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Deep Time Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellowship Program


The next Deep Time Peter Buck Fellowship Application Deadline will be announced early in 2022.  

Note: This Fellowship differs from other NMNH Peter Buck Fellowships in that: 1) positions are filled as they become vacant, rather than on an established annual deadline, 2) applicants do not need to specify supervisor in their application, 3) voluntary experience with public outreach and science education is recommended, 4) finalists are interviewed prior to a decision by the Selection Committee.

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


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 through a variety of media. All formal requirements for a Ph.D. must be completed before the beginning of the Fellowship.

To apply, send: (1) curriculum vitae; (2) pdfs of recent publications (maximum of three); (3) research proposal for the two-year interval (up to 5 double-spaced pages including figures, 11 point type; list of cited references may be on a separate page); (4) a 1-page statement of interests and accomplishments in communicating science to the public, and (5) contact information for three referees for letters of reference should an applicant be chosen for the next stage of the selection process.  


Two years from the starting date. A decision about the next Deep Time Fellow is expected to occur within the first 6 months of 2022, for a starting date in the second 6 months of 2022.


The appointment provides stipend ($55,000/yr), research/travel allowance ($4K/yr), support for health insurance ($5K/yr), and a one-time relocation allowance ($1K).

Notification Date

Successful candidates will be notified immediately after the completion of the selection process.


Questions regarding the fellowship should be emailed to Dr. Anna K. Behrensmeyer,, or Dr. Brian Huber,

Department of Paleobiology, MRC 121

Smithsonian Institution, P.O. Box 37012,

Washington, DC 20013-7012


Information about the Paleobiology Department and other research departments. Information on the Deep Time Exhibition. Information on NMNH Office of Education.


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