Prospective graduate students (MS or PhD), post-docs, and undergraduates with interests in sensory biology and ecology of fishes, evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), and/or comparative and developmental morphology are encouraged to contact Dr. Webb. Information about current and former students and post-docs can be found here.
Opportunities for MS and PhD Students
Dr. Webb is a faculty member in the Evolution and Marine Biology specialization (EMB) within the Biological and Environmental Sciences (BES) graduate program, which is housed in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences (CELS) at URI. She is also a member of the faculty of the Interdisciplinary Neurosciences Program (INP). The on-line application process is administered by the URI Graduate School.
If you are interested in a position in the Webb lab, please send a cover letter, CV, and a writing sample (or pdf’s of publications) to Dr. Webb. Students are trained in all lab methods, and are required to complete training in responsible conduct of research and animal care. Students are required to work independently, but also to participate in collaborative research efforts, laboratory meetings, and to supervise the work of undergraduates. Graduate students are expected to present the results of their work at national or international conferences and to publish their MS and PhD work in peer-reviewed journals.
Prospective graduate students are strongly encouraged to apply for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (October deadline each year; www.nsfgrfp.org). TWO students in the Webb lab have received this prestigious fellowship. Support through URI is available for qualified MS and Ph.D. students in the form of Teaching Assistantships (9-month stipend and tuition remission), URI Graduate Fellowships (9-month stipend and tuition remission) or support on research grants. Some research funds are also available from the Department of Biological Sciences and the College of the Environment and Life Sciences; research support is available on a competitive basis from the URI Graduate School and Provost’s Office. Students would be urged to apply for small grants from other organizations (ASIH, SICB, AMNH, AMS, AAA, etc.)
Opportunities for Post-Docs
We are always looking for talented post-docs with interests and experience in comparative anatomy, developmental biology (including gene expression), and/or sensory neuroethology of fishes to work on projects of mutual interest. The PhD degree must be completed (dissertation defended, with documentation) by the start date. Potential post-docs are encouraged to seek their own funding, but when available, grant funding may also provide post-doc support.
Post-docs are strongly urged to consider applying for the the NSF Post-Doctoral Fellowships in Biology (US Citizens/Green Card; 2-years of funding [3 years if there is a foreign research component]; Nov. deadline each year; see: NSF Biology Post-Doc). We would be interested in those with an interest in using biological collections (e.g., museum collections) for the study of the comparative and/or developmental morphology of fish sensory systems. This area would fit well with areas 1, 2, and 4 below. From the NSF website – “The fellowships encourage independence at an early stage of the research career to permit Fellows to pursue their research and training goals in the most appropriate research locations regardless of the availability of funding for the Fellows at that site. For applications under this solicitation, these areas are (1) Broadening Participation of Groups Underrepresented in Biology, (2) Interdisciplinary Research Using Biological Collections, (3) National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI) Postdoctoral Research Fellowships and (4) Integrative Research Investigating the Rules of Life Governing Interactions Between Genomes, Environment and Phenotypes.”
Opportunities for Undergraduate Research
We welcome undergraduates who would like to carry out an independent research project, assist with animal husbandry, or assist graduate students or post-docs with a research project. Co-authorship on conference presentations and/or publications is possible, depending on the degree of involvement in a project. Undergraduates need to commit to working for one summer (full-time or part-time), or for at least one semester (approx. 4-10 hours/week, depending on the student and the project), in order to receive training and to carry out a meaningful research project. Students may earn credit for independent research (BIO 491/492) or be paid as research assistants with Work-Study (federal financial aid), student employment funds, or grant funds. In addition, the URI Coastal Fellows Program and NSF Rhode Island EPSCoR provide stipends (on a competitive basis) for undergraduate research during the summer.