Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program

Sara Ruane

The Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Programs of the AMNH are designed to advance the training of each participant by having them pursue a specific, time-limited project in association with Museum professionals in the Museum setting. The applicant's project must fit into one or more of the main research areas of interest in the Museum's Scientific Divisions: Anthropology, Invertebrate ZoologyPaleontologyPhysical Sciences (Astrophysics and Earth & Planetary Sciences), or Vertebrate Zoology.

Postdoctoral Fellows are expected to conduct their work at the Museum. Applicants are encouraged to contact potential curatorial sponsor(s) prior to applying. Appointments are typically made for two years. In addition to a competitive salary and benefits, limited relocation, research and publication support is provided. Newly graduated or soon-to-graduate PhDs may apply. Fellows must have received their degrees or deposited their dissertations before they can begin their appointments. There are no citizenship or geographic requirements to apply.

Four Types of Postdoctoral Fellowships Are Available:

1. RGGS Postdoctoral Fellowships 

Your research proposal can relate to any of the research areas in the Museum's Scientific Divisions. A proposal can relate to two or more disciplines, from two or more Divisions (that is, inter- or multidisciplinary).

Applicants are required to apply simultaneously for co-funding from the following special programs and funds (1a, 1b, 1c) when applicable to their proposed research. When proposals relate to more than one co-funding opportunity, applicants must submit multiple abstracts, one for each fund/program. 

      Special Programs and Co-Funding Opportunities:

      1a. Gerstner Scholars Program - Biology 
      1b. Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Fund - North American Fauna
      1c. Lerner-Gray Fund - Marine Research 

To apply for an RGGS Postdoctoral Fellowship - and any applicable special program/co-funding opportunities: Read the Application Instructions and apply via the Main Application, below.

2. Gerstner Postdoctoral Fellowships in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology 
3. Frank M. Chapman Memorial Fund Research Fellowship - Ornithology
4. Research Fellowship in Museum Anthropology


Postdoctoral Fellowships Descriptions and Application Processes 

1. RGGS Postdoctoral Fellowships: Main Application 

Applicants for RGGS Postdoctoral Fellowships in Anthropology, Invertebrate Zoology, Paleontology, Physical Sciences (Astrophysics; Earth & Planetary Sciences), and/or Vertebrate Zoology complete this Main Application. 

Download, print and read the Postdoctoral Fellowship Application Instructions available below BEFORE starting the online application.

Late applications and applications that do not conform entirely with our specifications will not be considered. For help with application process after you have read the instructions, please contact [email protected]

Applications are now being accepted for the RGGS Postdoctoral Fellowships.

Please note the updated deadline.

Next Deadline Instructions and FAQ's Main Application: Apply Online Only*

November 15,



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*The online application works best with the latest versions of Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox. 


Special Programs and Co-Funding Opportunities:

      1a.   Gerstner Scholars Program - Biology

Applicants with research interests that may have broad implications for such themes as advancing our understanding of the evolution and diversity of species and the "tree of life," genomics, and/or human and medical research through the study of other organisms may be eligible to become Gerstner Scholars. Generously funded by the Gerstner Family Foundation, the Gerstner Scholars program encourages and supports groundbreaking research in biology, with an emphasis on genomics, including such topics as microbes, mammals, invertebrates, marine life, and computational biology. Applicants proposing Invertebrate and/or Vertebrate Zoology projects are required to submit a Gerstner abstract; applicants proposing Anthropology and/or Paleontology projects that involve Biology are also required to submit a Gerstner abstract. 

Chosen for their creative approaches to research questions that are likely to lead to important new discoveries in their respective fields, Gerstner Scholars will include biological scientists who have demonstrated outstanding performance that merits recognition early in their careers. Click here to learn more about this exciting program.

This is not a stand-alone program. To apply, you must complete the main postdoctoral fellowship application above and you must include a 150-word abstract describing how your project specifically relates to the purpose of this fund.


     1b. Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Fund - North American Fauna

Applicants proposing to conduct research in any phase of wildlife conservation or related fields of North American fauna—terrestrial and freshwater (rivers, lakes, streams), extant or fossil—are required to apply to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Fund. North America includes everything north of the Isthmus of Panama, including the Caribbean.

Exceptions: Applicants submitting research proposals on birds, even within North America, must apply to the Frank M. Chapman Memorial Fund Program, not to the Theodore Roosevelt Fund; applicants submitting research proposals on ocean/sea marine life and environments must apply to the Lerner-Gray Fund, not to the Theodore Roosevelt Fund.

This is not a stand-alone program. To apply, you complete the main postdoctoral fellowship application above and you must include a 150-word abstract describing how your project specifically relates to the purpose of this fund.

     1c. Lerner-Gray Fund for Marine Research

Postdoctoral applicants proposing to conduct research in systematics, evolution, ecology, zoology or paleontology of marine life and environments are required to apply to the Lerner-Gray Fund for Marine Research. 

Exceptions: postdoctoral applicants proposing to conduct freshwater research in North America should apply to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Fund, not to the Lerner-Gray Fund.

This is not a stand-alone program. To apply, you must complete the main postdoctoral fellowship application above and you must include a 150-word abstract describing how your project specifically relates to the purpose of this fund.

2. Gerstner Scholars in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

This fellowship program is not currently seeking applications 

The American Museum of Natural History seeks highly qualified applicants for its Gerstner Postdoctoral Scholars program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. Successful applicants will pursue independent and collaborative computational research in integrative studies of genomics, spatial bioinformatics or biodiversity informatics, alongside faculty and other researchers interested in phylogenetics, phylogeography, evolutionary, and high- throughput phenomic/phenotypic studies.

Gerstner Scholars in Bioinformatics & Computational Biology (GSB&CB) also will contribute to the design, development and implementation of new algorithms, scripts and other bioinformatics tools that are customized for Museum research and address emerging big data issues in phylogenetic and comparative biology analyses. In association with their professional development and contributions to the Museum, a portion of each Scholars’ efforts will include teaching and workshops (with the Richard Gilder Graduate School and Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics) and assistance to Museum scientists and students with their bioinformatics and computational biology research.


3.  Frank M. Chapman Memorial Fund Research Fellowship - Ornithology

One and two year Fellowships are awarded for research in avian systematics, evolution, and biogeography to be performed in residence at the American Museum of Natural History. These grants include a stipend and a budget that depends on the nature of the research. These Fellowships are highly competitive and normally only one or two are awarded per year. The single yearly competition has a submission deadline of November 15th.

Normally, an applicant to this program must have prior discussions with one or more members of the Ornithology Department concerning the research project; successful applicants to this program will work with and be mentored by one of the Curators in the Department of Ornithology. Chapman Fellowships are normally awarded to recent recipients of a doctoral degree in avian systematics. Such Fellowships, however, are also occasionally available to senior researchers on sabbatical leave from their home institutions. Contact should be made with a Museum Curator to discuss such circumstances. The Frank M. Chapman Fellowships are awarded in early to mid-April. Click here for details

4.  AMNH-Bard Research Fellowship in Museum Anthropology

The Bard Graduate Center and the American Museum of Natural History are collaborating on a fellowship that provides support to a postdoctoral researcher to carry out a specific project for a two-year period—there currently is a call for applications in the area of "Native Textiles of the North American Southwest.” The project should make use of the AMNH collection. The project will be carried out in association with a curator in the AMNH Division of Anthropology, and will also involve teaching one graduate-level course per year at the Bard Graduate Center (BGC). Salary is $45,000 per year. Housing is available, as is a small research/travel fund while the Fellow is in residence. Appointment to begin July 1, 2018. Details can be downloaded from the BGC website. All applications should be directed to BGC. 

Read about current and past AMNH-Bard Fellows here.

This fellowship program is not currently seeking applications. 

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