Smithsonian Marine Station Postdoctoral Fellowship Program Guidelines

Deadline: November 1, 2023

The Smithsonian Marine Station is part of the National Museum of Natural History and is a research center specializing in marine ecosystems of Florida. Research efforts focus on the Indian River Lagoon, a highly biodiverse estuary of national significance that spans 250 km along the east coast of Florida, and adjacent offshore waters, with comparative studies conducted throughout coastal Florida. Areas of research interest include the biology and ecology of seagrass, soft sediments, mangroves, oyster and coral reefs ecosystems, marine microbiology, chemical ecology, biogeochemistry and ocean acidification, and life histories of marine organisms. In 2023, one additional postdoctoral fellowship will be offered for research that utilizes confocal microscopy as an integral part of the fellow’s research program. A Zeiss LSM800 confocal laser scanning microscope with Airyscan is available on site.

Eligibility: Determination of the fellowship category for which to apply should be based on the anticipated academic level at the time the fellowship would begin: Senior Fellowships – Applicants must have held a Ph.D. or equivalent for at least 7 years. Applicants who have received the Ph.D. or equivalent before June 1, 2016 are eligible to apply for senior fellowships. Postdoctoral Fellowships – for scholars up to seven years beyond the Ph.D.

No employee or contractor of the Smithsonian Institution may hold a Smithsonian fellowship during the time of his/her employment or contract, nor may an award be offered to any person who has been employed by or under contract to the Institution in the previous year, without the prior approval of the Office Academic Appointments and Internships (OAAI).

Applicants whose native language is not English are expected to have the ability to write and converse fluently in English. All application materials must be presented in English (foreign transcripts may be translated, see below).

Term: 12-24 months. In accepting an appointment, the fellow is expected to be in residence at the Smithsonian Marine Station except for approved absences.

Stipend: $57,000 annually plus health insurance allowance and research allowance up to $5,000 annually.

Website: National Museum of Natural History Fellowships

Application Submission and Deadline

All applications must be submitted by November 1, 2023 11:59 PM EST through the Smithsonian Academic Appointment System (SOLAA) found at

The Smithsonian Marine Station Fellowship Program is listed in SOLAA under the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH).

The publication, Smithsonian Opportunities for Research and Study, outlines Smithsonian research activities and lists the research staff. 

Principal Advisors, Co-Advisors, and Consultants

Individuals listed in SORS are divided into research staff and affiliated research staff. Each listing contains information regarding the individual's educational background and their research specialties. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact potential advisors and co-advisors to determine the feasibility of the proposed research being conducted at the Smithsonian Institution, and the availability of relevant resources, including collections, archives, and library materials during the proposed tenure dates.

Research staff may be named by applicants to serve as principal advisors, co-advisors or consultants.

Affiliated research staff who are in residence during most of the tenure period proposed may be named as a co-advisor or as a consultant by an applicant.



Apply Through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System (SOLAA)

Complete general information in SOLAA

Application Materials (for upload):

The SOLAA application will allow you to upload the following files types (there is a 3MB limit and only the following types of documents are supported: .bmp, .doc, .docx, .gif, .jpeg, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .rtf, .tif, .tiff, .txt, .xls, and .xlsx):


  • No more than one (1) page, double spaced.

Research Proposal

  • The full statement of your research you plan to undertake at the Smithsonian.
  • No more than 6 pages, double spaced (excluding all other parts of the application, such as the abstract and bibliography but including images, table etc.), Paper size should be 8.5 by 11 inches (210 mm x 297 mm), with 1" margins, and do not use type smaller than 11 point.

In preparing your proposal, be sure to provide and address the following:

  • A description of the research you plan to undertake at the Smithsonian Institution, including the methodology to be utilized.
  • The importance of the work, both in relation to the broader discipline and to your own scholarly goals.
  • Justification for conducting your research at the Smithsonian and utilization of research facilities and resources.
  • Permissions to utilize non-SI collections or facilities or Smithsonian collections and facilities not associated with your advisor(s). (If applicable)
  • Identification of the member of the Smithsonian’s research staff who might serve as your principal advisor/host. Also identify potential co-advisor(s) and/or consultant(s) if applicable. The publication, Smithsonian Opportunities for Research and Study, contains the necessary information on staff research specialties and current departmental interests to help you determine which staff members are best suited to your research needs. Research staff may be named by applicants to serve as principal advisors, co-advisors or consultants. Affiliated research staff may be named as co-advisors or consultants if they will be in residence during at least a portion of the tenure period proposed. You are strongly encouraged to correspond with your proposed advisor(s) as you prepare your proposal.


  • Estimate of time period for each phase of the research proposed for the full time period (regardless of one or two years).

Diversity Statement (upload in "Other" material)

  • Please address - How your perspective, experience, and/or project contribute to a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable discipline.
  • No more than one (1) page, double spaced. 
  • This needs to be uploaded for the application material name “Other” in SOLAA.

Budget and Justification

  • Budget and justification for equipment, supplies, research-related travel costs, and other support required to conduct the research itself (excluding stipend and relocation costs). You may not include funding to do any direct hires. You are encouraged to discuss potential research costs with your proposed advisor(s) before submitting your application. 
  • If the funds required to support the research exceed the maximum research allowance of $5,000 per year, please explain the source of additional funds.
  • Applicants for graduate student fellowships are not eligible for research and research travel allowances, and should not submit budget justifications.


  • Bibliography of literature relevant to the applicant’s proposed research.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

  • Please provide a current CV (please limit to 4 pages maximum).
  • Including previous and current fellowships, grants, and/or awards.
  • If English is not your native language, describe the level of your proficiency in reading, conversing, and writing in English.

Transcripts (unofficial are acceptable) (you may upload up to three 3MB files)

  • Transcripts (or other materials when transcripts are not issued) from all appropriate institutions are required except for senior fellowship applications.
  • Applicants for graduate student fellowships must submit undergraduate and graduate transcripts.
  • Applicants for predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships need only submit graduate transcripts.
  • If transcripts or other materials are not in English the applicant should provide translations.

References –from two appropriate persons selected by you.

  • Names and email addresses of two persons familiar with your work. Please, do not use your proposed Smithsonian advisor(s) or consultant(s) as your referees.
  • All reference letters are considered confidential unless confidentiality has been waived by the referee.
  • Provide a copy of your proposal and a copy of Letter to Referee (downloadable pdf) to your referees.
  • Through SOLAA you will send an email from the system to these referees so they can provide references through the SOLAA system. Please note: referees will not be able to view your application and you may send the request any time prior to submission. They will still be able to submit their reference before or after you submit your application.
  • Referees are encouraged to submit references no later than the application due date. However, references can be submitted after the deadline and but there is no guarantee it will be included once the review process begins.
  • Applicant’s can check their SOLAA application to determine if letters of recommendation have been submitted or not. Applicants are encouraged to follow-up with referees who have not yet submitted.

Applicants conducting research with Indigenous communities should provide information on the current state of consultation, appropriate contacts, and plans for sharing research findings with these communities. A tribal letter of approval or tribal community endorsement will strengthen a proposal and may be submitted as an additional reference letter.

We look forward to receiving your application.

If you have any questions about completing this application, please feel free to contact this office.

Office of Academic Appointments and Internships 


As part of its mandate for “the increase and diffusion of knowledge,” including the diverse ideas, skills, and cultures of our nation, the Smithsonian Institution pursues policies of equal opportunity and cultural diversity. The Smithsonian Fellowship program does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, gender stereotyping, pregnancy, and sexual orientation), national origin, age, disability, genetic information, parental status, or marital status of any applicant.

No employee or contractor of the Smithsonian Institution may hold a Smithsonian fellowship during the time of his/her employment or contract, nor may an award be offered to any person who has been employed by or under contract to the Institution in the previous year, without the prior approval of the Office of Academic Appointments and Internships (OAAI).

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