• Full Scholarship

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1636 as Harvard College and named for its first benefactor, the Puritan clergyman John Harvard, it is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Its influence, wealth, and rankings have made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

The university is composed of ten academic faculties plus the Harvard Radcliffe Institute. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences offers study in a wide range of undergraduate and graduate academic disciplines, and other faculties offer only graduate degrees, including professional degrees. Harvard has three main campuses: the 209-acre (85 ha) Cambridge campus centered on Harvard Yard; an adjoining campus immediately across Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston; and the medical campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Harvard’s endowment is valued at $50.9 billion, making it the wealthiest academic institution in the world. Endowment income enables the undergraduate college to admit students regardless of financial need and provide financial aid with no loans. Harvard Library is the world’s largest academic library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding 20 million items.

Throughout its existence, Harvard alumni, faculty, and researchers have included 188 living billionaires, 8 U.S. presidents, numerous heads of state, Nobel laureates, Fields Medalists, members of Congress, MacArthur Fellows, Rhodes Scholars, Marshall Scholars, Turing Award Recipients and Fulbright Scholars; by most metrics, Harvard ranks among the top globally in each of these categories. Additionally, students and alumni have won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, 110 Olympic medals (46 gold), and have founded notable companies.

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 and research facilities. Scientists with a PhD and who have identified an independent research project that would utilize the Arboretum’s living collections are encouraged to apply.

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 evolutionary biology, taxonomy and systematics, molecular and developmental biology, physiological ecology, propagation, and plant-insect and/or -pathogen interactions. 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 Arnold Arboretum provides exceptional resources for woody plant research. The living collection, numbering more than 15,000 plants, in over 2,200 species, is distinguished as one of the most thoroughly documented collections of temperate woody plants in the world. Taxonomic diversity and breadth within the collection are noteworthy, and the floras of China, Japan, and Korea are particularly well represented.


United States


  • Salary of $83,000 per year,
  • Employee health insurance eligibility, and annual support of up to $10,000 for research, travel, initial relocation, and other professional expenses.


  • Applications are sought from early-career individuals with a PhD in plant biology, evolution, 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.
Eligible Regions: Open for all.

Application Process

To be considered for an award, online applications should include the following:

  • Cover letter. The cover letter should clearly state (i) the applicant’s interest in the program; (ii) the potential start-date; and (iii) the applicant’s contact information.
  • Research statement. The statement should be no longer than 4 pages, single-spaced, and should describe the research project the applicant proposes to conduct as a Global Change Fellow. The statement should describe (i) the nature and scope of the proposed research project; (ii) the approach and methods to be employed; (iii) how the resources of the Arnold Arboretum would be utilized; and (iv) how the project will advance global change science. References should be included but do not count as part of the 4-page limit.
  • Research budget. A modest level of funding (up to $10,000 annually) is available for research, travel, professional expenses and relocation to Boston. Applicants should submit a simple, 1-page budget that includes a paragraph detailing all laboratory and equipment requirements and an itemized budget by year for the research, travel and professional costs associated with the proposed project. Travel expenses for professional conferences as well as up to $2,500 for initial relocation to Boston should be included in the total budget. The budget should accurately reflect and justify what is required for the proposed project.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Three letters of recommendation. As part of the online submission, applicants must send a request to the referee to submit a letter of recommendation (via the “request” section). The referee will be automatically sent an email with a link to an online submission form where they will upload a letter of recommendation. It is highly recommended that the applicants contact their referees prior to sending the request.

** Applicants should inform their referees to expect an email from [email protected] with instructions for submitting a recommendation letter. Each referee must upload his/her letter of recommendation via the link by January 18 at 5:00 PM ET

Application Deadline: January 11, 2024

Application ClosedOfficial link

For Further Queries

For further queries contact: [email protected]
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