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Info for Prospective Students


I accept students interested in completing MS and PhD degrees in vertebrate paleontology.  If you are an advanced undergraduate student intending to apply to graduate programs in paleontology for an MS degree, I recommend pursuing research opportunities with faculty before applying to graduate programs. This is to ensure a graduate program is the right next step for you.  However, if you have not had the opportunity to engage in research, this is not a barrier to admission.  Please note, I only accept doctoral students who have already completed a Master's Degree.

What you need to do: Students interested in pursuing a degree should email a copy of their c.v., the names of three references, and a paragraph describing their research interests to before filling out the application for graduate acceptance on the NCSU website.  If you appear to be a good fit for the lab I will arrange a phone call and encourage you to submit a formal application.  Be aware that the graduate program at NCSU requires a minimum 3.0 GPA for acceptance.

Timeline: I generally get serious about reviewing graduate applicants in December and invite students to visit the lab in the spring semester. Students who have contacted me in the preceding summer or early in the fall semester may not hear back until late in the year as I am often in the field through the summer and fall.

Expectations: Incoming students that have not already applied for or received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship are expected to do so within the first year of graduate work.

Info for Prospective Postdocs

The NC Museum of Natural Sciences and NC State University are outstanding venues for broadening your research and science communication experience. Prospective postdoctoral researchers should contact me to arrange a phone conversation well prior to graduation.  Be prepared to outline a postdoctoral project in writing. Prospective postdoctoral researchers should plan on applying to the NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship program in Biology (November annually) or Earth Sciences (July annually).


The Zanno Lab also has a rotating, 2-year postdoctoral position - the Brimley Research Scholar - open to applicants during alternating years. The Brimley Scholar is a joint employee of NCSU's Department of Biological Sciences and the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

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