Post-doc

NESCent provides a range of support options for synthetic evolutionary research. These include Post-Doctoral Fellowships, Sabbatical Fellowships, Short-term Visitor positions, Catalysis Meetings, Working Groups, and Graduate Fellowships.

Questions regarding NESCent’s programs can be directed to Allen Rodrigo, Director of NESCent, or Susan Alberts, Associate Director of Science and Synthesis.

If you are considering submitting a NESCent proposal in any of these categories, we encourage you to read Linking Big: The Continuing Promise of Evolutionary Synthesis, which provides context and a classification of synthesis in evolutionary science."

Post-Doctoral Fellowships(No longer accepting applications)

 An important aspect of NESCent's mission is providing professional training for postdoctoral fellows in the field of evolutionary science. NESCent Postdoctoral Fellowships provide two years of support for ambitious, synthetic research on any aspect of evolutionary biology and relevant disciplines.  Application Process and Details

Sabbaticals (the last call for sabbatical proposals was Dec. 1, 2013)Woman working in office

Traditional sabbatical scholars typically reside at NESCent for the academic year; their synthetic evolutionary research can involve a wide range of activities. We are especially interested in projects of grand scale and ambition. Sabbatical fellows may join visiting working groups, or even propose a working group to coincide with a sabbatical. Scholars may receive the equivalent of one half of their salary while in residence at NESCent.  Application Process and Details

In addition to traditional sabbaticals, NESCent offers two Targeted Sabbatical programs: (1) a program for faculty from minority-serving institutions to engage in research and educational scholarship, and (2) the Distinguished Scholar program, designed to allow senior researchers to archive extensive data collections. Application Process and Details

Triangle Scholar (Rolling deadline) 

We encourage Triangle area scholars from the Triangle Universities, or other institutions within commuting distance, to apply to work at NESCent during periods of leave or sabbatical from their home institutions. The Triangle Scholars program provides an opportunity to join our vibrant and active intellectual community while resident at NESCent, but assumes that the Triangle Scholar has their own financial support for the period of residence (see the Visiting Scholars program or the Sabbatical Scholars program for information on programs that provide various types of financial support from NESCent). Proposals can include any type of synthetic project, and may be from 3 months to 1 year in duration. Triangle Scholars are expected to spend a majority of their time at NESCent and be an active participant in our in-house scientific community. Application Process and Details

Short-Term Visitors (next deadline August 1, 2014)Catalysis Meeting

Short-term visitors are supported to enable synthetic research on any aspect of evolutionary science.   Visitors will receive support to travel to and work on-site at NESCent for periods of 2 weeks to 3 months.  Proposals can include any type of synthetic evolutionary project, but we particularly welcome collaborative projects.  We encourage scholars to consider collaborations with NESCent in-house scientists or informaticians; joint proposals from two or more investigators to spend time together at NESCent are also encouraged, as are proposals from leaders of working groups to work on their project with NESCent informatics staff. Application Process and Details

Graduate Fellowships (last call for graduate fellowship proposals was Jan. 1, 2014)

The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center is now including graduate training in its portfolio by offering one-semester fellowships for graduate students to pursue research with a NESCent Sabbatical Scholar, Postdoctoral Fellow, or Working Group.  To be eligible, a student must have completed one year of their graduate program by the time the NESCent Fellowship commences. The research should be in line with the goals of the NESCent scholar and/or working group and may include a range of activities, including but not limited to integrating datasets, developing databases, performing analyses, and programming and software development.  Support will not be provided to collect or generate new data.  When relevant, graduate students are expected to be full members of Working Group.  Ultimately we expect the graduate student to lead and author aspects of the research.  Interested graduate students should consult with the Principal Investigator of a Working Group, Postdoctoral Fellow, or Sabbatical scholar before submitting an application through our online proposal. Application Process and Details.

Catalysis Meetings (the last call for catalysis meeting proposals was December 1, 2013)

These one-time meetings bring together ~ 30 scientists from diverse disciplines to focus on a major question or research area in evolutionary science. They are intended to increase the scale and ambition of scientific vision, to define avenues for scientific synthesis, to identify classes of primary data that must be collected before grand-scale synthesis is possible, and to facilitate the assembly of networks to realize grand-scale synthesis.  Application Process and Details

Working Groups (The last call for for new working group proposals was December 1, 2012. PIs of working groups that will have completed four meetings by Sept 2014 are welcome to submit a proposal for a fifth working group meeting to explore and develop additional ideas that arose from your Working Group. Deadline August 14, 2014.)


Working Groups involve small groups of scientists (~10-12 participants) collaborating intensively on the analysis or synthesis of data, models, or both, in order to address a major question in evolutionary science.  The working groups will typically meet 3-4 times over two years, with each meeting lasting 3-7 days. However the number of participants, number of meetings, and duration of each meeting is flexible, depending on the needs and goals of the group.  The Working Group is intended as a mechanism for scientists to collaborate productively. Products could include software, databases, manuscripts, or education materials. Application Process and Details

NESCent Academy

The NESCent Academy is a set of hands-on training workshops in evolutionary biology for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, early-career faculty and teachers. We offer short courses (1-2 weeks) at the postgraduate level on topics of relevance to synthetic evolutionary science. Courses are held on-site at NESCent, and we provide logistics and informatics support. NESCent also provides cosponsorship for existing short courses on evolutionary topics.  Application process and details.

Data, Software and Publication Policy

The open availability of data, software source code, methods, and results is good scientific practice and a key ingredient of synthetic research. NESCent expects that all data and software created through NESCent-sponsored activities be made publicly available no later than one year after the conclusion of the NESCent award, or immediately upon publication of an associated article, whichever comes earlier. For more information please visit our Data, Software and Publication Policy.