The Smith Lab is situated in the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology at in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis. Successful applicants to our group respect diverse perspectives, are interested in applying ecological theory to wildlife conservation, have demonstrated excellent quantitative and writing skills, and thrive in both team-based and independent work environments. Prospective graduate students can apply to the group through either the Graduate Group in Ecology or the Animal Behavior Graduate Group.
I currently do not have independent funding to support graduate students, but see funding opportunities below. If you are accepted into the Smith Lab, we have a number of ongoing collaborations and potential new opportunities that can provide logistical support and existing data for graduate research projects. These include: a study on mule deer responses to anthropogenic disturbances and predation in the Santa Monica Mountains, California; a large collaborative research network focused on wildlife ecology and coexistence in Patagonia, Argentina; and a study on mountain lion conflict, connectivity, and responses to recreation in southern California.
Although I will offer partial funding support to admitted students whenever possible, I encourage all prospective students to pursue internal and external funding opportunities available to them. Many of the below fellowships are available to students who are not yet accepted to a graduate program.
UC Davis graduate support:
- Internal Fellowships offered for prospective graduate students at UC Davis
- External Fellowships for graduate students
- UC Davis Graduate Group in Ecology (GGE) Fellowship
- Other GGE funding support (please contact me or the GGE graduate program coordinator for more information)
Funding support for international students:
- Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) Scholarship Program
- Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Graduate Scholarship Program
- American Association of University Women (AAUW) International Fellowships
- Fulbright Foreign Student Program (varies by country)
- Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) International Peace Scholarship
- Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future Fellowship Program
Other funding opportunities:
- Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship (US citizens, nationals, and permanent residents, individuals granted deferred action status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, Indigenous individuals exercising rights associated with the Jay Treaty of 1794, political asylees, and refugees)
- NASA PhD Science GEM Fellowship Program (US citizens, nationals, and permanent residents only)
- NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (US citizens, nationals, and permanent residents only)
- Smithsonian Fellowships and Scholarships (All nationalities eligible)
- Your local Phi Beta Kappa chapter may have additional fellowships available
New to the world of grad school applications?
It's best to contact me well before the December 1 graduate application deadline. I will arrange phone conversations with prospective students that I believe are a good fit for our group, and then I will invite a few individuals to apply to the Graduate Group in Ecology or the Animal Behavior Graduate Group. It is very unlikely that I will accept a student that has applied to the program without contacting me ahead of time.
Read up here for some tips about reaching out to potential advisors. When contacting me, please include a CV or resume, a short description of your research interests, and a brief explanation of why you are pursuing a graduate degree and why our lab is a good fit for your professional and personal goals.
The Smith Lab is still working on developing its undergraduate research program. While we do not currently have any open undergraduate research opportunities, please check back here for updates. We will also list any opportunities in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Ecology and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis database.
For more information and resources about getting research experience as an undergraduate at UC Davis, please check out my Teaching and Undergraduate Resources page.
Although I do not currently have designated funds to support a postdoctoral scholar, I welcome the opportunity to support potential postdocs that are a good fit for our group with applying to relevant postdoctoral fellowships.
Select postdoc opportunities (in order of due date):
- David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship: supports conservation research and application in the United States (due early October)
- UC Davis Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program: supports outstanding scholars in all fields whose research, teaching, and service will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity at the University of California (due November 1)
- NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology: supports postdocs in three limited areas - a prospective postdoc applying to the Smith Lab is most likely to fall into category 1, Broadening Participation of Groups Underrepresented in Biology (due mid-November)
- Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship: preference to individuals who serve and/or belong to a group underrepresented in the American professoriate (due mid-December)
Lists of other postdoctoral opportunities:
Email: justinesmith (at) ucdavis.edu