Staff Scientist position at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI; seeks applications for a staff scientist to pursue an independent, internationally recognized research program in tropical forest biology.  Previous tropical experience is not required. We seek outstanding colleagues who will complement and enhance our existing strengths, and further develop our intellectual community.  Possible research themes include ecosystem ecology as well as the ecology, evolution, and organismal biology of forest plants and animals.  


The position is full-time research. Internal research funds are provided for laboratory setup and core ongoing research and travel expenses; staff scientists may compete for additional intramural and external research funds. Opportunities are available to collaborate with Smithsonian staff and the Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO / CTFS;; to mentor post-doctoral fellows, students, and interns who are drawn from an international community; to teach in graduate training programs with affiliated universities; and to conduct outreach to local and international audiences.

STRI is headquartered in the Republic of Panamá, with modern research facilities, a library with extensive holdings in the natural and anthropological sciences, and terrestrial and marine field stations throughout the country. Panamá and adjacent regions of tropical America are rich in terrestrial and marine habitats, archaeological sites and geological deposits. STRI hosts a vibrant and collaborative scientific community of 30 staff scientists and over 1500 scientific visitors per year, including fellows and interns supported through an intramural program. Staff scientists work throughout the tropics, and maintain diverse research programs in the ecology, evolution, physiology, development, and behavior of marine and terrestrial organisms and ecosystems, both ancient and modern, and the role of human interactions in shaping tropical environments. The forest biology position is one of five staff scientist openings this year; additional target areas are animal behavior, forest microbiology, and marine biology, and exceptional applications in any of our research areas will be considered. 

Early- to mid-career candidates are especially encouraged; applicants at all postdoctoral stages will be considered. Annual salary is commensurate with experience. Compensation packages are internationally competitive, and include additional allowances to support educational expenses for dependent children at private schools, including those following international curricula. Positions are based in Panama; relocation expenses are provided. For more information, including answers to frequently asked questions, please see


To Apply:  Applicants must have a Ph.D. in a relevant field. Interested candidates should submit the following as PDF files to a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement of research accomplishments and interests, 3-5 significant publications, and the names and contact information of three references. Positions are open until filled; review of applications will begin on 15 November 2017.  Address inquiries to the chair of the search committee, Dr. Helene Muller-Landau, at

STRI is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to diversity in its workforce. Appointments are made without regard to nationality.  STRI is supportive of the needs of dual career couples.