Research themes

Research in the Museum encompasses geology, palaeobiology and zoology, with a focus on material housed in the extensive Earth and Life collections. Current research strengths include:


The museum has very well-equipped laboratories for palaeontological and zoological imaging and micropalaeontology. Resources include a laser scanner, several multifocal plane microscopes, and a 3D printer. The research group also has strong links with several external partners, facilitating access to computed tomography and synchrotron beamline facilities.

Researchers actively participate in the Museum’s extensive public engagement programme, and are involved in the development of displays and external exhibitions.

Our research is currently funded by AHRC, BBSRCthe Leverhulme TrustNERC, the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, and the University of Oxford John Fell Fund, among other sources.

We welcome approaches from early-career researchers who might wish to hold independent research fellowships in the museum.


The Museum has access to microscopes, a laser scanner and a 3D printer. Find out more or contact us

Research partnerships

Researchers at the Museum collaborate with people and institutions from across the globe.
Explore these partnerships on this interactive, searchable map.

Visiting Fellowships

Our visiting fellowships scheme funds research visits to work on the Museum's collections for one to two months.

We appointed our 2018–19 visiting fellowships in April 2018.

The 2019-20 visiting fellowship scheme is now closed for applications. The call for applications to the 2021-22 scheme is expected to open later in 2020 and the deadline for applications is likely to be in April 2021.

Early Career Research Opportunities

The Museum is happy to provide advice and support to applicants for independent research fellowships. 

If you are interested in applying for funding to work at the Museum, please contact:

Find out more about early career opportunities