JSMF Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards 2021 in multi-disciplinary field, USA

JSMF Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards 2021 in multi-disciplinary field, USA

Designation/Position- JSMF Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards

James S. McDonnell Foundation, USA invites application for JSMF Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards from eligible and interested candidates

About- JSMF’s Understanding Dynamic and Multi-scale Systems program was initiated to support scholarship and research directed toward the discovery and refinement of theoretical and mathematical tools contributing to the continued development of the study of complex, adaptive, nonlinear systems. From its inception, the program’s emphasis has been on topics on the development and application of the theory and tools used in the study of complex research questions and not on particular topics or fields of research per se.  JSMF also supports projects attempting to apply complex systems approaches to coherently articulated questions in fields where such approaches are not yet standard but where such work could open new paths to progress.   Currently, JSMF primarily funds research on dynamic and multiscale systems via its postdoctoral fellowship program. JSMF Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards

The James S. McDonnell Foundation 21st Century Postdoctoral Fellowship Award in Understanding Dynamic and Multi-scale Systems is intended to provide students in the final stages of completing a Ph.D. degree more autonomy in identifying and securing postdoctoral training opportunities and is designed for students who have already demonstrated maturity, independence of thought, and self-initiation. 

Research/Job Area- Multi-disciplinary field  

Location- James S. McDonnell Foundation, USA

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  • The JSMF Fellowship is a unique opportunity for students with an interest in and an aptitude for complexity science who are in the final stages of completing their Ph.D. and looking to add new dimensions to their graduate training that will either be difficult or impossible without an independent source of funding.  S
  • tudents should anticipate completing their degree requirements and activating the Fellowship between May 2022 and April 2023.
  • In prior years, upwards of 70% of submissions were not advanced past the first review phase due to poor fit with the described goals of the program.  
  • JSMF requests that potential applicants and their advisors carefully consider the characteristics of this rather unusual Fellowship prior to applying. 

Important:  This Fellowship is not intended for individuals that already have completed a Ph.D. or students that have already identified a postdoctoral position and a postdoctoral mentor as traditional funding mechanisms are better suited for such training positions. Such applications are ineligible for consideration.

Job/Position Description- 

  • The fellowship is geared to students near the completion of their doctoral training and committed to acquiring new skills and experience in a multi-disciplinary field such as complex systems science. 
  • This fellowship is targeted towards students who wish to broaden their research experience and require protected time to acquire new knowledge and skills.  
  • Postdoctoral positions providing experiences that contribute new dimensions to a student’s doctoral education (adding theoretical skills to one’s experimental training or vice versa; pursuing work in a new topic or field) can be limited if the position is supported by institutional training grants or faculty research grants. 
  • Too often, the more traditional postdoctoral experience results in a postdoctoral fellow engaging in a research project dictated by the needs of the research grant (this is not a problem if the grant goals align with training goals) rather than providing the freedom for pursuing a creative and self-directed training program based on his or her interests or goals.  

Award Details

  • $200,000 USD to be expended in no less than 2 and no more than 3 years.   Recently, JSMF has experienced Fellows using less than 50% of the fellowship funds.  If you do not believe that you are committed to pursuing 2-to-3-year postdoctoral research please reconsider applying.  
  • The cost of the full postdoctoral salary or stipend and fringe benefits must be paid in full from the fellowship. 
  • Institutions cannot request that other funding sources be used to cover the Fellow’s salary or stipend; the primary purpose of this fellowship is the independence of the postdoctoral fellow. JSMF does not consider dependence on institutional or research grant funding as commensurate with such independence. The fellowship is not intended to provide general support to a laboratory or department.
  • If the institutional postdoctoral salary scales are set such that there are funds in excess of what is needed for stipend and benefits, the excess funds can be used by the institution to support the Fellow’s research.   

How to Apply- 

It should be clear from the application the reasons why pursuing a post-doctoral position is qualitatively adding to the student’s skills, knowledge, and connection to scientific communities.  Applications containing the two parts described below must be submitted through the JSMF application website:

Part 1: To be submitted by the applicant

Applications and letters of support can be submitted beginning March 2021 and will be accepted up until the deadline of June 11, 2021, 15:59 Central Time (20:59 UTC).  Late applications will not be reviewed. We recommend submitting applications at least 24 hours before the deadline to allow for unforeseen circumstances.

A complete application consists of the items below.

  1. Applicant Contact Information
  2. Application Title
  3. Summary (500 word maximum)
    • A) The JSMF Fellowship is intended to provide students with the opportunity to broaden research experience and acquire additional skills prior to pursuing the next phase of their career.  The summary should be explicit as to how the applicant intends to employ the JSMF fellowship to broaden their complex systems knowledge.  Avoid bland generalities.
    • B) If awarded this fellowship, explain how the fellowship would significantly change the direction (field of study, model organism, theory vs experimental, etc.) of the student’s research.  It should be clear to readers that to pursue the desired postdoctoral research direction requires more freedom than could be afforded by a typical postdoctoral position.  
  4. List of the top 2 contributions (articles, code, software, etc.) made by the student during the Ph.D. period.
  5. Create a 1-page infographic or image that illustrates the student’s path for pursing a postdoctoral position through a typical postdoctoral position compared to how this fellowship will allow the student to add new dimensions to their graduate training that will either be difficult or impossible without an independent source of funding.
  6. A brief description of the student’s current research written in essay format (500 word maximum)
  7. A description of the student’s postdoctoral research interests written in essay format (2500 word maximum)
    • Describe how the student’s interests, questions, and future plans require the flexibility of this fellowship.
    • Explain how the current and future research directions derive from and will contribute to complex systems science.  Please avoid generalities and clichés.  
    • Provide specific details about what the student intends to learn during postdoctoral training.
    • Finally, describe what is the student’s plan after the fellowship? Does the student plan to seek another fellowship, obtain employment in industry or government, pursue a faculty career in academia, or start a business?  Note: All of these options are equally acceptable responses. 
  8. The student’s curriculum vita (2 page maximum) in PDF format
  9. The student must identify and invite the two letter writers to submit letters of support.

 Upon submission of an application, a confirmation email will be sent to the student indicating the application was received. The submitted application can also be viewed in the submission portal.

Last Date for Apply– 11 June 2021

Applications can be submitted beginning March 2021. The deadline for applications and letters of support is June 11, 2021, 15:59 CDT (20:59 UTC). All materials must be submitted electronically through jsmf.smartsimple.com. Applications submitted after the posted deadline are not accepted.

See Position Details-

Official Website-

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