NPS-PS Paleontology in the Parks Fellowship Program 2023

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Applications for the Paleontology in the Parks Fellowship Program 2023 are now open. The Paleontology in the Parks Fellowship Program is designed to foster collaboration between members of the Paleontological Society (PS) and the National Park Service (NPS) by working together to help address fossil project needs in parks across the United States.

The NPS welcomes the support of  individuals interested in contributing to the study and stewardship of fossils in the parks from students to teachers, avocational to professional paleontologists, and beyond. All members of the community are important in helping to protect paleontological resources service-wide. This particular fellowship program seeks applications from mentor-student pairs. That is, they seek the expertise of professionals to aid in paleontology projects with a commitment to guide a student in leading that research collaboratively with the NPS.


  • All students selected for the Paleontology in the Parks Fellowship will receive a stipend in support of their work on a project for the National Park Service.
  • Opportunities to engage in fieldwork at a specific park may be available through this program; additional funds for such experiences will vary based on anticipated expenses for both student and mentor participants.
  • Two project and funding levels are outlined here. Mentors are encouraged to consider how these projects may be suitable for summer research experiences, senior capstones, MS theses, etc.
    • Shorter-Term/Small-Scale Projects: These projects are anticipated to involve work on a weekly schedule that could be either ~20 hrs/week for 2 months or ~10 hrs/week for 4 months or ~5 hrs/week for 6 months. Fellowship stipend: $1,500
    • Longer-Term/Large-Scale Projects: These projects are anticipated to involve work projected to be ~8 hrs/week over a year. These projects could alternatively involve condensed periods of full-time work at a park. Fellowship stipend: $3,500


  • Applications will be accepted from student-mentor pairs for specific paleontology projects identified by the NPS.
  • Mentors will need to demonstrate their expertise and commitment in being able to contribute to a project through their own participation and guidance of a student on this work.
  • Mentors at all levels are welcome, but in particular faculty who are earlier in their career are encouraged to apply.
  • Recent graduates are additionally eligible to apply.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted by priority deadlines listed for specific projects or on a rolling basis afterwards as needed until positions are filled.

Because funding for specific projects may become available as park needs are identified, opportunities will be posted on a periodic basis throughout the year. The mentor and student/recent graduate should each send their respective application materials described below in a single PDF with the subject line NPS-PS Paleontology ITPF – Student Last Name, Student First Name) to the program chair at [email protected]

Mentors must meet all of the following requirements.

  • Have expertise to contribute to the specific park paleontology project advertised
  • Be a member of The Paleontological Society
  • Provide a letter of support for the application that includes reference to the following (1-2 pages maximum):
    • A recommendation for the student applicant
    • A statement of commitment to guide the student in the project work
    • A summary of qualifications to participate in the project as a professional paleontologist by demonstrating relevant expertise to the project work
  • Include a CV/biosketch (no more than 2 pages)
  • Complete the mentor application form here

Students must meet all of the following requirements.

  • Be a degree-seeking student enrolled or recently graduated from an undergraduate or graduate program at an academic institution in the U.S.
  • Be a member of The Paleontological Society
  • Provide a statement of interest for the application that includes the following criteria (1-2 pages maximum):
    • A description of your interests and expected contributions to the project
    • A summary of relevant experience in support of your application
    • A discussion of your career goals and how this work will impact your next steps
  • Include a CV/biosketch or resume (no more than 2 pages)
  • Complete the student application form here

For more information, visit Paleontology in the Parks Fellowship.

Application Deadline: Rolling Basis


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