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Training and Fellowships


Fellowships and Training Opportunities at ForestGEO

The ForestGEO network includes 78 sites in 28 countries. Recognizing the global need for strengthening capacity in forest science, ForestGEO is deeply committed to training young scientists in learning new skills and gaining access to a network of data and shared expertise. ForestGEO’s training initiatives ensure that benefits derived from the global syntheses are shared across all geographic scales. By design, ForestGEO requires long-term monitoring of forests; this research model depends on a steady supply of scientists and technicians to advance the study of forest structure and dynamics, and predict future forest change.

ForestGEO’s training initiatives include individual research grants, postdoctoral fellowships, internships, and analytical data workshops.

Join our listserv to receive the latest notices about jobs, internships, grants, recent publications, and other ForestGEO-related opportunities.

The annual ForestGEO Research Grants Program provides opportunities for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and senior researchers to use existing ForestGEO research sites to conduct research in collaboration with scientists currently associated with these plots.

Since 2002, ForestGEO has awarded a total of more than $1.3 million to 184 individuals. In 2022 alone, ForestGEO awarded a total of $63,500 to five individuals to do research in eight ForestGEO plots. Each grantee is awarded up to $15,000. Funded projects cover a wide range of topics including nutrient cycling, carbon dynamics, effects of anthropogenic disturbance, functional traits, and plant-microbial interactions.

Building relationships between grantees and ForestGEO partners

These projects give opportunities to individuals who have not been involved in the network to build working relationships with ForestGEO’s partners, and in many cases, begin long-term projects that benefit the individual’s continued training and education, and at the same time improving the depth of research at individual plots. These novel projects give ForestGEO the opportunity to fund innovative research that strengthens the ForestGEO network as a whole.

ForestGEO supports postdoctoral fellowships for early-career researchers to conduct independent research projects designed to answer a specific research question relevant to ForestGEO’s science goals.

ForestGEO’s current postdoctoral fellowship projects encompass a variety of research topics related to advancing the science of forest structure dynamics, including plant-water relations and forest function, tree mortality, species’ life histories, and above-ground biomass dynamics.

Fellowships are awarded from ForestGEO funds or by grants aimed at training the next generation of forest scientists. For example, the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments-Tropics (NGEE-Tropics) is a ten-year, multi-institutional project funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. ForestGEO has received NGEE-Tropics funding to develop an understanding of how tropical forest carbon balance and climate system feedbacks will respond to changing environmental drivers of the 21st century.

Check the Job Board for any current openings for postdoctoral fellowships.

Current Postdoctoral Fellows

Read about ForestGEO’s current fellows on the Meet the Team page.


ForestGEO Internships

ForestGEO is committed to training young scientists in learning new skills and gaining access to a network of data and shared expertise. In addition to training technicians and fellows, this includes internships in fieldwork and data analysis. Frequent internship openings entail census fieldwork, data management or data analysis at one of our network sites or at ForestGEO headquarters in Washington, DC. ForestGEO is committed to training interns from countries with developing forest science capacity, stationing them at plots with opportunities to develop their skills and expertise. 

Check our Job Board for information on the latest internships with ForestGEO.  

Smithsonian Institution Internships

The Smithsonian Institution (SI) offers internship programs in a wide variety of fields including business and public administration, history, art, science, culture, and education. SI offers internships to graduate, undergraduate, and high school students to learn through mentor-guided experiences in academic and professional fields. International students are eligible to apply based on the specific program. Internships vary in length from 3 to 6 months with the availability for extension.

Browse SI internships here.

Check out the SI internships blog here.

Students can also apply to the General Internship Pool and indicate their field of interest to be matched with a specific internship.

Read more about the General Internship Pool.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Internships

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) offers internships to undergraduate and early-career graduate students who are interested in pursuing careers that contribute to the understanding of tropical biodiversity. Interns conduct research under the supervision of a STRI Staff Scientist for 3 months. Placement is dependent on the availability of a match between the applicant's interest and a new or ongoing project supervised by a STRI staff scientist.

Explore STRI internship opportunities.

Explore Internships for Panamanian students (Spanish).

How to Apply

Students can apply for SI internships through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System (SOLAA) available through the Office of Fellowships and Internships (OFI) webpage.

Learn more on the general FAQ page.

ForestGEO has hundreds of collaborating researchers spanning 28 countries across the continents. Thus, ForestGEO dedicates time for researchers to meet in person to discuss partnerships and multi-site research. ForestGEO’s analytical and data workshops bring researchers together to define global-scale science questions, address data gaps and network needs, and expand interdisciplinary collaboration.

Annual ForestGEO Analytical Workshops

ForestGEO has convened 15 analytical workshops since 2000. Each workshop consists of meetings, seminars, and discussions for approximately 60 individuals over two to three weeks in a location near a ForestGEO plot. The workshop participants include students and early career scientists who are grouped with a designated mentor (senior scientist) to foster research collaborations and receive direct training and mentoring. These workshops have provided hundreds of ForestGEO partners with opportunities to gain international research experience, writing and editing support, and training in data analysis methods. The connections cultivated at annual analytical workshops continue through the year and develop into enduring collaborations, further supporting the advancement of long-term and large-scale forest science.

Data Management Workshops

ForestGEO holds data management workshop for plot partners to cover a range of topics from basic data entry techniques and management utilizing Structured Query Language (SQL) to training in advanced R analyses. ForestGEO database staff and staff scientists lead these workshops and provide individual attention and training to plot managers, early career scientists, and students, who then bring this knowledge back to their local plots and institutions.