The Office of Fellowships has the central management and administrative responsibility for the Institution's programs of fellowships and research associate appointments. One of its primary objectives is the facilitation of the Smithsonian's scholarly interactions with students and scholars at universities, museums, and other research institutions around the world. The Office administers Institution wide research support programs, and encourages and assists other Smithsonian museums, research institutes and research offices in the development of additional fellowships and visiting appointments.
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.