James C. Kinsey


There are a number of opportunities for students to participate in research at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels.  Prospective students are encouraged to read this page and visit WHOI's Academic Programs Office website.  

My research typically follows the three-tiered approach of analytically deriving new methodologies, validating them in the laboratory, and implementing these techniques in the field.  Thus, having a strong theortical background in math, physics, and engineering, along with experimental skills, is highly beneficial.  Experimental skills include instrumentation, electronics, machining, hands-on robotics, and programming (Matlab, C/C++, and/or Python).  Strong communication skills are always apperciated.  Interested students are encouraged to contact me by email to discuss their existing skill set and potential opportunities.

Some advice --- When contacting me, always attach your CV or resume.  Please include any relevant math and engineering courses, in addition to your hands-on skills.  A list of research interests (for potential postdocs, a formal research statement) should also be included along with topics in my research group that interest you.  Please don't wait until after a deadline or the start of summer to contact me.  Finally, if you don't get an email response within 2-3 weeks of writing me, please email me a friendly reminder as I am often on travel.

Postdoctoral Opportunities

Recent PhDs in robotics and ocean engineering are encouraged to contact me to see if we share mutual research interests and what opportunities might exist.  Occasionally, I have dedicated research funds for postdocs—if so I will list it on this page.  Funding can be secured from other sources including WHOI's Postdoctoral Scholar Program, federally funded Postdoctoral Grants (e.g., NSF), and international Postdoctoral Fellowships.  The postdoctoral scholar program is a highly competitive program that provides postdocs with an 18 month stipend and a modest budget to pursue research in collaboration with a WHOI scientist.

Potential postdocs should email me with their CV, copies of recent publications, and a research statement.  Please include in your email a discussion of your interest in my group's research.

Graduate Students

Potential graduate students should visit the webpage for the WHOI-MIT Joint program and review the admission requirements.  Students will be required to take coursework in either the Mechanical (Course 2) or Electrical (Course 6) Engineering Departments at MIT.  If interested, please email me your CV and and a list of research interests.  Based on that, we can discuss how you might fit into my research group and potential funding sources including competitive graduate scholarships.  When I have dedicated research funds for a graduate student, I will post the position on this page. 

Students already enrolled in graduate programs (M.S. or PhD) at other institutions are encouraged to inquire about guest student positions that would allow them to come to WHOI for a short period (ranging from a few months to a year).  These students typically provide no salary or stipend support.  Interested students should email me with a CV and brief research statement.  These positions require coordination between myself and the student's home university, so please contact me well in advance.

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students are eligible for a number of programs.  The WHOI Summer Student Fellow (SSF) program is a highly regarded summer research program in which undergraduates work with a WHOI scientist or engineer for a 10 week project.  SSFs are paid a stipend.  Previous SSFs that I have advised have all co-authored (and in some cases, first authored) publications based on their summer work.  The SSF program is highly competitive --- interested students should email me with their CV and a list of research intertests so we can discuss how your interests match with my research.

Guest student opportunities may also exist for undergraduate students.  These positions focus on a resesarch or education project lasting a few months.  Depending on availability, there may be funding for a modest stipend.  

For undergraduates interested in a program during the school year, WHOI recently started the Semester at WHOI program.

Last updated: October 29, 2014