Program Overview

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program Overview

Mote Marine Laboratory, an independent nonprofit institution established in 1955, has recently adopted a new Beyond 2020 Vision & Strategic Plan that includes as one of Mote’s core priorities, “Recruit and annually maintain a total of four continuously rotating three-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship positions with full salary/fringe benefits/startup costs by 2025."

As an independent, nonprofit, mission-based organization, Mote’s greatest strength has been its ability to define its own agenda and research based on our communities’ needs and our scientists’ expertise.  Mote is committed to being a leader in nationally and internationally respected research programs that are relevant to conservation and the sustainable use of marine biodiversity, healthy habitats, and natural resources.  We envision a comprehensive and integrated Mote enterprise with research, innovation, and public education and outreach programs that are among the most creative and fruitful in the world.  Postdoctoral Research Fellows are selected based on their ability to not only strengthen and diversify the Laboratory’s significant existing research expertise, but also the potential to establish their own innovative research initiatives as independent investigators.  Exemplary Fellows may be invited to join Mote as Staff Scientists upon completion of their initial appointment.

Mote’s research extends throughout the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and tropical to polar environments. The main 10 acre campus is headquartered on City Island in Sarasota, Florida, with a nearby 200 acre inland marine aquaculture research park; in Charlotte Harbor (Lee County- southwest Florida) with a fisheries research station, and on Summerland Key (Monroe County- Florida Keys) with a new The Elizabeth Moore International Center for Coral Reef Research & Restoration.  Mote’s more than 30 doctoral-level scientists and more than 20 research programs are described at mote.org/research.

Mote’s present situation creates new opportunities for innovative research, including:

  • World-class marine aquaculture facilities and on-site coral ecosystem research facilities
  • Tri-national agreement between Mexico, Cuba, and U.S. marine scientists & resource managers
  • Affiliation agreements with the University of South Florida (USF @ Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota/Manatee), Jacksonville University, and the University of the West Indies (Mona campus and Discovery Bay & Port Royal marine laboratories)
  • William R. and Lenore Mote Eminent Scholar Chair and international symposia in fisheries ecology with Florida State University
  • National Center for Shark Research
  • Florida Coastal Ocean Observing Systems Consortium and Mote’s coastal ocean observing laboratory
  • 1.3 million gallon seawater system dedicated for research purposes

Mote is part of a growing marine research enterprise zone on the Florida Gulf coast that includes the Gulf of Mexico Alliance and three National Estuary Programs (Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay, Charlotte Harbor), Southeast Regional Headquarters of the NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program including the Florida Keys, Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council, Florida Wildlife Research Institute, USF College of Marine Sciences, SRI, U.S. Geological Survey’s St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, and numerous national wildlife refuges and state aquatic preserves.  Mote is also a member institution of the International Consortium for Marine Conservation, Consortium for Ocean Leadership, National Association of Marine Laboratories, Southeast and Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association/System, Florida Institute of Oceanography, Florida Ocean Alliance,  and Florida Sea Grant.

Current opportunities

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for Shark Biology, Behavior and Conservation

Mote’s leadership in shark research traces continuously back to the Laboratory’s founding in 1955, as the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory under Dr. Eugenie Clark.  In 1991, the U.S. Congress named Mote as the site of the Center for Shark Research, the nation’s only such-designated research center for sharks and their relatives.  Memoranda of Understanding between Mote and several organizations including NOAA help to guide the course of the Laboratory’s shark research.  Mote’s Sharks and Rays Conservation Research Program, the unit under which current elasmobranch research is conducted, reflects a priority on studies that contribute to the conservation and rebuilding of depleted elasmobranch populations.  This research spans - and field-based studies from southwest Florida to locations around the world.  Facilities for conducting elasmobranch research at Mote include offices and laboratories, an extensive wet lab and animal care facility, and a fleet of research vessels.

The full-time position includes an annual salary of $50,000 - $60,000. Health insurance is also provided for the Fellow, with family options available. Benefits include an opt-in retirement plan with employer matching, leaves for holidays, illness, and vacation, and other benefits. Postdoctoral Research Fellows will also have established researchers assigned to serve as dedicated mentors and will receive office/laboratory space and funds for startup, operations, and travel.

Mote intends for the postdoctoral research fellow to continue on as a staff scientist and the postdoctoral fellow will participate in an NSF-compliant mentoring program toward that end during the fellowship period.

This postdoctoral fellowship may begin in 2020 but will begin by April 15, 2021 at the latest. Applications are invited from recent Ph.D. graduates including those with firm expectation of graduation by Jan. 31, 2020.  However, at time of appointment, a doctoral degree must have been awarded. In addition, Mote will only consider applicants who received the Ph.D. (or equivalent professional degree) later than December 31, 2017.

A complete application will be a single pdf file containing:

1. Cover Letter addressed to Dr. Michael P. Crosby, Ph.D., FLS, President & CEO, affirming expectation to graduate by the end of 2020 if not sooner.

2. Curriculum vitae including three representative publications. Do not send web links to publications.

3. Copy of Diploma granting a Ph.D. or equivalent professional degree, if already awarded.

4. Narrative account of experience and accomplishments.

5. Proposal outlining your research ambitions as a postdoctoral research fellow. The proposal is limited to three pages not counting references.

6. Other Considerations.

7. Names, titles, and contact information (telephone; email) of three references and your relation to each.

Send a complete application to Mote’s Human Resources Office at HumanResources@mote.org with the subject line: “Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Application/ Sharks.” Alternatively, a single package of all requested elements may be submitted to Mote Marine Laboratory, Attn: Human Resources, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236. 

Other media essential to your application may be submitted.  The application period will close on Sept. 1, 2020.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status or other protected category. We are interested in every qualified candidate who is eligible to work in the United States. However, we are not able to sponsor visas at this time. Questions regarding the application process may be directed to Ernest D. Estevez, Ph.D., Senior Scientist Emeritus and Search Committee Chair, at estevez@mote.org.

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for Manatee Biology, Behavior and Conservation

The study of wild manatees began at Mote Marine Laboratory in the 1980s with aerial surveys of the coastal waters of Manatee and Sarasota counties.  The Manatee Research Program (MRP) was formally founded in 1993, and with the addition of Dr. John Reynolds, III (Nov. 8, 1952 - Dec. 23, 2017), as program manager in 2000, the MRP grew to become a cornerstone of scientific understanding and protection of these unique mammals in Florida and the Caribbean. The Manatee Research Program continues at Mote, and Reynolds' legacy continues to benefit marine science, conservation, and education around the globe.

The MRP conducts year-round studies of manatee behavioral ecology, distribution, habitat use, genetics, and population status in Florida. The MRP also advises manatee conservation and research actions throughout Florida and the wider Caribbean, and further advises conservation projects for sirenians (manatees and dugongs) globally.  The Mote MRP is one of three organizations (along with U.S. Geological Survey’s Sirenia Project and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) participating via formal Memoranda of Understanding in organizing and maintaining the statewide Manatee Individual Photo-identification System (MIPS) database.  Long term aerial and photo-identification surveys throughout the year have proven valuable to coastal community efforts to manage manatees in order to balance human activities with the sustainability of manatees and their habitat. MRP research at Mote is ongoing and also involves collaborators including corresponding and visiting faculty and graduate students, agency and NGO investigators, postdoctoral associates, interns, and volunteers.

The full-time position includes an annual salary of $50,000 - $60,000. Health insurance is also provided for the Fellow, with family options available. Benefits include an opt-in retirement plan with employer matching, leaves for holidays, illness, and vacation, and other benefits. Postdoctoral Research Fellows will also have established researchers assigned to serve as dedicated mentors and will receive office/laboratory space and funds for startup, operations, and travel.

Mote intends for the postdoctoral research fellow to continue on as a staff scientist and the postdoctoral fellow will participate in an NSF-compliant mentoring program toward that end during the fellowship period.

This postdoctoral fellowship may begin in 2020 but will begin by April 15, 2021 at the latest. Applications are invited from recent Ph.D. graduates including those with firm expectation of graduation by Jan. 31, 2020.  However, at time of appointment, a doctoral degree must have been awarded. In addition, Mote will only consider applicants who received the Ph.D. (or equivalent professional degree) later than December 31, 2017.

A complete application will be a single pdf file containing:

1. Cover Letter addressed to Dr. Michael P. Crosby, Ph.D., FLS, President & CEO, affirming expectation to graduate by the end of 2020 if not sooner.

2. Curriculum vitae including three representative publications. Do not send web links to publications.

3.  Copy of Diploma granting a Ph.D. or equivalent professional degree, if already awarded.

4.  Narrative account of experience and accomplishments.

5. Proposal outlining your research ambitions as a postdoctoral research fellow. The proposal is limited to three pages not counting references.

6. Other Considerations.

7.  Names, titles, and contact information (telephone; email) of three references and your relation to each.

Send a complete application to Mote’s Human Resources Office at HumanResources@mote.org with the subject line: “Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Application/Manatees.” Alternatively, a single package of all requested elements may be submitted to Mote Marine Laboratory, Attn: Human Resources, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236. 

Other media essential to your application may be submitted.  The application period will close on Sept. 1, 2020.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status or other protected category. We are interested in every qualified candidate who is eligible to work in the United States. However, we are not able to sponsor visas at this time. Questions regarding the application process may be directed to Ernest D. Estevez, Ph.D., Senior Scientist Emeritus and Search Committee Chair, at estevez@mote.org.