The Helen Fellowship is a unique opportunity at AMNH for post-baccalaureate women with an interest in the intersection of computer science and science. The Fellowship offers one-year positions in three areas: computational research, data visualization, and exhibitions/hardware. Fellows in all three areas will split their time between teaching in our Brown Scholars high school programming course and personal projects within their discipline. This fellowship is intended for current college seniors and/or recent graduates and is a full-time commitment. This fellowship is non-renewable.
Computational Research Track
This track is intended for applicants who are interested in conducting computational research in one of the museum's scientific fields. Candidates applying for this track should have previous research experience and an interest in pursuing a PhD in a related field. Competitive candidates will likely have authored or contributed to publications. Applicants to this track should look into AMNH research groups before submitting their application. Please describe your proposed research program(s) in Personal Statement B.
Data Visualization Track
This track is intended for applicants who are interested in communicating scientific results to the public and in creating original visualization products to serve that end. Candidates for this track should have a background in computer arts with strong programming skills. Math and fine arts backgrounds are a plus. Competitive candidates will be able to provide work samples and to describe specific areas of interest within the areas of astrophysics, conservation biology, Earth science, and human biology.
Exhibitions and Hardware Track
This track is intended for applicants who are interested in the intersection of science research, exhibitions, visitor interaction, and hardware design/development. Candidates for this track should have a solid foundation in science as well as experience in hardware and strong programming skills. Math and fine arts backgrounds are a plus. Competitive candidates will be able to provide work samples and to describe scientific areas of interest within the Museum.
Fellows will receive an annual salary of $70,000 plus generous benefits.
Research / Project Support:
Funding is available for expenses such as research collaboration, presentations, conference travel, equipment, and supplies.
- Talented and motivated women with a bachelors or masters degree in computer science, applied mathematics, computational science, data visualization, or design and technology.
- 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 verbal and written communication skills
Applications will open October 3, 2016, and are due by 11:59pm EST January 6, 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
- Personal Statement B (< 2 pages) in which you should:
- (Research Track) address your intended research program, including the curator or research scientist with whom you will be working; or,
- (Visualization Track) address your experience and/or provide work samples in data visualization and describe specific areas of interest within the areas of astrophysics, conservation biology, Earth science, and human biology; or,
- (Exhibitions Track) reimagine an existing scientific exhibition in astrophysics, conservation biology, Earth science, or human biology as an interactive installation, including an overview of the hardware, software, and visitor experience design. Please identify where the current exhibition is installed.
- 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 track (research / visualization / exhibitions)
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, visualization, or exhibition design
- strong academic record
- proficiency in computer programming
- scientific interests which align with those of AMNH
- previous teaching/mentoring experience
- for research track: 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
Applications Open: October 3, 2016
Application Deadline: January 6, 2017
Award Notification: March 3, 2017
Fellowship Begins: June 2016
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Who is the ideal candidate for each track?
A: The Research track will conduct original computational research under the guidance of an AMNH curator or research scientist. Candidates for this track likely have majored in applied math, computational biology, physics, astrophysics, or related computational science. They will have had strong research experience as an undergraduate and will likely have authored or contributed to publications and/or presented talks or posters on their work. Candidates will have connected with the research group at AMNH they are interested in joining and outlined out a potential research project to which they can contribute.
The Visualizations track will work collaboratively with our Science Bulletins department in designing, coding, and producing data visualizations to facilitate scientific communication with the general public. Candidates for this track likely have a strong background in fine arts, digital art, visual storytelling, and computer programming, as well as a foundation in and fascination with science. There is no specific major expected of this candidate.
The Exhibitions track will work with our Exhibitions department in conceiving, fabricating, and engineering interactive installations to facilitate the general public's understanding of science and natural history. Candidates for this track likely have a strong background in sculpture, digital installations, and hardware, as well as a foundation in and fascination with science. There is no specific major expected of this candidate.
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 www.amnh.org/our-research.
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 3, 2016, and are due by 11:59pm EST January 6, 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 1. 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 by February 8th. Notifications on final decisions will be sent out by March 1st. If you are selected, you will need to accept or decline the award by March 15th. 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.