The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University invites applicants for research fellowships in plant science. Putnam Fellowships offer excellent opportunities for advanced research and study using the Arboretum’s living collections of woody plants. Scientists with a PhD and who have identified an independent research project that would utilize the Arboretum’s living collections are encouraged to apply.
Putnam Fellows conduct basic and applied research in the plant sciences. The goal of the program is to facilitate the research use of the Arboretum’s living collections, thereby stimulating their use within the larger scientific community. The research topics of past Putnam Fellows have included taxonomy and systematics, molecular and developmental biology, physiological ecology, propagation, plant-insect and/or -pathogen interactions, and collections management. The Putnam Fellowship Program has attracted a diverse array of scholars, and many have gone on to be leaders in academia and public horticulture.
The Arnold Arboretum provides exceptional resources for woody plant research. The living collection, numbering some 15,000 plants, in over 2,200 species, is distinguished as one of the most thoroughly documented collections of temperate woody plants in the world. Taxonomic diversity and breadth within the collection are noteworthy, and the floras of China, Japan, and Korea are particularly well represented.
Applications are sought from early-career individuals with a PhD in plant science, plant genetics, plant ecology, horticulture, or related discipline. Applicants must have their PhD when they initiate their term at the Arboretum. Applicants should be well positioned to conduct original, independent research and to publish their findings in peer-reviewed publications. Applicants are expected to be fluent in English.
The Putnam Fellowship is an independent post-doctoral position. As an independent scholar, Putnam Fellows have access to shared laboratories, equipment, desk space, resources, and interactions with fellow scientists, students and staff (it is not necessary to have a specific faculty host). However, we do encourage you to develop collaborations and work closely with any and all other members of the Arboretum and broader Harvard communities to refine and develop your project, as you see fit.
The Putnam Fellowship award provides stipends of up to $40,000 per year, depending on the duration of the fellowship. In addition, modest support is available for research and travel costs. Putnam Fellows are employees of Harvard University during their tenure and are eligible for health insurance benefits. Putnam Fellows are also expected to be in full-time residence (office and research space) during their tenure.
Putnam Fellows are expected to publish the results of their research in professional or academic journals and present their work at professional meetings and workshops. Putnam Fellows are also expected to engage fully in the professional activities. While the primary work of Putnam Fellows is conducting original independent research that utilizes the living collections of the Arboretum, Putnam Fellows are also expected to work collaboratively with the staff of the Arboretum on other institutional efforts. Participation as an instructor for Arnold Arboretum education programs is encouraged, as is writing for Arnoldia, the Arboretum’s quarterly magazine.
The fellowship is typically awarded for 2 years, pending a satisfactory progress report at the end of the first year. Putnam Fellows must initiate their term at the Arboretum within 12 months of notification.
Fellowships are awarded through a competitive review process. To be considered for an award, online applications should include the following:
The selection of Putnam Fellows will be based on:
For questions about the award, Arboretum resources, research proposal or submission process, contact the selection committee (Email).
The Katharine H. Putnam Fellowships in Plant Science are made possible by the generosity of George and Nancy Putnam through the Putnam Fellows Fund. The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and requires pre-employment reference and background screening.