Conservation biology is the study of the conservation of nature and of Earth’s biodiversity with the aim of protecting species, their habitats, and ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction and the erosion of biotic interactions. As a discipline, conservation biology has experienced dramatic growth over the past two decades and a growing body of academic research focuses on conservation applications. Nonetheless, post-doctoral opportunities for conservation biology graduates have been very limited.

Smith Fellows are awarded two years of support for applied research in the field of conservation science and closely related fields, including conservation social science. Research may include approaches such as comparative studies, synthetic analyses across sites, experimentation or observational studies, applied modeling, incorporation of social science data, or any combination. Individuals who want to better link conservation science and theory with policy and management are encouraged to apply.


These fellowships are available to post-doctoral researchers (of any nationality) affiliated with a United States institution, proposing research that addresses pressing conservation issues for the United States. To be eligible individuals must have completed their doctorate within the past five years or by the time the award is made.

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