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Calling All Gene Genies!

Posted on Oct 8, 2014 by in The OFI Blog |


Global Genome Initiative

Buck Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The Global Genome Initiative Buck Fellowships are two-year fellowships that contribute specifically to the goals of the Global Genome Initiative (GGI) at the National Museum of Natural History and include a 55% time commitment to biodiversity genomic research and 45% commitment to other GGI related activities. The fellowships are aimed at increasing the capacity for biodiversity genomics at the National Museum of Natural History and across GGI partner institutions.

GGI Buck Fellowships are oriented toward contributing research on a topic relating to GGI over-arching themes. The program aims to leverage question-driven, peer-reviewed research on biodiversity, evolution and ecology in order to accelerate the acquisition, genetic identification, and sequencing of vouchered genomes by collecting genomic quality samples from a strategically chosen synopsis representing all major lineages of Life. For more information on GGI activities and goals visit the GGI website at

The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) is located in Washington, DC and applicants must propose to conduct research in-residence at the NMNH for a period of 12 to 24 months. Applicants must have completed or be near completion of the Ph.D. Recipients who have not completed the Ph.D. at the time of application must provide proof of completion of the degree before the fellowship begins. The fellowship could begin as soon as 1 February 2016, contingent on the pace of administrative requirements. The stipend is $48,000 per year, plus $4,000 per year for research or healthcare allowance. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to contact potential advisors/hosts at the NMNH prior to proposal preparation and submission. For a description of research staff listed for NMNH departments please consult the Smithsonian Opportunities for Research and Study.

The application will be reviewed by a committee composed of Smithsonian research staff. Applications will be evaluated on the basis of the proposal’s merit, the ability of the applicant to carry out the proposed research and study, and the extent to which the NMNH and Smithsonian, through its staff
members and resources, can contribute to the proposed research.

All application materials must be submitted by or on 1 December 2015 for consideration. All proposals must adhere to the following requirements detailed below. If you have any questions please contact Katie Barker, GGI Program Coordinator, at

How to Apply

Proposals should include ALL of the following:


Abstract of the proposed research and outreach, not more than one page.

Research and Outreach Plan

Please include a full statement of your research and outreach plan. The plan should be a maximum of five pages, double spaced (excluding all other parts of the application, such as the abstract and bibliography). Please use paper size of approximately 8 1/2 by 11 inches (210 mm x 297 mm). Do not use type smaller than 12 point or 10 pitch. In preparing your proposal, be sure to provide and address the following:

i. A description of the research you plan to undertake at the NMNH, including the methodology to be utilized.

ii. The importance of the work, both in relation to the broader discipline and to your own scholarly goals.

iii. A GGI goal development plan (up to 1 page), which can include: collaborative work with other NMNH-led projects and teams; training workshops; field protocols, biodiversity sequencing techniques or technology, the implementation or development of software (e.g. bioinformatics, analysis), pipelines or tutorials, or public outreach to communicate research to non-specialist audiences.

iv. Justification for conducting your research at the NMNH and utilization of research facilities and resources.

v. Identification of the member of the NMNH research staff who might serve as your principal advisor/host. Also identify potential co-advisor(s) and/or consultant(s) if applicable. The publication, Smithsonian Opportunities for Research and Study contains the necessary information on staff research specialties and current departmental interests to help you determine which staff members are best suited to your research needs. NMNH, SI, or affiliated research staff may be named as co-advisors or consultants if they will be in residence during at least a portion of the tenure period proposed. You are strongly encouraged to correspond with your proposed advisor(s) as you prepare your proposal.


Estimate of time period for each phase of the research and outreach proposed, in one page or less.

Budget and justification

Budget and justification for equipment, supplies, research-related travel costs, and other support required to conduct the research itself (excluding stipend and relocation costs). You are encouraged to discuss potential research costs with your proposed advisor(s) before submitting your application. If the funds required to support the research exceed the maximum research allowance of $4,000 per year, please explain the source of additional funds.


Bibliography of literature cited in the proposal.

Curriculum vitae

Curriculum vitae, including publications, previous and current fellowships, grants, and/or awards, other professional activities, and a description of your research interests. Also, if English is not your native language, describe the level of your proficiency in reading, conversing, and writing in English.

Professional References

You should provide the names, affiliations, and email addresses of three persons familiar with your work whom we may contact. Do not list Smithsonian staff members as potential references.