Fellowship Programs

Smithsonian fellowships are offered to individuals* who design and develop proposals to conduct independent research.

Please be aware that many fellowship programs open during 2022 have recently closed and will be updated closer to the next application deadline, likely during the same time of year. Please continue to visit our website for updates.

Types of Fellowships

  • Central Fellowship Programs - These programs fund fellowships that take place at museums, research institutes and offices across the Smithsonian.
  • Museums, Research Institutes, Centers, and Office's Fellowship Programs - These program are managed by the Smithsonian unit.
  • Fellowship Program Partners - These fellows are hosted at the Smithsonian but applications are taken through our partner organization.

For Internship Opportunities | Smithsonian Job Opportunities

 

*Former employees or contractors of the Smithsonian Institution must have a year of separation before applying or be awarded a fellowship. 

Plagiarism

At the Smithsonian Institution, plagiarism is taken very seriously. If it is identified that an internship or fellowship application or any of its components has been plagiarized, the applicant will be disqualified.

“Plagiarism is presenting work or ideas from another source as your own, with or without consent of the original author, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement. It is a breach of academic integrity. Plagiarism is unethical and can have serious consequences for your future career; it also undermines the standards of your institution and of the degrees it issues. “ (Plagiarism | University of Oxford.)

Central Fellowship Programs

Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program (SIFP)

Deadline: November 1, 2023 11:59 PM EST - The Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program offers opportunities for independent research or study related to Smithsonian collections, facilities, and/or research interests of the Institution and its staff. Fellowships are offered to graduate students, predoctoral students, and postdoctoral and senior researchers to conduct independent research and to utilize the resources of the Institution with members of the Smithsonian professional research staff serving as advisors and hosts.

Smithsonian Biodiversity Genomics Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (BioG)

Deadline: November 1, 2023 11:59 PM EST - The Smithsonian Institution (SI) Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biodiversity Genomics promotes collaborative research in these fields involving comparative genomic approaches such as phylogenomics, population genomics, metagenomics or transcriptomics, and have a component that involves significant bioinformatics analysis. 

Smithsonian Postgraduate/Postdoctoral Fellowships in Conservation of Museum Collections Program

Deadline: November 1, 2023 11:59 EST - The Smithsonian Postgraduate/Postdoctoral Fellowship in Conservation of Museum Collections offers opportunities to conduct research and gain further training in the conservation of museum collection objects.

Big Ten Academic Alliance Smithsonian Fellowship

Deadline: November 1, 2023 11:59 EST - The Big Ten Academic Alliance established in 1958, is a consortium of research universities that collaborate on a wide range of academic and administrative initiatives to advance their academic missions, generate unique opportunities for students and faculty, and serve the common good by sharing expertise, leveraging campus resources, and collaborating on innovative programs.

Our Shared Future: Life on a Sustainable Planet initiative

Deadline: August 31, 2023. Through a new initiative, Our Shared Future: Life on a Sustainable Planet, the Smithsonian aims to advance solutions that fill us with optimism for our planet and all species that call our planet home. As part of this initiative, the Smithsonian is launching three new in-residence fellowship programs: the Smithsonian Climate Change Postdoctoral Fellowship, Smithsonian Environmental Justice Fellowship and Resilience and Sustainability Science Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (SARF)

The Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (SARF) program was launched in 2007 to provide outstanding visual artists from across the world a unique opportunity to work with Smithsonian museums, research sites, collections, and scholars, so they may conduct research that inspires new artwork. SARF Fellows spend one to two months in residence at the Smithsonian immersed in its unparalleled collections and multidisciplinary scholarly expertise, building connections between art, science, history and culture. The program embodies the depth and breadth of the Smithsonian.

George Burch Fellowship in Theoretical Medicine and Affiliated Theoretical Science

This program is currently on hold.

The purpose of the George E. Burch Fellowship is to support a distinguished scholar in residence at the Smithsonian. The fellow may work in any discipline, but the creative effort should, in accordance with the wishes of the donor, be related to human medicine. Dr. Burch’s goal is to permit the fellowship recipient time to think with freedom and creativity, and thereby stimulate new medically related theories in his or her discipline.

Fulbright-Smithsonian Awards

The Smithsonian welcomes Fulbright Scholars from around the world to come to our facilities, engage with our colleagues, and conduct research of their own. Foreign Fulbright Commissions and Embassies conduct the application process and selection, but Foreign Scholars should engage with us to discover the unlimited possibilities for research and study.

Museums, Research Institutes, Centers, and Office's Fellowship Programs

A. Verville Fellowship

The Verville Fellowship is a competitive nine- to twelve-month in-residence fellowship intended for the analysis of major trends, developments, and accomplishments in the history of aviation or space studies. Each fellow will work closely with staff members who have similar interests. Staff members of the Aeronautics Department currently conduct research into aviation history including such themes as the growth and impact of aeronautics on society; the evolution of aircraft technology; and the development of air transport and military aviation.

Charles A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History

The Charles A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History is a competitive 12-month fellowship open Oct 15, to senior scholars with distinguished records of publication who are at work on, or anticipate being at work on, books in aerospace history.

Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Fellowship

The Guggenheim Fellowships are competitive three- to twelve-month in-residence fellowships for pre- or postdoctoral research in aviation and space history. Candidates are encouraged to pursue programs of research and writing that support publication of works that are scholarly in tone and substance and intended for publication as articles in peer-reviewed journals or in book form from a reputable publisher (in the case of post postdoctoral applicants) or in a doctoral dissertation (in the case of pre-docs).

Engen Conservation Fellowship

The Engen fellowship will introduce the candidate to conservation techniques for a wide range of composite objects, metals, organic materials, and painted surfaces. This fellowship is intended to contribute to the education of recent graduates by allowing them to delve into the complexities of working with modern composite materials, refine treatment process, learn management, and conduct a small-scale research project. The Fellow's independent research will be derived from our diverse collection materials.

Postdoctoral Earth and Planetary Sciences Fellowship

The National Air and Space Museum has established the Postdoctoral Earth and Planetary Sciences Fellowship to support scientific research in this area.

Lunder Fellowship

This fellowship provides opportunities to conduct research and work with the Lunder Consortium for Whistler Studies on programs and publications focusing on James McNeill Whistler and art of the Aesthetic movement. Both emerging and established scholars are invited to apply. The fellowship is offered through the generosity of the Lunder Foundation and administered through the Lunder Consortium for Whistler Studies (comprising the Freer Gallery, the Colby College Museum of Art, the University of Glasgow, and the Art Institute of Chicago). 

The Anne van Biema Fellowship

The Anne van Biema Fellowship was established by bequest to promote excellence in research and publication on the Japanese visual arts. Fellowships support research at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Research proposals are evaluated in terms of merit, originality, methodology, and potential for significant publication that will advance scholarly and public understanding of the Japanese visual arts. Interdisciplinary proposals with a primary focus on Japanese visual arts are considered.

The J. S. Lee Memorial Fellowship

In honor of the late Dr. J. S. Lee, a distinguished Hong Kong philanthropist and lifelong supporter of the study of Chinese art, this fellowship facilitates the international exchange of curatorial expertise and contributes to the professional development of Chinese art curators and academics. Fellows may choose to be based at the Freer and Sackler or at a number of other museums worldwide. 

The Robert Frederick Smith Applied Public History Fellowship For HBCU Graduates

The Robert Frederick Smith Applied Public History Fellowship for HBCU Graduates offers a two-year appointment providing advanced training and scholarly support in public history, museum management, outreach programming, and partnership building.

Arthur Molella Distinguished Fellowship

The Arthur Molella Distinguished Fellowship is endowed by The Lemelson Foundation and supports the work of senior scholars in recognition of Dr. Arthur P. Molella, founding director of the Lemelson Center. The specific arrangement is flexible: the Molella Distinguished Fellow may use the funds as a sabbatical supplement; for several short-duration visits; for a single residency focused on research and writing; or for a series of lectures leading to a major publication.

Lemelson Center Fellowship Program

The Lemelson Center Fellowship Program supports projects that present creative approaches to the study of invention and innovation in American society. These include, but are not limited to, historical research and documentation projects resulting in dissertations, publications, exhibitions, educational initiatives, documentary films, or other multimedia products.

Lemelson Center Travel to Collections Awards

The Lemelson Center offers support in the form of short-term travel awards for researchers to come to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and use the Archives Center's 20,000 feet of archival materials.

Botany Travel Awards: Cuatrecasas / Funk / Robinson / Smith Fellowship Program

These awards are sponsored by the NMNH Department of Botany and support the study of botanical specimens housed in the U.S. National Herbarium, with preference given to students or researchers who work on tropical plants.

Deep Time Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Applications are invited for a two-year Research Fellowship (postdoctoral) in Paleobiology relating to the goals of the Deep Time Initiative at the National Museum of Natural History. This fellowship involves commitment to research and to advancing science education and outreach for the public. The appointment provides stipend ($62,000/yr), research/travel allowance ($5K/yr), health insurance ($5K/yr), and a one-time relocation allowance (up to $1K).

Edward B. and Phyllis E. Reed Research Fellowship

The Edward B. and Phyllis E. Reed Research Fellowship is available to fund independent research by graduate students through senior researchers on North American Freshwater Copepods. Proposals utilizing the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Copepod Collection will be given preference.

Eligibility:

Kenneth Jay Boss Fellowship in Invertebrate Zoology

Kenneth Jay Boss fellowships provide financial support enabling graduate students to conduct independent collections-based research in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology (IZ) at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH).

Kristian Fauchald Polychaete Research Fellowship

The Kristian Fauchald Polychate Research Fellowships provide support to researchers to conduct independent collections-based research in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology (IZ) at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH).

Eligibility:

All polychaete biologists actively engaged in collections-based research (e.g., systematics, phylogeny, biogeography, comparative morphology, functional morphology, diversity).

Term: 

Fellowships proposals are solicited biannually for projects ranging from one week to six months.

Link Foundation Graduate Fellowship Program

Each year since 1998, the Link Foundation has awarded 12-week graduate student fellowships to conduct marine science research at the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce. Students work in association with members of the Smithsonian professional research staff - either resident Marine Station investigators, or marine scientists from other Smithsonian entities who carry out a part of their research at the Station.

Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The purpose of the Peter Buck Fellowship program is to support full-time, resident, independent research focused on utilizing the NMNH collections and facilities.  Awardees are expected to be actively involved in the scholarly activities of the Museum and the NMNH community in general.

Sara E. and Bruce B. Collette Postdoctoral Fellowship in Systematic Ichthyology

The purpose of the Collette Postdoctoral Fellowship is to support full-time, resident, independent research focused on the study of systematics, including comparative morphology, of fishes using the NMNH collections. This is a one-year award with the possibility of renewal.

Awardees are expected to be actively involved in the scholarly activities of the Division of Fishes as well as collections-based systematic ichthyology both nationally and internationally.

Deadline: 1 September 2023

Short Term Fellowships at the Smithsonian Marine Station, Fort Pierce, FL

The Short-Term Fellowship Program allows selected candidates to come to the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, Florida at any time of the year and is an excellent resource to provide support for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the marine sciences. These fellowships enable selected candidates to work in the marine sciences and explore research possibilities at the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce.

Smithsonian Marine Station Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, Florida is pleased to offer annual 1-2 year postdoctoral fellowships, including a new fellowship supported by the Link Foundation. 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.

The Robert D. Hevey, Jr. and Constance M. Filling Fellowship in Anthropology

This short-term fellowship provides support to a graduate student focused on anthropological studies related to contemporary indigenous communities, linguistics and endangered languages, or cultural diversity while in-residence in the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in Washington, DC.

The Robert D. Hevey, Jr. and Constance M. Filling Fellowship in Invertebrate Zoology

The Robert D. Hevey, Jr. and Constance M. Filling Fellowship in Invertebrate Zoology was established to support short-term, resident, graduate student fellowships focused on invertebrate zoological studies in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in Washington, DC.

The Robert D. Hevey, Jr. and Constance M. Filling Fellowship in Mineral Sciences

The Robert D. Hevey, Jr. and Constance M. Filling Fellowship in Mineral Sciences was established in 2018 to support short-term, resident, graduate student fellowships focused on geological studies in the Department of Mineral Sciences at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in Washington, DC.

Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship

National Museum of the American Indian Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Textile Conservation 

Latino Museum Studies Program - Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Latino Museum Studies Program (LMSP) collaborates with various Smithsonian units to advance the diverse histories of the Latino community in the United States. The Postdoctoral Fellowship is offered to scholars up to seven years beyond the Ph.D. to conduct independent research and to utilize the resources of the Institution with members of the Smithsonian professional research staff serving as advisors and hosts. Fellows should be conducting work on the U.S. Latino experience.

Latino Museum Studies Program - Predoctoral Fellowship

The Latino Museum Studies Program (LMSP) collaborates with various Smithsonian units to advance the diverse histories of the Latino community in the United States. The Predoctoral Fellowship is offered to predoctoral students to conduct independent research and to utilize the resources of the Institution with members of the Smithsonian professional research staff serving as advisors and hosts. Fellows should be conducting work on the U.S. Latino experience.

Latino Museum Studies Program – Summer Graduate Program

The Latino Museum Studies Program (LMSP) provides a national forum for graduate students to share, explore and discuss the representation and interpretation of Latino cultures in the context of the American experience. It provides a unique opportunity to meet and engage with Smithsonian professionals, scholars from renowned universities, and with leaders in the museum field.

OCIO Biodiversity Genomics Postdoctoral Fellowship

The OCIO Data Science Lab was formed in response to the dramatic increase in all forms of digital data across the Smithsonian. We seek to build collaborations both across Smithsonian units, as well as universities and other institutions. Members of our group work on a variety of data-intensive research topics including biodiversity genomics and machine learning applications of digitized museum collections and archives.

OCIO Machine Learning Postdoctoral Fellowship

The OCIO Data Science Lab was formed in response to the dramatic increase in all forms of digital data across the Smithsonian. We seek to build collaborations both across Smithsonian units, as well as universities and other institutions. Members of our group work on a variety of data-intensive research topics including biodiversity genomics and machine learning applications of digitized museum collections and archives.

SI-TBMA Conservation Fellowship

An exciting opportunity for the selected fellow to conduct independent research in the conservation of time-based and digital media across multiple Smithsonian museums. The potential sites include the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum (CHSDM), the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (HMSG), the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), the National Portrait Gallery (NPG), and the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM). For more information, please visit the fellowship announcement website listed below. 

Deadline: July 10, 2023

Smithsonian American Art Museum Fellowship Program

The Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery welcome applications for research fellowships in the art, craft, and visual culture of the United States. Fellowships are residential and support full-time independent and dissertation research. Recipients will be part of the the oldest, largest, and premier residential fellowship program in American art. Deadline: November 1, 2023

The Audrey Flack Short Term Fellowship

The Audrey Flack Short-Term Fellowship is open to predoctoral, postdoctoral, and senior scholars researching topics in American art who reside, work, or attend school outside of commuting distance from Washington, D.C. Researchers whose personal circumstances (i.e., financial constraints, employment conditions, care-giving responsibilities, or other limitations) preclude them from participating in longer-term residencies are encouraged to apply.

The Betsy James Wyeth Fellowship in Native American Art

This one-year fellowship is jointly hosted by SAAM and the National Museum of the American Indian and provides scholars with access to the resources of both museums.

CfA Postdoctoral Fellowship

The mission of the CfA Postdoctoral Fellowship program at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is to support innovative astrophysics research by offering to the next generation of developing independent researchers full access to the unique facilities, research staff and resources of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian. 

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Predoctoral Fellowship Program

Since 1985, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) Pre-doctoral Program has welcomed graduate students from universities around the world interested in carrying out all or part of their research under the guidance of SAO Scientists.

Postdoctoral and Graduate Fellowship Program

Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland conduct environmental research in temperate, tropical, and polar ecosystems across the globe. Recent research has highlighted the separate and interactive impacts of multiple global change factors on populations, communities, and ecosystems, including climate change, biological invasions, biodiversity loss, nutrient loading, trace element pollution, and habitat alteration.

Baird Society Resident Scholar Program

The Baird Society Resident Scholar Program supports scholarly research in all 16 Special Collections of the Smithsonian Libraries in an extensive range of subject areas.

Neville-Pribram Mid-Career Educators Awards

The  Neville-Pribram Mid-Career Educator awardee will have many opportunities to explore, utilize, create, and share a project that contributes to continued learning and application of the history of neighborhoods and communities in education.

The Dibner Library Resident Scholar Program

The Dibner Library Resident Scholar Program supports scholarly research using the history of science and technology rare books and manuscripts at SLA's Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology.

Fellowships in Museum Practice (FMP)

The Smithsonian Fellowships in Museum Practice (FMP) program has awarded fellowships to professionals and scholars since 1993. We at the Smithsonian Office of Educational Technology (OET) are constant in our search for dedicated, forward-thinking individuals with outstanding expertise in the areas of museum education; education technology; and cultural heritage institutions and their use of digital technologies to further their missions, connect with audiences, and create new opportunities for formal and informal learning.

D. Ross Robertson Research Award Fellowship for Field Studies on Neotropical Deep-Reef fishes

The endowment supports field research on any aspects of the biology of living reef-fishes found between 40-300m, anywhere in the Neotropics. Awardees are not required to use STRI facilities nor to conduct research in Panama.

Earl S. Tupper three-year postdoctoral fellowship

STRI’s most prestigious postdoctoral fellowship is awarded once a year to an outstanding candidate in one of the many research fields practiced at STRI. Successful candidate will conduct a three-year research program based at a STRI facility, typically in the lab of a staff scientist who serves as host or advisor on the project.

Short-Term Fellowships

The Short-Term Fellowship Program allows selected candidates to come to STRI at any time of the year and is an excellent resource to provide support for graduate students and introduce them to tropical research. Although focused primarily on graduate students, awards are occasionally given to undergraduate and postdoctoral candidates. These fellowships enable selected candidates to work in the tropics and explore research possibilities at STRI.

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