Smithsonian fellowships are offered to individuals who design and develop proposals to conduct independent research in fields pursued by and of interest to the Institution.
Fellowships differ from internships, which are prearranged supervised learning experiences which take place in a specific timeframe.
The Smithsonian Institution encourages access to its research staff, collections, and reference materials by visiting scholars, scientists, and students. The Institution offers appointments for research and study using its collections, facilities, with the advice and guidance of its research staff members. These appointments enable qualified persons to make use of Smithsonian resources in pursuing studies related to research interests of the Institution and its staff. Appointments vary in duration, and many carry financial support.