All applications materials must be received by September 9, 2016. Finalist interviews will be conducted in January 2017. All candidates will be notified of the status of their application by January 31, 2017. Funds are available for Fellows to start anytime between March and September 2017.
About the Fellowship
The purpose of the David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship is: To create opportunities for leading conservation scientists to strengthen their skills through two years of applied post-doctoral research, supplemented by training programs, peer networking, and field learning experiences; so that they may: 1. Build productive partnerships with conservation practitioners; and 2. Contribute and communicate scientific knowledge to problems of critical importance in conservation.
The focus of Smith Fellows’ research and activities should be characterized by:
- Cutting edge research in conservation science;
- Defining frontiers and leading the future of conservation science;
- Developing the future world leaders in conservation research and application through training and mentorship;
- Building coalitions of organizations and partnerships to support conservation science;
- Supporting and encouraging high-potential individuals to accept risk as a component of change and leadership and thus make significant change in the world.
These Fellowships provide support for outstanding early-career scientists from around the globe based at a United States institution to improve and expand their research skills while directing their efforts towards problems of pressing conservation concern for the United States. Individuals who want to better link conservation science and theory with policy and management are encouraged to apply. We envision that the cadre of scientists supported by the Smith Fellows Program will eventually assume leadership positions across the field of conservation science. The Program is funded by the Cedar Tree Foundation, founded by Dr. David H. Smith, and administered by theSociety For Conservation Biology.
Smith Fellows are awarded two years of support for applied research in the field of conservation science and closely related fields. Each Fellow is mentored by; 1) anacademic mentor, typically at an academic institution, who encourages the Fellow's continued academic development, and 2) a field or practitioner mentor who helps the Fellow connect her/his research to practical conservation challenges. The practitioner mentor is typically affiliated with a conservation organization (government agency, non-governmental organization, or other non-academic conservation organization) with expertise and experience in “on-the-ground” application of conservation science. Fellows may be administratively based at either the sponsoring academic institution or conservation organization, typically the location of either the academic or practitioner mentor. We encourage applicants to explore both options to determine which would be more suitable to the proposed research and beneficial to their continued development as a scientist.
Deadlines and Contact Information
All application materials, including letters from sponsors and references, must be received by Society for Conservation Biology to email@example.com by 5pm EST on September 9, 2016. The selection process begins immediately after this date. There are no extensions to this deadline and incomplete applications may be disqualified. Questions about the application process may be directed to the Smith Fellows Program at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Selection Criteria, Process, and Notification
Fellows are selected according to four criteria: 1) professional record, 2) perceived potential for innovation and leadership, 3) commitment to conservation, and 4) the strength of their proposal. An ideal Smith Fellow is an innovative, practical-minded researcher with strong leadership potential. S/he will have excellent communication skills and a keen interest in applied research that improves conservation practice. The ideal proposal will clearly articulate concepts and objectives that are both innovative and feasible. The Fellowship funders require that the Fellowship be administered by a U.S. institution and that the research be primarily conducted in the U.S. However, U.S. citizenship is not required.
Proposal evaluation will emphasize clarity of thought and evidence of leadership potential. A broad spectrum of external research scientists and other conservation professionals initially conduct written reviews of all applications. A separately convened review panel selects a pool of semi-finalists deemed eligible for interviews. Personal interviews are then conducted before making the final selection.
All candidates will be notified of the status of their application by January 31, 2017. Because of staff limitations we are unable to provide a written critique of proposals. Funds are available for Fellows to start between 1 March and 1 September 2017 at the Fellow’s discretion.