will be given preference.


All copepod biologists actively engaged in research that includes North America freshwater copepods, whether it be collections-based (e.g., systematics, phylogeny, biogeography, comparative morphology, functional morphology, diversity), ecology, conservation or other areas are eligible. Awardees are not required to be in residence in the Washington, D.C. area nor to spend a significant amount of time working in the Smithsonian NMNH Department of Invertebrate Zoology during their tenure. 


Fellowship proposals are solicited biannually for projects ranging from one week to six months.

Spring application deadline, May 1st, awards announced by June 15 for tenure term beginning after September 1st and before March 1st the following year.

Fall application deadline, November 1st, awards announced by December 15 for tenure term beginning after March 1st and before September 1st.


Eligible expenses include (more details below):

  • Travel expenses to relocate to NMNH, such as train/airfares, travel visas.
  • Up to a maximum of $800 per week in stipend/subsistence, which includes all lodging, meals, local transportation, and incidentals.
  • Direct expenses required to complete the proposed research. This includes travel for field work or to collaborate with distant colleagues, small research equipment, consumables, sequencing, or other research costs.

Budgets should not exceed USD $12,000, which is approximately the annual program budget.

The number of fellowships awarded will depend on the impact of the research and available funding, so please balance your research budget carefully with the potential impact of your work. Applicants should contact Karen Osborn, Curator of Copepods, well in advance of submitting their application to discuss feasibility of the proposed research and potential budget.


For projects located at the Department of Invertebrate Zoology we can provide access to imagine facilities equipped with standard, low vacuum, environmental and field emission scanning electron microscopes, a compound fluorescent microscope, and digital microscopes with z-stacking capabilities; a histology lab equipped for paraffin sectioning and whole mount preparation; standard dissecting and compound microscopes. Fellows will also have access to the main NMNH Library and the crustacean reprint collection. Applicants interested in access to the microCT or genetics labs should apply to the SIFP fellowships program. Those interested in confocal microscopy should apply to the fellowships available at the Smithsonian Marine Station in Fort Pierce, Florida. Direct any questions about available resources to Dr. Osborn.


Applicants conducting collections work at the NMMH are expected to be proficient at working with and care of historical collections prior to arrival for their fellowship. Applicants must write and converse well in English.

Any dissection requests necessary for completion of the project must be submitted along with the proposal (see application materials below) and be justified in a short paragraph.

How to apply:

All application materials should be submitted through the SOLAA portal in pdf format.  Applications that do not conform to the guidelines will not be considered.

Title page: title of the project, name and academic affiliation of applicant and any collaborators/supervisors, proposed start and end dates, abstract identifying the research question addressed (200 words maximum).

Proposal narrative (maximum 4 pages, double-spaced, 12 pt. font): detail the purpose and significance of the project, the methods to be used, and rationale for use of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Copepod Collection if applicable. Figures included as separate pages and literature cited do not count toward the maximum number of pages.

Budget (1 page, single-spaced):

  • Itemized list of expenses. For stipend, denoted as “X weeks subsistence @ $XXX/wk. Do not itemize lodging, meals, local transportation, or incidentals within subsistence.
  • Matching funds from any other source should be declared if available or applied for.
  • All budget items, except for stipend/subsistence, should be justified or explained in a short paragraph following the itemized budget. Do not use this section as further methods.

Dissection request (optional):

  • Less than 1 page narrative explaining the need and nature of requested dissections, how dissected parts will be handled, viewed and retained in the collection.
  • Spreadsheet listing USNM#, types status, number of specimens in lot, number of lots of the species in the collection from the location, expected size of specimen (less than 1 cm, or more than 1 cm).
  • Available specimens can be found in the online catalogue at https://collections.nmnh.si.edu/search/iz/

Curriculum vitae: maximum 2 pages, single spaced.

Upload each of the above as individual pdf files.

Letters of support: Graduate student applicants should arrange to have up to two letters of recommendation submitted by the deadline through the SOLAA portal. Applicants with a Ph.D do not need to submit letters of support, but may include them if they wish. Letters should address the importance of the proposed research to the applicant’s career and to the field. You will input the contact information for your referees and the system will send them an invitation and link to submit their letters. Be sure you do this far enough ahead that they can upload their letters before the deadline.


Submissions will be evaluated based on the quality and impact of the proposed research, feasibility of the project, relevancy of the proposed work to the US National Copepod Collection if applicable, and the importance of the project to North American freshwater copepod biology.

Other requirements:

Awardees will submit a short report (1-2 pages) summarizing their NMNH research activities to Dr. Osborn within 1 month of completing their fellowship tenure.

Awardees will present a 20-30 minute research seminar on their project to the Department of Invertebrate Zoology as part of the No Bones Seminar series.

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