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Innovations in Palaeontology Lecture Series and the PalAss Exceptional Lecturer

In order to promote palaeontology to the wider academic community and public, and to recognize excellence in research among early to mid-career palaeontologists, the Palaeontological Association is introducing the Innovations in Palaeontology Lecture Series, to be given by the PalAss Exceptional Lecturer who will be selected in a competitive process.

This scheme aims to:

  • Improve the dissemination of cutting-edge palaeontological research to the broader academic community and public.
  • Raise the profile of palaeontology within the Earth sciences and related fields.
  • Recognize outstanding research and science communication in palaeontology among members of the Association who are at early to mid-career stages.

Format of the scheme:

  • One PalAss Exceptional Lecturer will be selected each year in a competitive process.
  • The PalAss Exceptional Lecturer will be expected to give five lectures at five different institutions over a nine-month period.
  • The Palaeontological Association will pay the reasonable travel costs incurred by the PalAss Exceptional Lecturer to visit each of the host institutions (up to £2,000 for the total Innovations in Palaeontology Lecture Series with a maximum of £500 for any individual lecture).  The host institutions will cover costs for accommodation (where necessary) and hospitality.
  • Any academic institution (universities and/or museums) from any country can apply to participate in the Innovations in Palaeontology Lecture Series as a host institution.
  • Once awarded, grants will be administered by the home institution of the PalAss Exceptional Lecturer.  Any unused funds must be returned to PalAss after delivery of the final lecture.  Should the PalAss Exceptional Lecturer move institutions within the timeframe of the lecture series, any unspent funds must remain available to the PalAss Exceptional Lecturer.
  • Applications to be a PalAss Exceptional Lecturer will be strengthened if the applicant agrees to submit a paper as a review article for possible publication in Palaeontology.

Eligibility and selection process of the PalAss Exceptional Lecturer:

  • Eligible candidates will have a PhD in palaeontology or a related field and will normally be in the early to mid-stage of their career.
  • Applicants can reside in any country, but must be members of the Association.
  • Candidates must self-nominate.
  • To self-nominate, a two-page CV, statement of motivation, and a title and illustrated 200-word abstract of a proposed seminar must be submitted via the Association’s webpage as a single PDF format file (max. 10 MB).
  • The PalAss Exceptional Lecturer will be chosen based on the career track record, including research impact (relative to their career stage) and oratorical skills.

Selection of host institutions:

  • Institutions interested in participating in the Innovations in Palaeontology Lecture Series should apply via the PalAss webpage and suggest a time-frame within which the lecture should be given.
  • The PalAss Exceptional Lecturer will receive the list of potential host institutions after the 1st May deadline, and will choose their preferred hosts and liaise directly with them.

Expectations for host institutions:

  • Each lecture must be widely advertised across the host institution.  We particularly encourage advertisement of the Innovations in Palaeontology Lecture Series on social media.
  • Host institutions are expected to pay for hospitality and offer a meal in a social environment to the PalAss Exceptional Lecturer.
  • If the PalAss Exceptional Lecturer has to travel more than three hours to the host institution or cannot return home at a reasonable time, the host institution must offer at least one night of accommodation.


  • 1st September 23:00 GMT: Deadline for nominations for the PalAss Exceptional Lecturer.
  • October: decisions on self-nominations reported at the October Council meeting.
  • December: The PalAss Exceptional Lecturer will be announced at the Annual Meeting.
  • March: The call for host institutions to participate in the Innovations in Palaeontology Lecture Series will be published in the Newsletter.
  • 1st May 23:00 GMT: preferred deadline for applications from host institutions (applications will still be considered after this date).
  • September – May: delivery of lectures.


Apply for the PalAss Exceptional Lecturer 

Register interest as an institution in participating in the Innovations in Palaeontology Lecture Series

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