Graduate Fellowship


Interested in flexing your science communication muscle and inspiring the next generation of scientists? Join the Fairchild Graduate Fellowship at Fairchild! 

We are currently recruiting Ph.D. students/candidates studying biology, agriculture, environmental science, or other related disciplines to join the Fairchild Graduate Fellowship program. Through this program, Fellows serve as part-time teaching assistants with Fairchild’s award-winning educational outreach programs, including The Fairchild Challenge, BioTECH, our botany magnet high school, Growing Beyond Earth® partnership with NASA, the Million Orchid Project, and other educational programming. 

Our unique fellowship program offers:

  • up to three years of financial support to work with the Fairchild Garden’s Education Department
  • access to our world-renowned tropical plant collection and state-of-the-art laboratories
  • admission into university courses taught at Fairchild
  • training in the core disciplines that contribute to conservation biology, such as systematics, ecology, evolutionary biology, and genetics
  • , opportunities for applied projects that make a difference in protecting tropical biodiversity and the lives of people dependent on this diversity

Our program can provide fantastic opportunities for developing skills in science communication, education, and public outreach. We encourage fellows to take advantage of opportunities to integrate their research into FTBG’s Citizen Science model.

Please submit a letter of interest, two letters of recommendation, unofficial transcripts, GRE scores (if applicable to your graduate program), and a CV to Amy Padolf, Director of Education, at

Application Deadline Has Been Extended to May 1, 2024. 

Program Administration

Administrator of Graduate Studies at Fairchild
Amy Padolf, Director of Education –

Why Fairchild?
Research Support
Graduate Students
Student Publications

Annually, we offer research grants for graduate students studying Tropical Biology.

For more information and current due dates, please contact the program administrator at

Other Opportunities

Our graduate students also have received research support from some of the programs listed below:

FIU – Tinker Grant Program in association with the Latin American and Caribbean Center and the School of International and Public Affairs

Interdisciplinary Research Groups of FIU and UM to examine Latin American and Caribbean-related issues

The Garden Club of America – Scholarships and Fellowships

Florida Native Plant Society

Fellowships for Graduate Environmental Study, Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program – Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 

Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants in the Directorate for Biological Sciences (DDIG) – National Science Foundation (NSF)

Endowment Fund – The International Palm Society

Botanical Society of America Award Opportunities

Fulbright Program Opportunities for American Students – U.S. Department of State

Complex conservation problems require both interdisciplinary solutions and public support. Here at Fairchild, we provide both broad training across areas of conservation biology and a range of opportunities to explain our science to public audiences in a botanical garden setting. Students in our program can specialize in sub-disciplines such as systematics, invasion biology, community ecology, restoration biology, seed preservation, and population genetics. More importantly, our students have opportunities to interact extensively with the general public at various garden events and activities and with land managers, owners, and non-profit and government scientists through various ongoing projects.

Miami is a vibrant, exceptionally diverse community with easy access to various cultural and natural area attractions and great access to study sites in the Caribbean, Latin America, and the wider world. Fairchild has one of the most extensive living collections of tropical plants, particularly cycads, palms, and Caribbean plants, and this provides a unique setting for research and education.

 Students in our program have worked on several plant groups, in a variety of locations from South Florida, to the Caribbean, to South America and Africa. Feel free to explore some of the plant groups on which we and our students have worked, the pages of some of our students, and the range of projects in which we are currently looking for students to participate.