Big Ten Academic Alliance Smithsonian Fellowship


All applications must be submitted by October 15, 2024 11:59 PM EST through the Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program (SIFP)


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.

The current members of the Big Ten Academic Alliance are:

University of Illinois Michigan State University Pennsylvania State University
Indiana University University of Minnesota Purdue University
University of Iowa University of Nebraska-Lincoln Rutgers University-New Brunswick
University of Maryland Northwestern University University of Wisconsin Madison
University of Michigan Ohio State University University of Chicago*

*The University of Chicago is participating in this program as an affiliate.

The goal of the program is to identify current students from Big Ten Academic Alliance universities who have been admitted into doctoral candidacy and satisfied all requirements except completion of dissertation. These doctoral candidates find appropriate advisers at the Smithsonian to conduct research and scholarship that will further the development of their respective theses.

Big Ten Academic Alliance applicants must propose research that is conducted at the Smithsonian in one of the following areas of research:

  • Animal behavior, ecology, and environmental science, including an emphasis on the tropics
  • Anthropology, including archaeology, cultural anthropology, linguistics, and physical anthropology
  • Earth sciences and paleobiology
  • Evolutionary & systematic biology
  • Folklife
  • History of science and technology
  • History of art, especially American, contemporary, African, and Asian art, twentieth-century American crafts, and decorative arts
  • Materials research
  • Molecular biology
  • Social and cultural history of the United States

More Information

For a list of Smithsonian Fellowship contacts on Big Ten Academic Alliance campuses go here.


Only currently enrolled in one of the Big Ten Academic Alliance member universities are eligible. Students must have completed all course work for their programs, and must have been admitted into doctoral candidacy and satisfied all requirements except completion of the dissertation by the time their appointment begins in order to qualify. The program is open to US citizens and Non-US citizens. 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.


3 to 12 months


Stipend: $45,000 per year

Research Allowance: up to $5,000 per year

Stipends are prorated for periods of less than twelve months.


Office of Fellowships


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