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Smithsonian Mpala Postdoctoral Fellowship


Monday, December 01, 2014


The purpose of the Mpala Postdoctoral Fellowship is to promote the study biology, anthropology, geology, hydrology, material science, social science, soil science or related areas. Projects must be tenable in residenceat Smithsonian Institution facilities and Mpala Research Centre. 

In 1991, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) was instrumental in establishing the Mpala Research Centre, a site for multidisciplinary research and training in Africa, in collaboration with Princeton University, the Kenya Wildlife Service, the National Museums of Kenya, and the Mpala Wildlife Foundation. Located on the Laikipia Plateau in north central Kenya, the Centre provides an ideal setting for research in a variety of disciplines, offering 49,107 acres of savannah and dry woodland, an extensive wildlife community typical of East Africa, and ample housing and laboratory space for 35 researchers and students. 

The Mpala Research Centre is perfect for studies ranging from ecology and botany to animal behavior and human-wildlife interactions. Research at Mpala can be conducted by any applicant with an explicitly proposed, approved, and funded project. 

Fellowships are offered by the Smithsonian Institution to provide opportunities for graduate students, predoctoral students, and postdoctoral and senior investigators to conduct research in association with members of the Smithsonian professional research staff, and to utilize the resources of the Institution. These fellowships are offered through the Smithsonian's Office of Fellowships. 

Applicants must propose to conduct research at the Smithsonian in one of its areas of research as outlined in the publication, Smithsonian Opportunities for Research and Study. 

The proposed research topic must be in an area of science or culture supported by Smithsonian that is also appropriate to Mpala. 

The majority of the fellowship period should be spent in residence at Mpala [except if there is good reason not to, explain in the proposal]. The project must be a meaningful collaboration with an appropriate Smithsonian unit (collaboration with multiple units is encouraged) and include an endorsement from a Smithsonian sponsor. The fellow must also collaborate with an appropriate Kenyan organization such as National Museums of Kenya or Kenya Wildlife Service. Collaboration with the international organizations in Kenya, such as the International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology, is also encouraged. The fellow is expected to actively participate in the science community at Mpala, including participation in lectures, field courses, etc. 

roposals are encouraged in the fields of conservation medicine, soils/erosion potential/water conservation, rangeland regeneration/grazing management, ecosystem services, socio-economic studies of natural resource management, and the principals of wildlife ecology and behavior, but other creative ideas are welcome. Collaboration with the SIGEO/CTFS plot is also encouraged. 

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