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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Department of Mineral Sciences

Izalco Volcano

Postdoctoral and Graduate Fellowships


The Department of Mineral Sciences at the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) invites applications for both postdoctoral and graduate fellowships. Active areas of research include volcanology, mineral spectroscopy, geomicrobiology, environmental mineralogy, geochemistry, experimental petrology, mineral physics, meteorite studies, solar system formation, and planetary formation and evolution. The department also houses the National Meteorite Collection, the National Rock and Ore Collection, the National Gem and Mineral Collection, and the Global Volcanism Program. A description of facilities, staff profiles, and collections resources can be found on our website.

Predoctoral and postdoctoral candidates can request up to 12 or 24 months, respectively, through the Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program. Graduate fellowships through this program are funded for 10 weeks. Additional fellowship opportunities are available through the recently established Peter Buck Fellowship Program at NMNH; postdoctoral fellowships are for 2-3 years and graduate fellowships are 1-2 years. Applications may be submitted to both competitions. Additional information is available at the Office of Fellowships and Internships. The application deadline is January 15th, 2013. The Smithsonian Institution is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Two positions: Postdoctoral Fellowship and Graduate Fellowship


We are seeking candidates to join our research team and work collaboratively on an NSF-GeoPRISMS funded project to explore the influences of water, oxygen fugacity, and composition on calc-alkaline differentiation, with a focus on the Alaska-Aleutian Arc. Two opportunities are available:

(1) Graduate Research Fellowship in Geochemistry. We are currently seeking a PhD student to participate in a multi-disciplinary study of magmatic oxidation state and its relationship to calc-alkaline differentiation and formation of continental crust in the Aleutian arc, with emphasis on the records preserved by natural lavas and melt inclusions. Funding is available for a minimum of three years of study toward a PhD in oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography, with joint work to be done at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. The student will be jointly mentored by Drs. Katherine Kelley (URI/GSO) and Elizabeth Cottrell (NMNH/Smithsonian). The student will have the opportunity to develop skills and new techniques in microanalytics (XANES, LAICPMS, EMP, FTIR), providing a broad education and research base in petrology/geochemistry. Graduate applications for URI/GSO are available online. Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications by January 15th, 2014. Applicants attending AGU in 2013 are encouraged to contact Dr. Kelley to arrange an in-person interview.

(2) Postdoctoral fellowship in experimental petrology based in the Department of Mineral Sciences at the Smithsonian Institution – National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). Two years of support are available. The successful candidate will work collaboratively with the team on all aspects of the project with primary responsibility for carrying out an experimental program related to calc-alkaline differentiation at moderate pressures (~2 kb) using Mo-Hf-C alloy cold-seal pressure vessels. The postdoc will also have the opportunity to develop skills in microanalytics (XANES, LAICPMS, EMP, FTIR). Applicants should send a cover letter, CV, graduate transcript (unofficial transcripts accepted), and the names and email addresses of three references to Liz Cottrell.

Applicants should indicate in their cover letter the date by which they anticipate having their doctoral degree conferred. Review of applications will begin on January 30th but individuals attending AGU in 2013 are encouraged to contact us in advance to arrange a meeting. The Smithsonian is an equal opportunity employer.


Global Volcanism Program Fellowship:
Postdoctoral Fellow/Visiting Scientist


The Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program (GVP) invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellow/Visiting Scientist position. Competitive candidates will address problems in volcanology important on a global scale and/or volcanic systematics on regional/global scales from physical volcanological, petrological, and/or geochemical perspectives. GVP maintains a database (Volcanoes of the World 4.0) of ~10,000 eruptions from ~1,500 Holocene volcanoes. The Department of Mineral Sciences is home to the National Rock and Ore Collections as well as extensive preparatory and analytical equipment including experimental petrology labs, experimental volcanology lab, EMPA, FEG SEM, FTIR, XRD, cathodoluminescence, and wet chemistry. To apply, please email a project proposal (5 page maximum including all figures, tables, and references), CV, dates of proposed tenure, and names of at least two references familiar with your work to Benjamin Andrews. The position is for one year and renewable (for postdocs, not senior scientists) for a second year pending progress. The stipend is $53,000/yr + $3,000 for health insurance. Research funds are not directly allocated for this position. There are, however, no fees for use of Smithsonian analytical facilities. Drs. Cottrell and Andrews will cover expenses that arise during collaborative research.

If you have applied previously and wish to be considered with this round of proposals, please submit new application materials.

Review of applications will begin 3 December 2013 and we hope to contact the successful candidate by 20 December 2013.

For further information, contact Benjamin Andrews or Elizabeth Cottrell. The Smithsonian Institution is an equal opportunity employer.


Undergraduate Internships


The Department of Mineral Sciences, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, invites applications for undergraduate summer research internships.

Natural History Research Experience (NHRE) summer internships pair undergraduates with members of the Mineral Sciences research and collections staff, providing a hands-on introduction to scientific research. Here is an opportunity for students to engage in an original research project with a scientific mentor. Active areas of research include volcanology, meteorite and comet origin and evolution, planetary evolution, mineral spectroscopy, experimental petrology, mineral physics, and petrology/geochemistry. A description of facilities, staff profiles, and collections resources can be found on the Department of Mineral Sciences website. Additional activities include behind-the-scenes events and tours at the museum.

The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) is located on the National Mall in the heart of Washington DC. The program runs from early June to early August. Students selected will receive a stipend of $5,000 and housing at a local university. A relocation allowance may also be requested. Previous research experience is not required, and we encourage applications from ethnic minorities and members of other underrepresented groups.

Application information for the museum-wide competition is available online. The Smithsonian Institution is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


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