Katharine H. Putnam Fellowships in Plant Science

Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

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Grant amount: Up to US $96,000

Anticipated deadline: Feb 1, 2020

Applicant type: Postdoctoral Researcher

Funding uses: Conference, Research, Fellowship

Location of project: Massachusetts

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

University restriction: Harvard University

Degree requirements: Applicants must be within a few years of receiving their PhD

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The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University invites applicants for research fellowships in plant science. Putnam Fellowships offer excellent opportunities for advanced research and study using the Arboretum’s living collections of woody plants. 

Putnam Fellows conduct basic and applied research in the plant sciences. The goal of the program is to facilitate the research use of the Arboretum’s living collections, thereby stimulating their use within the larger scientific community.

The research topics of past Putnam Fellows have included:

  • taxonomy and systematics,
  • molecular and developmental biology,
  • physiological ecology,
  • propagation,
  • plant-insect and/or -pathogen interactions, and
  • collections management

The Putnam Fellowship Program has attracted a diverse array of scholars, and many have gone on to be leaders in academia and public horticulture. The Putnam Fellowship is an independent post-doctoral position. As an independent scholar, Putnam Fellows have access to shared laboratories,equipment, desk space, resources, and interactions with fellow scientists, students and staff.

The Katharine H. Putnam Fellowships in Plant Science are made possible by the generosity of George and Nancy Putnam through the Putnam Fellows Fund. The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and requires pre-employment reference and background screening.

The Putnam Fellowship award provides stipends of up to $48,000 per year, depending on the duration of the fellowship. The fellowship is typically awarded for 2 years, pending a satisfactory progress report at the end of the first year. In addition, modest support is available for research and travel costs. Putnam Fellows are full-time employees of Harvard University during their tenure and are eligible for health insurance benefits. Putnam Fellows are expected to be in full-time residence at the Arboretum during their tenure and are provided office and research space.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Scientists with a PhD and who have identified an independent research project that would utilize the Arboretum’s living collections are encouraged to apply.
  • Applications are sought from early-career individuals with a PhD in plant science, plant genetics, plant ecology, horticulture, or related discipline.
  • Applicants must have their PhD when they initiate their term at the Arboretum.
  • Applicants should be well positioned to conduct original, independent research and to publish their findings in peer-reviewed publications.
  • Applicants are expected to be fluent in English.  
  • Applicants are encouraged to develop collaborations and work closely with any and all other members of the Arboretum and broader Harvard communities to refine and develop their project.


  • It is not necessary to have a specific faculty host.