The Rea Postdoctoral Fellowship Program 2021

Carnegie Museum of Natural History - Oakland, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America Req #495
Friday, February 12, 2021

Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is among the top natural history museums in the country. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of artifacts, objects, and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. Carnegie Museum of Natural History generates new scientific knowledge, advances science literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures.

Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is interested in candidates who, through their experience and collaborations, will contribute to diversity and excellence of the Carnegie Museums community. 

The Rea Postdoctoral Fellowship Program supports training and early career development of outstanding young scientists to conduct research at Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH). The goal of the program is to facilitate innovative collections- or field-based independent research at the museum under the mentorship of scientific staff.

Program Description

  • The program provides funds to conduct a specific research project within a limited time period and under the mentorship of the museum’s curatorial or other senior scientific staff. Fellows may apply to conduct research in the sections of Botany, Ornithology, Earth Science and Minerals, or Invertebrate Zoology.
  • Additional support may be provided for travel related to collections visits, conferences, and/or field and lab work. The appointment will be for one year and may be extended for a second (and final) year upon performance review. International scholars will receive support to obtain a J-1 visa.
  • Awardees are expected to be in residence at the museum (except during any periods of travel associated with their project). In addition to the proposed research project, fellows will be expected to deliver a presentation as part of the museum’s R.W. Moriarty Science Seminar Series, and to participate in the museum’s educational activities and other public programs.


How to Apply

Applicants must possess a Ph.D. at the start of the fellowship. Applicants must discuss the feasibility of prospective research projects with the individual CMNH scientific staff with whom they intend to work. For staff areas of expertise and contact information for the curators available to host the post-doctoral fellow, see the following:

The deadline for the submission of applications is May 1, 2021.

Applications must include:

  • A cover letter that contains a statement of research interests, outlines future research and career goals, and identifies one or more potential advisor(s) from the CMNH scientific staff. Scientists in the sections of Botany, Ornithology, Invertebrate zoology, and Minerals and Earth Sciences are available for hosting a post-doctoral fellow.
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • Research proposal. The applicant should receive prior support for the application from the potential advisor(s) and work closely with the sponsoring curator in crafting a proposal.
  • The research proposal must include:
  • Title and one-page summary.
  • Description of Proposed Research, including: (1) research objectives, methods, and significance; (2) detail on CMNH resources that would be used in the project (e.g., specific scientific collections, Powdermill Nature Reserve, molecular laboratory, Scanning Electron Microscope, museum library); and (3) justification for use of those resources.
  • Maximum 5 pages for the description of proposed research. Not included in the 5 page limit:
    • Timeline, including the proposed duration of the project and any associated travel (e.g., meetings, collections visits, fieldwork)
    • Budget, including anticipated expenses (e.g., supplies, travel, laboratory analyses) and their justification.
    • Names and contact information for three references.


Please upload the above required documents in the appropriate sections while submitting your application online.  Please be sure to upload any additional documents in the “Additional Documents” section. You will be able to upload multiple documents at once. If you have any questions or need help with uploading your documents, please contact

The following PA Act 153 clearances, or proof of application of clearances, are required beginning employment and as a condition of continued employment:

  • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance
  • Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check
  • FBI Fingerprint Criminal Background Check

Obtaining the required clearances is completed as part of the new hire process.

Carnegie Museums is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer – Minorities / Females / Veterans / Individuals with Disabilities / Sexual Orientation / Gender Identity

The above job description reflects the essential functions and qualifications for the position identified, and shall not be construed as a detailed description of all the work requirements that may be inherent in the position. The job description does not constitute an employment contract and does not alter the at-will relationship between CMP and the employee.



The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) requires employers to consider and accommodate qualified individuals with disabilities.  An individual is qualified if he or she can perform the essential functions of a job  with or without reasonable accommodation. An essential job function is any task that is a fundamental part of the job.  When considering essentiality, one must focus upon whether the function is essential to this particular job and not to the department as a whole. Some additional  guidance on essential functions  follows below.  Please note that the following guidelines are non-exhaustive.  If you have any questions or need additional guidance, please contact Human Resources.

A. Is the function required to be performed on a regular basis? If the function  is rarely performed, it may not be essential.

B. Is the function highly specialized? Is the incumbent hired for his/her expertise or ability to perform the function?  The need for special expertise is an indication of an essential function.

C. Does the position exist, at least in part, to perform the function?  If so, the function is more likely to be essential.

D. How much time is spent performing the function and how often?  Note that even functions performed 10% of the time could be essential if they are required on a regular basis.

E. Would elimination of the function fundamentally alter the job?  If so, the function is more likely to be essential.

F. What are the consequences of not requiring the incumbent to perform the function? If they are significant, the function is more likely to be essential. 

G. Are there a limited number of employees among whom the performance of the function could be distributed if the incumbent could not perform it?  If so, it is more likely to be essential.

Other details

  • Pay Type Hourly
  • Carnegie Museum of Natural History - Oakland, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America