The Johnson Lab recognizes the importance of inclusiveness and of the exchange of information and ideas in a safe, productive and welcoming environment for all participants. We believe these values are not based on gender identity, skin color, religion or country of origin. We know that diversity in thought and background is critical to good science and we grow by learning from different perspectives. As values of equality and diversity are threatened worldwide, we commit ourselves to welcoming and including all regardless of their age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, country of origin or nationality in an environment free of discrimination, harassment, intimidation and bullying. To help us achieve these and other importance goals, our laboratory has crafted a set of expectations, which we periodically review and refine.
We welcome applications and inquiries from postdoctoral researchers, graduate students and undergraduate students from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds with passion, commitment, and confidence and who are on a quest for knowledge in marine microbial ecology or oceanography research and education. Applicants should be hard-working, independent, have a track record of success and want to work as part of team of scientists with diverse backgrounds, but similar interests. Specific qualifications are less important than future potential to excel, but we generally evaluate applications on research experience, personal statements, recommendation letters, degrees/coursework, academic performance, diversity and inclusion, and commitment to society. Undergraduate students interested in independent study projects should discuss availability before registering for classes (i.e. ~November for spring term or ~April for fall term) and are required to receive a permission number directly from Dr. Johnson. Prospective PhD students interested in joining the laboratory should apply through the Division of Marine Sciences. Admission may also be possible through the Ecology Program (UPE) at Duke University. Applicants interested in either program should contact Dr. Johnson prior to applying to discuss their interests and availability of openings. When applying, please mention your interest in the Johnson Lab on either application.
Although not required, PhD students typically spend one academic year in Durham focusing on coursework. In the years that follow students work at the Marine Laboratory, which is located in Beaufort NC (~3 hours from Durham). PhD students generally complete at least 30 units (including 24 graded credits, or ~6 classes) in their first 2 years of graduate school. Specific coursework requirements vary between programs, but are generally exceptionally flexible. With the help of your advisor and committee, coursework is selected to fulfill requirements and to provide appropriate background and tools to complete the research proposed. Note that although coursework is an important component, the majority of time during a typical PhD program is spent collecting, arranging, interpreting and reporting on your research.
Below is a list of fellowships that are available to support graduate studies or postdoctoral research. Many of these fellowships can be applied to (and awarded) prior to entry into the PhD program. Although not required, most applicants seeking to join our group as PhD students apply to one or more of these fellowships prior to submitting an application. Please note which fellowships that you have applied for (or if you have been awarded a fellowship) on your application. If accepted for admission, it is expected that you will contribute to research funding proposals and apply for fellowships to support your research.
NSF Graduate Fellowships
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (DOD)
Department of Energy – Global Change Education Program
NASA Graduate Fellowships
EPA STAR Fellowship
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Office of Naval Research
American Association of University Women
Ford Foundation (for minorities, dissertation fellowship and predoctoral fellowship available)
Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program
American Meteorological Society Graduate Fellowships
Some postdoctoral funding opportunities:
The National Research Council (NRC) Research Associateship Program (through NIH)
Life Sciences Research Foundation
NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
Fulbright Scholarship (International Only)