Program Overview

2017-2019 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program Overview.

Mote Marine Laboratory (Mote), an independent nonprofit institution established in 1955, has recently adopted a 2020 Vision & Strategic Plan that includes as one of Mote’s four core priorities, “Ensure the long-term prosperity of the research enterprise through focused staff recruitment and nurturing programs.”  In order to address this specific priority, a new Mote Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program began in 2011.

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’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.

Applications are invited for any field of marine research in the natural sciences. The deadline for applying is COB Thursday August 31, 2017. Review of applications may begin August and finalists will be announced soon thereafter.

Two-Year Fellowship

This Fellowship will be awarded in 2017, start in 2018, and last for two years assuming appropriate first-year progress. An earlier start date is possible. The full-time position includes an annual salary of $47,800.  Partially-subsidized 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. The Postdoctoral Research Fellow will have an established Mote scientist assigned to serve as a dedicated mentor, and both will participate in Mote’s Postdoctoral Mentoring Program. The Fellow will receive office/laboratory space and funds for startup, operations, publication costs, and travel.

This fellowship will be awarded to support an eligible Ph.D. as an independent investigator. Applications are invited from recent (since January 1, 2015) Ph.D. graduates including those with firm expectation of graduation by December 31, 2017.  However, at time of appointment, the doctoral (or equivalent professional) degree must have been awarded.

Applications are invited for any field of marine research in the natural sciences. Competitive applications will focus on research programs that are relevant to conservation and the sustainable uses of marine biodiversity, healthy habitats, and natural resources; will bring or propose new multi-investigator/institutional collaborations to Mote, and will be cognizant of global issues.

Applicants must be eligible to work in the U.S. in 2017-19. A complete application will be a single pdf file containing, in the order shown:

1. A letter addressed to the Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Committee, describing your interest and availability including current employment status and eligibility to work.

2. Curriculum vitae.

3. Copy of the Ph.D. diploma or equivalent professional degree (persons affirming a certain expectation of graduating by December 31, 2017 may apply.)

4. A three-page essay plus references describing your intended research program and suggested mentor (See It is not necessary to obtain a potential mentor’s approval at this stage of the application process.  Co-mentors at other institutions will be considered.

5. Three representative journal publications (in press or published). Do not send web links to publications.

6. As appropriate, the name and contact information of your major professor or postdoctoral supervisor, and

7. The names and contact information for three people who know you and your academic and professional work.

Novel media or formats other than pdf essential to an individual’s application may be submitted.

Applications from previous recruitment cycles are discouraged. In fairness to all applicants and reviewers, only complete applications will be accepted. Send applications by email to, using the subject line “2017 Two-Year  Fellowship Application.” You may also send the seven application items listed above by mail to Mote Marine Laboratory, Attn: Human Resources, 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236. Review of applications may begin August and finalists will be announced soon thereafter. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. Mote is an E-Verify employer.

2020 Vision & Strategic Plan Version 2.0