Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellowship Program


The annual application deadline follows the same schedule as the Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program (SIFP).


The Peter Buck Fellowship Program complements the Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program (SIFP), providing additional positions and often longer duration for postdoctoral scholars to engage in research at NMNH. The program was established in 2011 through a generous donation from long-time member of the NMNH Board, Peter Buck. This fellowship program honors his legacy.


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 NMNH community .

The two central goals of the Peter Buck Fellowship Program are to train the next generation of scientists and museum professionals, and to increase the flow of new ideas, perspectives, and skills into the NMNH community through full-time, resident postdoctoral fellowships.

To accomplish this we mainly award multi-year postdoctoral fellowships to external postdoctoral scholars who have received a PhD. or equivalent within the last five years.

Peter Buck fellowships are open to citizens of any country for them to conduct resident research as part of the NMNH community under the advisership of an NMNH staff scientist.


Applicants must have received their PhD. or equivalent degree and all formal requirements for a PhD. must be completed before the start of the tenure. The tenure must start no more than one year from the award date.

Applicants should have a proven record of research accomplishment. Fellowships are available to US and non-US citizens. Applicants must write and converse fluently in English.

A Peter Buck Fellow may not also be a Smithsonian employee or contractor during the period of his/her fellowship appointment and may not hold another type of Smithsonian academic appointment (e.g., Research Associate or Internship) during his/her appointment as a fellow.

All Peter Buck Fellows are expected to be resident at an NMNH facility (NHB, MSC, or SMS) full time and actively engaged in the NMNH community during the entire fellowship tenure.

Applicants may apply for up to 24 consecutive months.


Apply through SOLAA and follow all guidelines for the Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program (SIFP).

Applicants do not need to identify the Peter Buck Fellowship Program to be considered for award. The top candidates will automatically be considered.

To receive consideration for a Peter Buck Fellowship award, candidates must apply to the Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program (SIFP) with a research proposal in an area of study related to Natural Museum of Natural History (NMNH) facilities, collections, and select as the primary advisor an NMNH research scientist from the Research Staff listing provided in SORS. Individuals listed as NMNH Affiliated Research Staff are eligible to co-advise, but not serve as primary advisor.


Postdoctoral applicants may apply for up to 24 consecutive months.


  • Stipend: $62,000 per year
  • Research Allowance: up to $5,000 per year*
  • Health Insurance Allowance: $5,000 per year
  • Relocation Allowance: based on source location**

* Research Allowance: In addition to stipend, Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellowship Program applicants may request a research allowance of up to $5,000 each year. This includes budget and justification for equipment, supplies, research-related travel costs, and other support required to conduct the proposed research (excluding stipend and relocation costs). Applicants are highly encouraged to include travel to, and participation in, professional meetings. The amount of research allowance awarded will be based upon the budget and justification presented by the applicant. Applicants are encouraged to discuss realistic research costs with NMNH staff, specifically their proposed NMNH advisor(s), before submitting an application.

** Relocation Allowance: Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellowship Program applicants may also be awarded a relocation allowance to assist with the fellow’s temporary relocation to the Smithsonian facility in which they will be primarily stationed. Relocation costs should NOT be included in the research allowance budget. This is independently determined by OAAI and awarded separately.

Rates are prorated for periods of less than twelve months.

Notification Date

Notification of decisions will be made through SOLAA early March.




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