Interested in joining us?
Thanks for your interest in joining the MPG. The following information is intended to give you an idea of the qualities I (and many of my colleagues) look for and our general expectations for group members. In addition to the information below, you can learn a lot about our group and how we work by checking out our GitHub repo.
MPG members typically have skills in oceanography, fish ecology, statistics and programming. If you are interested in joining the group, please carefully read the information below. If it still seems like a good fit, you are welcome to send me an email with (1) a description of your research interests, experience, skills/abilities and career goals (non-academic is ok); (2) your CV; (3) a recent written example of your work; and (4) your unofficial transcripts if you are a prospective student. Those who contribute to our diversity of backgrounds, opinions, and approaches are especially welcome!
Members of the Marine Predator Group are motivated, open-minded, willing to learn and good team players. Some of our work is high risk and, on occasion, we fail or make mistakes and learn from them together. While we are all working on individual projects, often with distinct professional and personal goals, group members are expected to foster an inclusive and collaborative, team-oriented environment.
As such, everyone in the lab is expected to abide by our code of conduct which formalizes our group’s agreement to collectively cultivate an inviting and inclusive atmosphere.
Applying to the MIT-WHOI Joint Program
Students in the MPG work on their degree through the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science & Engineering (link). This is ~5 year doctoral program, no masters degrees are given. Every year, I receive a large number of interested and highly qualified applicants. In general, admission to the JP is highly competitive (<10% of applicants receive offers), and external funding is often required as a prerequisite to admission (see list of fellowships below). I will only receive applications for review that are deemed acceptable by the graduate applicant selection committee. With that in mind, I encourage you to submit your best application! Please note that final decisions on whether to take on new students will not occur before February and may be as late as May once an idea of funding support has been established.
Please direct specific questions about the application process to our Academic Programs Office.
In order to admit a new student, the JP requires the first year of support to be guaranteed for any incoming student. This generally happens in 1 of 3 ways: (1) the PI has funding to support a graduate student. This typically comes from a grant and will carry some requirements regarding what to work on to meet the objectives of the grant. (2) the student brings their own funding, typically via graduate fellowships (e.g. NSF GRFP, NASA FINESST, etc). (3) student is awarded an internal fellowship. These are usually very rare and are only awarded to exceptional applications.
Thus, I strongly recommend you apply for graduate fellowships (see list below) that both increase your chances of admission (due to guaranteed funding) and give you the freedom to pursue and change your research throughout your graduate tenure (rather than being tied to prescribed grant objectives). Keep in mind that while you may not know exactly what you want to work on as a graduate student, you should still apply to the relevant graduate fellowships as these aren’t binding. If you are awarded a fellowship, you can easily change the focus of your research throughout your graduate career to meet your evolving research interests.
- List of PhD fellowship opportunities
- NASA FINESST graduate research fellowship
- NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
- NOAA Nancy Foster Fellowship
- NOAA Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship
- NMFS-Sea Grant Joint Fellowship Program in Population and Ecosystem Dynamics and Marine Resource Economics
- Ford Foundation
Prospective postdocs should consider applying for the WHOI Postdoctoral Scholar Program, applications are usually due in October. In addition, consider applying for an external postdoc fellowship such as:
I am open to working with prospective postdocs to acquire funding. If you’d like to pursue this, I encourage you to contact me as early as possible in the process (preferably before you’ve completed your graduate work or other position) so we can establish appropriate potential funding mechanisms with ample time to brainstorm project ideas and put a compelling proposal together.