David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship, USA

Postdoctoral Position in USA

The David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship Program seeks outstanding early-career scientists for a prestigious two-year post-doctoral research fellowship focused on applied conservation science. The Fellowship aims to bridge the gap between research and application, developing future leaders in conservation science through innovative research, professional development, and field learning experiences.


Smith Fellow

Research Area

Applied Conservation Science
Research may encompass areas such as comparative studies, synthetic analyses across sites, experimentation or observational studies, applied modeling, and the incorporation of social science data.


United States-based Institutions
Applicants must be based at an academic institution or conservation organization within the United States, including Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or American Samoa.


  • Completion of a doctorate within the five years preceding the award date, between March 1, 2020, and September 30, 2025.
  • Research should have primary relevance to conservation management or policy in the U.S. and its territories.
  • Non-U.S. citizens are eligible but must be affiliated with a U.S.-based institution.

Job Description

  • Duration: Two years (2025-2027)
  • Stipend: $70,000 annually in 2025 and $72,100 in 2026, plus benefits.
  • Additional Funding: $40,000 for travel and research expenses over two years.
  • Mentorship: Fellows propose a team of at least two mentors (one academic and one practitioner) to guide and support their research and professional development.
  • Professional Development: Fellows will attend program-sponsored retreats to develop skills in leadership, communication, networking, policy-making, and research applications.
  • Research Focus: Proposals should highlight innovative, potentially risky elements that differ from prior research and outline mechanisms for application to conservation practice.

How to Apply

Submit the following documents electronically on the Smith Fellows Program online submission platform here:

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Title Page
  3. Mentor Team and References
  4. Research Plan (8 pages max)
  5. Literature Cited
  6. Budget and Narrative
  7. Curriculum Vitae
  8. Personal Statement (answering specific questions about diversity, leadership, and conservation policy makers/practitioners)
  9. Letters (Two reference letters and two mentor letters of commitment)

Ensure all materials comply with formatting guidelines and are submitted before the deadline.

Last Date for Apply

September 30, 2024
All application materials, including reference and mentor letters, must be received by this date.

Join us in advancing the field of conservation science through innovative research and strong partnerships. For any questions, contact the Smith Fellows Program staff at smithinfo@conbio.org.



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