The Helen Fellowship

The Helen Fellowship is a unique opportunity for women to spend a year immersed in teaching and research at AMNH in New York City. The Fellows will split their time between teaching and a research residency within one of the Museum’s science divisions.


The Helen Fellows contribute to curriculum and teach within BridgeUp: STEM, a computational science program for high-school aged young women and middle-school aged boys and girls from New York City. Each Fellow also conducts independent computational research under the guidance of a museum scientist whose work aligns closely with the Fellow’s interests and experience. 


The residency allows the Fellows to conduct authentic research utilizing cutting edge tools of computational science and emerging media in labs across the Museum’s science divisions including Invertebrate Zoology, Vertebrate Zoology, Paleontology, Earth and Planetary Science and Anthropology.  Applicants should familiarize themselves with these departments and their ongoing research initiatives in order to better propose an appropriate research project.  The Fellows are supported to generate publications and/or independent projects that will help launch their careers.


Previous Fellows have conducted research or developed products in invertebrate zoology, data visualization, astrophysics, exhibitions, biodiversity conservation, ornithology, and herpetology.


The Helen Fellowship is intended for current college seniors (expected graduation by May 2017) and/or recent graduates and is a full-time commitment for one year beginning in the summer of 2017. This fellowship is non-renewable.  More information can be found by searching our website and the broader internet for your topic of interest at AMNH. This program is funded by the Helen Gurley Brown Trust for the American Museum of Natural History’s BridgeUp: STEM initiative.



  • Talented and motivated women with a bachelors or graduate degree in computer science, natural sciences, applied mathematics, computational science, and other relevant majors.
  • Currently living in, or willing to relocate to, greater New York City (note: relocation expenses are not reimbursed)
  • Not undertaking any other full-time employment during the period of the fellowship, nor any part-time employment that conflicts with fellowship responsibilities
  • Strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills



Fellows will receive an annual salary of $70,000 plus generous benefits.


Research/Project Support:

Funding is available for expenses such as conference travel and research equipment and supplies.


Application Instructions:

Applications are due by January 20, 2017.

All applicants must submit the following materials:

  • Online application
  • Current CV
  • All undergraduate transcripts
    • Note: unofficial transcripts are acceptable for application. Official documents will be required for hiring of successful applicants.  
  • Personal Statement A (< 2 pages) in which you should:
    • Explain why you are interested in the Helen Fellowship
    • Address your future plans and goals
    • Describe any past teaching/mentoring experience and how you will contribute to our educational program
  • Personal Statement B (< 2 pages) in which you should:
    • Address your intended research project, including the curator or research scientist with whom you will be working. The more in depth your project plan and research into our ongoing work here at AMNH is, the better
    • Address your experience and/or provide work samples in or related to the project that you hope to engage in
  • 2 recommendation letters:
    • One that addresses your teaching/mentoring experience and potential
    • One that addresses your achievements and potential as it relates to your specific research project


Selection criteria:

While there is no one profile of an ideal candidate, we are seeking applicants with a combination of the following qualifications:

  • Outstanding potential for novel research within one of the museum's science divisions
  • Strong academic record
  • Proficiency in computer programming
  • Scientific interests which align with those of AMNH
  • Previous teaching/mentoring experience  
  • Preferably, previous publication record


Recommenders will be asked to address the following components of your candidacy:

  • Potential for novel contributions to research or scientific communication
  • Ability to work in groups
  • Communication skills (written and oral)
  • Maturity level and leadership potential
  • Compare the candidate’s integrity and intellectual potential to students with whom you are familiar
  • If applicable, please comment on the candidate’s ability to work with motivated teenagers


Important Dates:

Applications Open: October 14, 2016

Application Deadline: January 20, 2017

Award Notification: March 15, 2017

Fellowship Begins: Summer 2017


Primary Contacts:

Mali'o Kodis

Senior Helen Fellow



Camera Walrond

Program Assistant



Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What are the responsibilities of a Helen fellow?

A: Helen Fellows will split their time between teaching and mentoring the Brown Scholars and working on individual projects under an AMNH scientist or staff member in their respective fields.


Q: What kind of research do you do at AMNH?

A: We are specifically looking for Helen Fellows that are interested in research in anthropology, physical sciences, invertebrate zoology, paleontology and vertebrate zoology. For more information on our research go to


Q: I am not a US Citizen. Am I still eligible to apply?

A: Yes, non-US citizens are also eligible for the Helen Fellowship.


Q: When is the application deadline?

A: Applications will open October 14, 2016, and are due by 11:59pm EST January 20, 2017.


Q: Where do I mail my application materials?

A: Please complete your application online. A link to the application will be posted on October 14th. Hard copies will not be accepted. (This includes recommendation letters - please have your recommenders complete their letters via the online application only.)


Q: Is the GRE required?

A: No, the GRE is not required.


Q: When will I be notified about final awards?

A: If you have been selected for an interview, you will be contacted in February. Notifications on final decisions will be sent out by March 15st. If you are selected, you will need to accept or decline the award by March 31st. Candidates who are waitlisted will be notified on a rolling basis.


Q: Can I defer my acceptance?

A: No, you may not defer your acceptance; you are, however, welcome to reapply for the Fellowship in the future.


Q: Does a professor need to nominate me for the Fellowship?

A: No, we appreciate candidates who self-identify their interest in this work.


The Helen Fellowship is generously supported by a grant from the Helen Gurley Brown Trust.