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NIMBioS Postdoctoral Fellowships in Mathematical Biology


At a Glance


The NIMBioS Postdoctoral Fellows program is currently fully committed, so at this time we are not accepting new applications. Please check our website and watch for announcements for any updates.

NIMBioS provides an opportunity for postdoctoral scholarship at the interface between mathematics and biological science that builds upon the experiences gained through the many successful postdoctoral fellows who have been in residence at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville over the past decades. Postdoctoral scholars propose synthetic projects that require an amalgam of mathematical and biological approaches, and are expected to include explicit opportunities to expand the scholars previous education. Projects should not require the collection of additional empirical data, but may involve many aspects (collating, formulating data bases, developing models) of synthesizing existing data. Applications are welcome from those with a range of both biological and mathematical prior experience, with highest priority given to those with explicit plans to develop their ability to effectively carry on research across these fields.

Postdoctoral applications are reviewed two times per year and the selected researchers are offered positions at NIMBioS where they conduct research that is mostly self-directed. While NIMBioS encourages its Postdoctoral Fellows to collaborate with established faculty locally and globally, to participate in Working Groups and Investigative Workshops and to interact with visiting scholars, the NIMBioS Postdoctoral positions are expected to be independent researchers. Given the breadth of backgrounds needed to be successful interdisciplinary researchers, NIMBioS will assign two mentors to each Postdoctoral Fellow, with one mentor having more biological experience and the other having more mathematical/computational experience. These mentors are expected to assist the Fellow to broaden their experience, and provide research suggestions, not to direct the Fellows research. Thus, applications which do not have a clearly defined set of research objectives are unlikely to be successful. While it is appropriate for applicants to identify particular local researchers whom they suggest as appropriate mentors, including those who may be most appropriate to assist in broadening the applicants prior experience, this is not necessary.

Postdoctoral Fellowships are for two years (assuming satisfactory progress toward research goals in year one). Under appropriate circumstances applicants may request periods shorter than two years, and in special circumstances a Fellow may request an extension beyond two years. NIMBioS Postdoctoral Fellows are encouraged to participate in grant proposal development workshops offered through UT and Fellows are permitted to serve as a Principal Investigator on grant proposals submitted through NIMBioS.

NIMBioS Postdoctoral Fellows are chosen based upon indications that the applicant's research plans are consistent with the mission of NIMBioS, the applicant has the demonstrated ability to carry out the proposed research, and the opportunities provided through NIMBioS will enhance the capacity for the research to be completed in an efficient and timely manner. Fellows are also supported in order to enhance the diversity of the cadre of researchers who are able to effectively address research at the interface between math and biology, and thus a successful applicant will include a plan that indicates how NIMBioS will expand their abilities in this regard. The research questions to be addressed by a Fellow may be either fundamental, applied or both, and may be focused around a particular biological topic, or one from mathematics that is driven by biological insight. We are particularly interested in requests to support research that integrates diverse fields, requires synthesis at multiple scales, and/or makes use of or requires development of new mathematical/computational approaches. In addition to the research responsibilities associated with the proposed project, each Fellow will be expected to collaborate in teams with other Fellows, faculty, staff and graduate students, and to participate in an outreach activity. Development of new experimental or observational data is outside the scope of activities for NIMBioS Fellows.

A goal of NIMBioS is to enhance the cadre of researchers capable of interdisciplinary efforts across mathematics and biology. As part of this goal, NIMBioS is committed to promoting diversity in all its activities. Diversity is considered in all its aspects, social and scientific, including gender, ethnicity, scientific field, career stage, geography and type of home institution. Questions regarding diversity issues should be directed to Dr. Ernest Brothers, the NIMBioS Associate Director for Diversity Enhancement ( You can read more about our Diversity Plan on our NIMBioS Policies web page. The NIMBioS building is fully handicapped accessible.

Outreach Opportunities

NIMBioS will have in place a variety of opportunities for Postdoctoral Fellows to participate in outreach and education opportunities, or to create new ones. These will include opportunities to collaborate with graduate students based at NIMBioS, assist in mentoring participants in the Research Experience for Undergraduates program, assist in developing educational programs at Minority Serving Institutions, develop new quantitative components for the Biology-in-the-Box program, and participate in outreach programs in collaboration with interpreters at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Fellows who so wish may take on the responsibility for teaching a formal undergraduate course, particularly if this experience will assist them in meeting their career goals. All Fellows are expected to participate in an outreach or education activity of some kind during their tenure at NIMBioS.

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