Deep Time Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellowship

Opening Date: January 22, 2024

Closing Date: March 15, 2024

The Deep Time Peter Buck Fellowship application process will be accepting applications in January, 2024.  

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 commitment to research and to advancing science education and outreach for the public. The appointment provides stipend ($62,000/yr), research/travel allowance ($5K/yr), health insurance ($5K/yr), and a one-time relocation allowance (up to $1K).

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: 1) propose innovative research on a collections-based, exciting topic in paleobiology, 2) indicate a high standard of research productivity, creativity, and interactivity, 3) show experience in communicating about a broad range of science topics with the public using a variety of public engagement strategies.

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 that includes two other Deep Time Peter Buck Fellows as well as Smithsonian Fellows who perform original scientific research and voluntarily contribute their expertise as researchers to enhancing visitor experiences in the Deep Time Fossil Halls.

Preferred starting dates for the fellowship are between September 1 and October 31, 2024, and all formal requirements for a Ph.D. must be completed before the end of this time interval.  To apply, see instructions on the SOLAA website Required documents are (PDF):

  1. curriculum vitae;
  2. proposed research for the two-year interval (up to 5 double-spaced pages, 11 point type), including title, abstract, and figures; list of cited references may be on a separate page;
  3. a 1-page statement of interests and accomplishments in communicating science to the public and engaging with museum audiences,
  4. a budget for research/travel allowance
  5. pdf copies of recent publications (maximum of three); and
  6. 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 the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointments website (SOLAA) by midnight (EST) on March 15, 2024.  Please follow directions for setting up an account under the “Start an Application” (orange button on top right of home page), designating the program as Deep Time Peter Buck Fellowship.  The program website is:

Questions regarding the fellowship and the application process can be emailed to Dr. Huber,, or Dr. Anna K. Behrensmeyer, Interviews and the decision about the next Deep Time Peter Buck Fellow are expected to occur in April, 2024.

More information:

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

Department of Paleobiology, MRC-121

National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian Institution, PO Box 37012

Washington D.C. 20013-7012, U.S.A.

The Smithsonian Institution is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Back to Top