The Hawley lab in the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech (https://www.biol.vt.edu/faculty/hawley/) is looking for motivated individuals interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in wildlife disease ecology. Research in the Hawley Lab takes an integrative approach to disease ecology and evolution, addressing topics such as the host microbiome and disease susceptibility, host behavior and disease dynamics, the ecology and evolution of host tolerance, and the evolution of pathogen virulence. Songbirds are the primary model system in the Hawley Lab, though Ph.D. students pursue other study systems in some cases. Ph.D. students are generally expected to develop their own projects within the lab’s general focus. Although candidates are encouraged to pursue extramural funding opportunities, accepted Ph.D. students are guaranteed 5 years of funding (including summers) through a combination of teaching assistantships and graduate research assistantships. Students in the Hawley Lab are also eligible to apply for the Interfaces of Global Change program (http://www.globalchange.vt.edu/igc/), an exciting interdisciplinary Ph.D. program only offered at Virginia Tech.
Virginia Tech combines world-class research opportunities with a high quality of life. The cost of living is relatively low in Blacksburg, VA, and there are ample opportunities for outdoor recreational activities (hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, caving, etc.). The Hawley lab seeks a diversity of graduate students and strives to be a safe space for all individuals.
Interested students should contact me directly (email@example.com) and include a brief summary of your past research experience and interests, your CV, and a sample of scientific writing (this could be a manuscript in preparation, an undergraduate thesis, or simply a research paper from a class). Formal applications are due to the graduate school by Dec 1st, but I will begin reviewing informal applications (those sent directly to me) on Oct 1st and I will notify students as to whether or not they should formally apply by Nov 1st. Informal review of applications will continue until Nov 30th.
Applicants must have a bachelor's degree by the time they begin their Ph.D. program in Fall 2018. Preference will be given to applicants who have prior experience with independent research, preferably in ecology or a related field.