Odum School of Ecology Research & Teaching Postdoctoral Scholar Program

Apply here.

The Odum Research & Teaching Postdoctoral Scholar Program, founded in 2018, brings promising early career scientists to the Odum School of Ecology at UGA. The two-year, salaried position provides mentoring and experience in teaching and research, and is excellent preparation for academic careers.

Research interests of applicants should complement the areas of research emphasis within the School. We encourage applications from individuals with additional interests in science communication, the intersection of ecological and social systems, or conservation policy.

Successful applicants will show evidence of a commitment to pedagogical excellence and developing their instructional potential, as well as a record of research success and mentoring experience. Appointees will be expected to teach 1.5 – 2 courses per year. Exact course assignments will depend on individual expertise, but could include 1) teaching established courses (e.g. introductory ecology courses, upper division courses for ecology majors, courses focused on training graduate student teaching assistants, methods-based courses, or special topics seminars), or 2) design a new course based on the applicant’s interest. Each postdoctoral associate will be paired with a faculty teaching mentor, in addition to their faculty research mentor, to facilitate instructional growth and support.

Applicants will need to identify at least one OSE faculty mentor with whom they would conduct novel research. Preference would be given to those applicants who have a clear plan for mentoring graduate and/or undergraduate research. Teaching mentors are not required to be identified by the applicant ahead of time, and will be chosen based on specified teaching assignments.

The selection process

We will solicit applications approximately every two years, and the pool of applications will be reviewed by a search committee.

To be qualified, a candidate must have a recent PhD (within 5 years) in a field relevant to ecology, as well as demonstrated teaching and mentoring experience. Application materials will include a (I) cover letter that identifies the candidate’s career goals, (II) curriculum vitae, (III) 1 to 2-page statement of research interests and proposed research activities, (IV) 1 to 2-page statement of teaching interests and proposed teaching activities, and (V) contact information for 3 professional references. Please note that references will only be contacted for top candidates.

Top candidates will be invited for virtual interviews. Award decisions will consider the research mentor’s support for the proposed project, the applicant credentials, innovation and feasibility of the proposed research project, and proposed teaching and mentoring activities. Projects promoting synergy across multiple PIs/labs are encouraged.

Please contact Dr. Alli Injaian ([email protected]) with any questions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Should I contact a potential faculty mentor before applying?

Yes. Faculty members may vary in their preferences for the method of interaction with potential applicants (i.e. some may communicate by email, others by phone or videoconference).

Q: I have not finished my PhD yet, should I apply?

We welcome applications from candidates that are in their final year of their PhD. However, UGA guidelines require individuals to have completed all degree requirements for their PhD before the start date for all positions that involve classroom instruction.

Q: Can I work remotely in this position?

No. This Odum Research & Teaching Postdoctoral position is required to be in-person, as all instruction will occur face-to-face and the postdoc is expected to be part of the Odum School community.

Q: Are separate research funds provided for the postdoctoral scholars?
  • The research mentor should provide the necessary space, equipment, consumables and other needs for conducting the proposed research project.
  • An annual budget of $2000 will be provided to the postdoctoral scholar for research and travel.
Q: I applied to this position previously, can I apply again?

Yes, we are happy to consider strong applications from individuals that have previously applied.

Q: I received a degree (AB, BS, MS, PhD) from OSE, am I eligible to apply?

Yes, we are happy to consider strong applications from OSE graduates.

Former Odum Research & Teaching Postdoctoral Scholars

Dr. Robert Richards (2022 – 2023)

While at OSE, Dr. Richards’ research focused on developing mathematical models to predict the effects of predators on parasites in their prey, particularly in prey populations with age structure. In partnership with Dr. Alex Strauss, he tested these predictions, empirically, with Daphnia dentifera and mosquitofish.

Dr. Richards had the opportunity to co-teach 2 sections of General Ecology (ECOL3500), as well as develop a small upper-level Ecological Research Methods course (ECOL4130L), in which students conducted research from hypothesis development to poster presentation with NEON data.

Dr. Richards also engaged in pedagogical research during his time at Odum. In particular, he worked with Dr. Alli Injaian to test the effect of assessment structure on student learning and motivation in General Ecology and with Dr. Ania Majewska to assess the change in learning objectives in biology syllabi over time. Dr. Richards began a permanent Academic Professional (Teaching Faculty) position in the Department of Biological Sciences at Georgia Tech in Fall 2023.