Letter from Dr. Palacios to prospective applicants:

Thank you for your interest in joining my lab. I regret that I am not able to reply to every email that I receive inquiring about opportunities. Please know that I read them all and give them due consideration. However, I am only able reply to those inquiries that indicate a strong match in terms of the profile of the applicant that I am interested in recruiting. This page is intended to provide guidance to prospective applicants interested in joining the WHET Lab, whether undergraduate interns, graduate students, or postdoctoral candidates. Please read the relevant section below.

Compatibility is essential for a successful mentor-mentee relationship. The profile of the applicant that I am interested in recruiting has three key components:

  • A strong quantitative background1 and proficiency2 in a scientific programming language;

  • A high level of maturity, as demonstrated by clear, goal-oriented thinking, responsibility in the timely completion of tasks assigned, and an ability to work independently and to communicate clearly and on a regular basis;

  • A sincere desire to work as part of a team, get along with and respect the opinions of others, and foster a welcoming and collaborative environment.

1By quantitative background I mean having a formal degree at the appropriate level in Math, Computer Science, Biostatistics, Ecology, or Environmental/Marine Science.

2Proficiency refers to having a working knowledge of syntax rules, ability to read programs, and ability to write logically correct programs in scientific programming languages such as R, Python, or Matlab.

Prospective undergraduate student interns and volunteers

Occasionally I recruit undergraduate student interns to participate in a research project, particularly during summer months. However, note that these opportunities will be coordinated exclusively through existing internship programs, which are listed here and here.

I also welcome hearing from students in the Fisheries and Wildlife Department's undergraduate internship program who are interested in doing a research internship with me. However, provided that the student matches the profile, I will require several months of lead time to make the necessary provisions, so it is unlikely that I will respond to last-minute requests.

Prospective graduate students

I hope to recruit 1–2 graduate students every year through the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, but this will be largely dependent on funding availability. There are several possible funding options:

  • I will be able to fund a student (i.e., pay for your tuition remission, stipend, and benefits) only if I have an existing grant that covers these costs. Under this scenario, the student will be expected to work half-time (0.49 FTE) on the project that provides this funding in exchange for a graduate research assistantship (GRA). Any open position position will be advertised here and will be filled on a competitive basis. THERE ARE NO GRA OPPORTUNITIES AT THIS TIME.
  • Prospective students are highly encouraged to secure funding for their graduate career through applications to external fellowships or scholarships. For a listing of such opportunities see here.
  • Partial funding opportunities exist within the university, including scholarships offered through the Graduate School (promising scholars and applicants from underrepresented minorities) or through the Hatfield Marine Science Center's Graduate Awards. These opportunities are extremely limited and highly competitive, and students should NOT rely on them as their sole or primary source of funding, but rather view them as a complement or to fill gaps during a time of need.
  • International students with a funded scholarship from their country should contact me to determine the suitability of their funding source to our programs according to the Graduate School's admission requirements.

All prospective students will also have to meet Departmental and Graduate School admission requirements.

Finally, I also welcome hearing from students in the departmental Fisheries or Wildlife Management Graduate Certificate program who are interested in having me as a mentor. However, provided that the student matches the profile, I will require several months of lead time to make the necessary provisions, so it is unlikely that I will respond to last-minute requests.

Prospective postdocs

I will be able to fund a postdoc (i.e., pay for your salary and benefits) only if I have an existing grant that covers these costs. Any open position will be advertised here and will be filled on a competitive basis. THERE ARE NO FUNDED POSTDOC OPPORTUNITIES AT THIS TIME.

Alternatively, prospective postdocs are encouraged to discuss with me the joint preparation of a research proposal to external funding agencies that support postdoc salaries.

Finally, prospective postdocs are encouraged to apply to external postdoctoral fellowship opportunities and to discuss with me the terms and expectations of a hosting arrangement in my lab.

Commitment to diversity

The WHET Lab values ideas and contributions from individuals with diverse perspectives, including individuals historically underrepresented in the marine sciences, such as Black, Indigenous, Latinx, women, LBGTQ, and individuals with disabilities. Our lab engages in regular discussions with the purpose of raising our awareness, becoming anti-racist, and taking actions that promote diversity and inclusion in our field. Specifically, in selecting applicants, qualifications are considered holistically in the context of our commitment to enhance diversity in our lab. Applicants from underrepresented minorities and disadvantaged backgrounds are particularly encouraged to reach out to me.

Additional resources

How to become a marine mammal scientist -- a compilation of advice by the Society for Marine Mammalogy

How to contact a potential PhD supervisor by Prof. Corey Bradshaw

Some resources on succeeding at grad school (& beyond) by Prof. Nick Dulvy

A list of postdoc fellowship opportunities compiled by Prof. Phil Hahn (Google spreadsheet)

Contact

The chances of a response from me will be improved by indicating that you have read and understand the information provided in this page. If, after reading this, you feel strongly qualified please send me an email to <daniel.palacios@oregonstate.edu> describing how you meet these expectations and what other interests and experience you bring with you that make you stand out.