Smith Postdoctoral Fellowship 2023 in Conservation Research

Post Date: 6/23/2022
Opportunity Type: Job
Organization/Grantor: The David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship Program
Position/Title/Fund: Smith Postdoctoral Fellowship 2023 in Conservation Research
Deadline: Sept 16, 2022
Contact Info:

The purpose of the David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship is: To create opportunities for leading conservation scientists to strengthen their skills through two years of applied post-doctoral research, supplemented by training programs, peer networking, and field learning experiences; so that they may: 1. Build productive partnerships with conservation practitioners; and 2. Contribute and communicate scientific knowledge to problems of critical importance in conservation.

The focus of Smith Fellows’ research and activities should be characterized by:

  • Cutting edge research in conservation science;
  • Defining frontiers and leading the future of conservation science;
  • Developing the future world leaders in conservation research and application through training and mentorship;
  • Building coalitions of organizations and partnerships to support conservation science;
  • Supporting and encouraging high-potential individuals to accept risk as a component of change and leadership and thus make significant change in the world.

These Fellowships provide support for outstanding early-career scientists from around the globe based at a United States institution to improve and expand their research skills while directing their efforts towards problems of pressing conservation concern for the United States. Individuals who want to better link conservation science and theory with policy and management are encouraged to apply. We envision that the cadre of scientists supported by the Smith Fellows Program will eventually assume leadership positions across the field of conservation science.

Smith Fellows are awarded two years of support for applied research in the field of conservation science and closely related fields. Research approaches may include comparative studies, synthetic analyses across sites, experimentation or observational studies, applied modeling, or any combination. Proposed research may include intensive work at one site, work at multiple sites, or comparative evaluations of studies by other scientists across many sites. In all cases, the central questions of the inquiry must be clearly articulated. Proposed study sites must be noted; an explanation of how the results will inform conservation practice is required.

Each Fellow is mentored by; 1) an academic mentor, typically at an academic institution, who encourages the Fellow's continued academic development, and 2) a field or practitioner mentor who helps the Fellow connect her/his research to practical conservation challenges.  The practitioner mentor is typically affiliated with a conservation organization (government agency, non-governmental organization, or other non-academic conservation organization) with expertise and experience in “on-the-ground” application of conservation science. Fellows may be administratively based at either the sponsoring academic institution or conservation organization, typically the location of either the academic or practitioner mentor. We encourage applicants to explore both options to determine which would be more suitable to the proposed research and beneficial to their continued development as a scientist.


To be eligible individuals must have completed their doctorate within the past five years or by the time the award is made in 2023 (September 2023 latest). Applicants who have not yet completed their doctorate must clearly indicate on the application the date the degree is expected.

Important Dates

  • All applications materials must be received by September 16, 2022.
  • Finalist interviews will be conducted in January or February 2023.
  • All candidates will be notified of the status of their application by January 31, 2023.
  • Funds are available for Fellows to start anytime between March and September 2023.
How to Apply:

All materials must be submitted electronically on our online submission platform: All files should be uploaded in PDF or MS Word format. 

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Research Plan
  3. Applicant’s Curriculum Vitae
  4. Personal Statement addressing specific questions
  5. Reference Letters
  6. Indirect Cost and Equipment Waiver