A woman and a man in a lab using a pipette

Postdoctoral scientists have the opportunity to work with one or more Field Museum curators across several areas of scientific study. As part of the Field Museum’s collaborative research community, postdoctoral work may include using our state-of-the art labs, studying a diverse array of specimens, and participating in fieldwork. Eligible applicants will have completed a Ph.D. in Life Sciences, Social Sciences, or Earth and Planetary Sciences before the start of the term, and must secure a Field Museum curator as a sponsor to complete the application. Ideal candidates will work on disciplinary or interdisciplinary research projects advised by one or several Field Museum curators to completement any of the ongoing research programs at the Field Museum and foster collaborations with scientists outside the Field Museum. Successful research proposals will rigorously discuss questions in science and natural history today and explain the scientific motivation in a broad context.

This Postdoctoral Scientist opportunity is administered by the Field Museum Scholarship Committee and follows the requirements below. When other opportunities for postdoctoral scientists are available, details can be found on our careers page.

Questions about this application may be sent to scholarship@fieldmuseum.org. Please review all application requirements thoroughly before emailing.

Key Dates:

  • Applications typically open June 1 of each year, and close July 31 at 11:59 pm CST.

  • Appointments can begin as early as January 1 of the following year, and as late as June 1. Appointments are typically two years, with the second year contingent on satisfactory performance during the first year.

Please see application site for details and exact deadlines.

Application Requirements: 

  • Research proposal highlighting the impact of the planned project, written for a general scientific audience. Proposals should be no longer than two letter-sized pages with 12-point font for all text (including figure captions and tables), with a one-inch margin on all sides. PDF format is required. A bibliographic reference list is required but does not count toward the two-page limit.
  • Endorsement letter from a relevant Field Museum curator, selected from this list of sponsors. It is the applicant’s responsibility to contact sponsoring curators in advance of applying and provide them with adequate time and materials to review the research proposal. While projects require one sponsoring curator, successful proposals will incorporate working with at least one additional Field Museum researcher and/or one or several researchers outside of The Field Museum. 
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of publications and contact information for three references.
  • Two letters of reference submitted by the recommenders via the online application portal. These may be the same references listed on the CV, if desired. 
  • PDFs of three peer-reviewed publications.

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Research proposals will be reviewed by a varied committee that may include biologists, geologists, and anthropologists. Candidates will be selected based on the scientific merit of the research proposal, its potential to augment the Field Museum’s research and collections strengths, its ability to maximize scientific impact and to combine expertise of Field Museum curators and outside researchers across disciplines, and the qualifications of the applicant.