Graduate Fellowship

We seek current and prospective Ph.D. students to join the Fairchild Graduate Fellowship program. Qualified candidates would be interested in joining one of our partner graduate programs at the University of Miami or Florida International University to study biology, agriculture, or environmental science.

Our unique fellowship program offers:

  • up to three years of financial support to work with the Fairchild Garden’s Education Department
  • admission into university courses taught at Fairchild
  • access to our world-renowned tropical plant collection
  • 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

Through this program, fellows serve as part-time teaching assistants with Fairchild’s award-winning educational outreach programs. These include The Fairchild Challenge, our Growing Beyond Earth® partnership with NASA, the Million Orchid Project, and other educational programming. 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.

Graduate Fellows are encouraged to use Fairchild’s world-class plant collections, facilities, and state of the art laboratories. Our greenhouses and DNA, microscopy, and micropropagation labs are stocked with basic supplies to get students up and running. 

Please submit a letter of interest, 2 letters of recommendation, unofficial transcripts, GRE scores (if applicable to your graduate program), and CV to Amy Padolf, Director of Education at Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

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 who are studying Tropical Biology. For more information and current due dates please contact the program administrator at Funds are limited and preference is given to Fairchild Graduate Fellows and students associated with Fairchild.

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 a variety of garden events and activities, and with land managers, owners, and non-profit and government scientists through a variety of ongoing projects.

Miami is a vibrant, exceptionally diverse community, with easy access to a variety of 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 a number of 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.