Smithsonian Postgraduate/Postdoctoral Fellowships in Conservation of Museum Collections Program


All applications must be submitted by 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. This opportunity is open to recent graduates of masters programs in art and archaeological conservation (or the equivalent) and materials scientists (including those at the postdoctoral level).

These fellowships are offered through the Smithsonian’s Office of Academic Appointments and Internships. They are administered under the charter of the Institution, 20 U.S. Code section 41 et seq. Fellowship awards under this program are contingent upon the availability of funds.

Materials Research Graduate Students and Scientists wishing to conduct independent research should apply through the Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program (SIFP).


Applicants must propose to conduct research in the conservation of objects in museum collections in conservation laboratories at the Smithsonian Institution. Past or current Smithsonian fellowship recipients are eligible to apply for future Smithsonian awards.

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.

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).


12 months; shorter periods will be considered with three months being the minimum. In accepting an appointment, the fellow is expected to be in residence at the Smithsonian except for approved absences.


Postgraduate Conservation/Predoctoral Fellowship: $45,000 per year; research allowance up to $5,000.

Postdoctoral Fellowship: $57,000 per year; research allowance up to $5,000.

  • Stipends are pro-rated for periods of less than twelve months.
  • Smithsonian fellowship stipends are not salary or compensation. They are meant to support study and research during the tenure of the appointment and cannot be issued retroactively.
  • The Office of Academic Appointments and Internships cannot provide funds for the travel or living expenses of dependents.
  • All funds provided under Smithsonian Institution fellowships, including base stipends, research, and travel relocation allowances are subject to tax. Fellows awarded stipends receive a financial summary at the end of each calendar year and are responsible for meeting their own state and federal tax obligations.
  • In addition to a base stipend, awardees may receive allowances to assist with the fellow’s research-related expenses and for temporary relocation to the Smithsonian. The budget for the research allowance should not include costs for relocation to the Smithsonian, which is awarded separately. A maximum research allowance of $5,000 is available. The amount awarded will be determined based upon the budget and justification presented by the applicant.
  • Financial support, in addition to a Smithsonian fellowship, for such purposes as research travel and equipment may be received from other sources, provided that no special demands are made upon the fellow’s time. Permission to receive additional stipend support must be requested in writing from the Office of Academic Appointments and Internships.

Office of Academic Appointments and Internships


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