Prospective Students & Postdocs

The Zanno Lab has a variety of exciting projects available for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers-ranging from descriptions of newly discovered Mesozoic taxa to macroevolutionary questions. Visit our Research and Fieldwork pages before deciding if the lab is a good fit for your interests.  Currently, I accept graduate students through the Zoology Graduate Program, Department of Biological Sciences at North Carolina State University.  I also host postdoctoral researchers directly at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Most academic disciplines are extraordinarily competitive and paleontology is no exception.  Recent PhDs receiving job offers have a strong network of collaborators and extensive publication records.  For this reason I encourage undergraduate students interested in paleontological graduate research to first pursue a master’s degree. Exceptional undergraduates interested in pursuing a PhD without completing a Master’s Degree may be considered.  These students will be accepted into the master’s degree program at NCSU and will be permitted to transition to a doctoral degree following an initial demonstration of readiness.

 Here you can find information on how to apply to the program.

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Information for Prospective Masters Students

Generally speaking, I accept undergraduate students with demonstrated research experience in vertebrate paleontology, particularly archosaurs. If you are an advanced undergraduate student intending to apply to graduate programs in paleontology, I recommend pursuing research opportunities with faculty in your area, or over the summer before applying to graduate programs.

What you need to do: Undergraduate students interested in the Zanno Lab should email a copy of their c.v., the names of three references, and a paragraph describing their research interests to lezanno@nscu.edu before filling out the application for graduate acceptance on the NCSU website.  If you appear to be a good fit for the lab I will arrange a phone call with you and encourage you to submit a formal application.  Be aware that the graduate program at NCSU requires a minimum 3.0 GPA for acceptance.

Timeline: NCSU has a rolling graduate admission, meaning that there is no official deadline for filling out an application.  Students can be accepted anytime prior to the start of the academic year.  I generally get serious about reviewing graduate applicants in the month of January and invite students to visit the lab in the spring semester.  Students who have contacted me in the preceding summer or fall semesters are not likely to hear back until the start of the new year.  If you are applying to multiple schools and need an answer prior to January please communicate this with me directly in your initial email.

Expectations: Incoming students that have not already applied for or received a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship are expected to do so within the first year of graduate work.

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Information for Prospective Doctoral Students

The Zanno Lab generally accepts doctoral students who have completed a Master’s Degree, have a demonstrated publication record (or at least publications in preparation from their graduate research), and outstanding references.

What you need to do: Current graduate students interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in the Zanno Lab should email a copy of their c.v., a minimum of one reference letter, and a paragraph describing their research interests to lezanno@nscu.edu before filling out the application for graduate acceptance on the NCSU website.  If you appear to be a good fit for the lab I will arrange a phone call with you and encourage you to apply in a formal capacity.

Timeline: NCSU has a rolling graduate admission, meaning that there is no official deadline for filling out an application.  Students can be accepted anytime prior to the start of the academic year.  I generally get serious about reviewing graduate applicants in the month of January and invite students to visit the lab in the spring semester.  Students who have contacted me in the preceding summer or fall semesters are not likely to hear back until the start of the new year.  If you are applying to multiple schools and need an answer prior to January please communicate this with me directly in your initial email.

Expectations: Incoming students that have not already applied for or received a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship are expected to do so within the first two years of graduate work.

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Information for Prospective Postdoctoral Researchers

The Zanno Lab at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences is an outstanding venue for broadening your research and science communication and experience. Prospective postdoctoral researchers interested in a one, two, or three year appointment should contact me to arrange a phone conversation well prior to graduation.  Be prepared to outline a postdoctoral project in writing.  Prospective postdoctoral researchers should plan on applying to the NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship program in Biology (November annually) or Earth Sciences (July annually).

The Zanno Lab also has a rotating, 2-year postdoctoral position – the Brimley Research Scholar – open to applicants during alternating years.  The next application period for the Brimley Scholar will be Spring of 2016 with a start date of December 1st 2016.  The Brimley Scholar is an employee of NCSU, Department of Biological Sciences.

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