About the Junior Fellowship Program:

The year-long Junior Fellowship Program provides an invaluable opportunity for seniors majoring in the life sciences to enhance their research experience through mentoring and professional development activities. Each Junior Fellow participates in a seminar course that involves discussion of their research projects, as well as topics in modern cell and molecular biology, neuroscience, biomedicine, evolution, biodiversity, and biomedical ethics. At the close of each semester, the Fellows will present a poster session and learn to host a campus-wide research symposium targeted to showcase undergraduate research excellence.


Students eligible to apply to the Junior Fellows Program include life science majors in their Junior year with an overall grade point average of 3.33 or better. You must be a senior during the academic year 2016-2017 and graduate in May 2017 to be eligible to apply. You must have already worked in a research laboratory for a minimum of 1 semester by the time you submit this application.

Deadlines: Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Applications for the 2016-2017 academic year is now open.

How to apply:

Your application should contain each of the following 6 components for full consideration:

1. Complete the Student Application Form.

2. Upload a Personal Statement (using the "Student Application Form" link above): This essay is a very important part of the application. Please write a 1-2 page essay (less than 1500 words) describing your research interests, academic history, career goals, and any other research experience that will help us assess your application.

3. Upload a Proposed Research Project (using the "Student Application Form" link above): Please develop and discuss the specific goals of your Junior Fellow's research project with your Faculty Sponsor. Then, write a 1-2 page summary of your proposed research plan for the 2016-2017 year.

4. Upload an Unofficial Copy of your Transcript.

5. Request a letter of reference from your Faculty Sponsor. Please provide this URL to your faculty sponsor.

6. Request a second letter of reference: This letter should be from someone (a faculty member, not a TA or postdoctoral supervisor) who can comment on your academic abilities and aptitude for research. We do not recommend that students use employers, unless employment was related to scientific research (such as pharmaceutical company or university lab). Please provide this URL to your second reference.

For information about the program, please contact:

Madelaine Bartlett, Ph.D.

Craig Albertson, Ph.D.

Past Junior Fellows:

2011-2012 Junior Fellows

2010-2011 Junior Fellows

2009-2010 Junior Fellows

2008-2009 Junior Fellows

2007-2008 Junior Fellows

2006-2007 Junior Fellows


The Albertson Lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass, Amherst) seeks a Postdoctoral Research Associate to perform research on the development, plasticity and evolution of the skeletal system in fishes under the guidance and supervision of the Principle Investigator (Dr. Craig Albertson) and co-PI (Dr. Rolf Karlstrom). The successful candidate is expected to establish some independence in research design and execution, and to publish his/her work as appropriate in collaboration with the principle investigators.

This is a benefited, full-time Postdoctoral Research Associate position. Initial appointment is for one year; reappointment beyond the first year is contingent upon availability of funding and job performance. Primary responsibilities will include, but are not limited to, in situ analysis of gene expression in zebrafish and cichlid larvae and juveniles, generation of stable mutant lines via CRISPR/cas9 system, light and electron microscopic analysis of different mutant phenotypes, use of different transgenic zebrafish lines to conditionally regulate gene expression, landmark-based morphometric analysis of craniofacial bone shape, maintenance of zebrafish and cichlid stocks, training of lab personnel in various molecular biology techniques.

The successful candidate is required to have a Ph.D. in biology or related field by the start of the position. Highly desirable qualifications include 2-3 years experience in the field of developmental genetics, experience with CRISPR and/or TALEN mediated mutagenesis, and experience and/or strong interest in evo-devo. Inquiries about the position can be directed to Craig Albertson,

Postdoctoral Research Associates at the University of Massachusetts are unionized and receive standard salary and benefits, depending on experience. Salary is subject to bargaining unit contract.

Candidates must apply online by submitting a cover letter, CV, summary of research interests, and the contact details of three references willing to provide letters of recommendation to:

Review of applications will begin June 13, 2016 and continue until the position is filled. Applications received by June 13th will be given priority consideration.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer of women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities and encourages applications from these and other protected group members. 

The Biology Intensive Orientation Session (BIOS) is a rigorous academic program designed to enhance the success of first-year students in life science majors. BIOS immerses incoming students in college-level biology coursework, and encourages interactions among academically like-minded students in the week just before the Fall semester. The BIOS experience includes lectures, discussions, writing and test experiences and engagement in a group project for presentation. Students are also embedded in campus life and become familiar with dorm living, dining halls, the layout of campus. Most importantly students meet each other, work together on challenging projects, and have a chance to develop friendships and study groups that can last for their entire college career and beyond. For more information about BIOS, please contact Susan Clevenger (, 413-545-2287).

Click here to apply.