Postdoctoral Fellowships

A woman and a man in a lab using a pipette

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Postdoctoral scientists have the opportunity to work with one or more Field Museum scientists 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.

Applications typically open each year on June 1. Appointments are typically two years, with the second year contingent on satisfactory performance during the first year. Fellows may begin their appointment as early as January 1 the following year, and as late as June 1.

The Science and Scholarship Funding Committee—a varied group that may include biologists, geologists, and anthropologists—reviews each application. The committee selects fellows based on their qualifications and the strength of their research proposal. This is determined by its potential to: inform the Field Museum’s research and collections, combine the expertise of Field Museum scientists and outside researchers across disciplines, and maximize scientific impact.

Application Requirements

Applicants will have completed a PhD in Life Sciences, Social Sciences, or Earth and Planetary Sciences before the start of the term. Ideal candidates work on disciplinary or interdisciplinary projects that complement ongoing research programs at the museum or foster collaborations with scientists outside it. Successful proposals rigorously discuss questions in science and natural history today and explain the scientific motivation in a broad context.

Every application must be endorsed by a Field Museum sponsor. While proposals require a minimum of one sponsoring scientists, we encourage proposals that incorporate additional researchers (at the Field or elsewhere). Review the list of scientists eligible to sponsor visiting fellows. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that endorsement letters are submitted by the application deadline—otherwise the application is incomplete.

Every applicant must submit:

  1. Research proposal highlighting the impact of the planned project, written for a general scientific audience. Proposals must be PDFs that are no longer than two letter-sized pages with 12-point font for all text (including figure captions and tables) and one-inch margin on all sides. A bibliographic reference list is required but does not count toward the two-page limit.
  2. CV, including a list of publications and contact information for three references.
  3. PDFs of three peer-reviewed publications.
  4. Endorsement letter from Field Museum scientist(s), sent by the sponsor to before the deadline.
  5. Please complete the application form and upload your application materials via this Google Form. At least two letters of reference from non-Field Museum recommenders, sent by the recommender to before the deadline. These may be the same references listed on the CV, if desired.

Contact Us

For more information about postdoc fellowships, or questions about your application