Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program (SIFP)


All applications must be submitted by October 15, 2024 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. These fellowships are offered through the Smithsonian’s Office of Academic Appointments and Internships, and are administered under the charter of the Institution, 20 U.S. Code section 41 et seq.

Applicants who wish to conduct research at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) should go here as SAO application requirements and deadlines may be different.

The Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program offers fellowships for research and study in the following fields and encourages applications of an interdisciplinary nature:

Animal behavior, ecology, and environmental science, including an emphasis on the tropics; Anthropology, including archaeology, cultural anthropology, linguistics, and physical anthropology; Astrophysics and astronomy; 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


Determination of the fellowship category for which to apply should be based on the anticipated academic level at the time the fellowship would begin:

  • Senior Fellowships – Applicants must have held a Ph.D. or equivalent for at least 7 years. Applicants who have received the Ph.D. or equivalent before June 1, 2018 are eligible to apply for senior fellowships.*
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships – for scholars up to seven years beyond the Ph.D.* 
  • Predoctoral Fellowships – for doctoral candidates to conduct dissertation research. Students enrolled in a university as candidates for the Ph.D. or equivalent are eligible for predoctoral fellowships. By the time the appointment begins, the university must approve the undertaking of dissertation research at the Smithsonian Institution and certify that requirements for the doctorate, other than the dissertation, have been met.
  • Ten-Week Graduate Student Fellowships – for graduate students to conduct independent research usually before having been advanced to candidacy if in a Ph.D. program. When they apply, students must be formally enrolled in a graduate program of study at a degree-granting institution and must have completed at least one full-time semester or its equivalent. 

* If you have taken a “leave of absence” from research and wish to apply under the postdoctoral fellowship application instead of senior fellowship application which makes you 7 or more years out from receiving your Ph.D., please provide a justification in the additional information section at the end of the application.


  • Senior Fellowships – Term: 3 to 12 months
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships – Term: 3 to 12 months**
  • Predoctoral Fellowships – Term: 3 to 12 months
  • Ten-Week Graduate Student Fellowships – Term: 10 weeks
  • Fellowship tenures must begin between June 1, 2025 and May 30, 2026.
  • ** Postdoctoral applicants in Science may apply for up to 24 months.
Fellowship Category Stipend Research Allowance
Senior & Postdoctoral* $57,000 per year up to $5,000
*Earth and Planetary Sciences Senior and Postdoctoral - $62,000 per year up to $5,000
Predoctoral $45,000 per year up to $5,000
Ten-Week Graduate Student $10,000 N/A


Notification of decisions will be made through SOLAA early March.


Office of Academic Appointment and Internships

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