Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world's largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park, and nine research facilities.

Current Opportunities for Smithsonian Institution

Native American Awards Program – Community Scholars (Summer and Fall 2015)

Opportunity Type: Scholarship
Application Deadline: February 01, 2018
Description: The Native American Awards Community Scholar falls within the Native American Awards Program which supports applicants, who are formally or informally affiliated with a Native American community or tribe, to visit the Institution to undertake projects on a Native American subject and utilize the Native American resources of the Institution.

One of the goals of the program is for the Community Scholars to take the knowledge they gain through their research and share it with their community.

National Museum of American History internship program

Opportunity Type: Internship
Application Deadline: Spring: October 15, Summer: March 1, Fall: July 1
Description: The National Museum of American History internship program allows a diverse group of people with innumerable interests, strengths, and goals to encounter an educational environment where they can work with and learn from professionals and scholars in related areas of concentration. The Museum offers interns of different backgrounds incredible opportunities in a variety of fields, from public relations to exhibition research to project design. Learning from knowledgeable mentors in the dynamic atmosphere of the Museum and Washington, D.C. area, interns enjoy an intensive experience as multifaceted as the Museum itself.

This Web site lists all of the internships available throughout the Museum and the steps necessary to apply. If you are interested in applying, please explore to get a closer look at the variety of positions available to interns at the Museum of American History.

James E. Webb Internship Program (Spring)

Opportunity Type: Internship
Application Deadline: October 01, 2018
Description: This program was established in honor of the late James. E. Webb, Regent Emeritus and former Administrator of the National Air and Space Administration (NASA). These learning opportunities are intended to increase participation of minority groups who are underrepresented in the management of not-for-profit scientific and cultural organizations. Interns are placed with mentors in offices, museums, and research institutes throughout the Smithsonian Institution.

There are 3 sessions: Spring, Summer and Fall. The dates given below refer to Spring 2015

Minority Internship Program

Opportunity Type: Internship
Application Deadline: Various (Summer and Fall: February 1; Spring: October 1)
Description: Smithsonian offers interns infinite opportunities to explore and discover. The Office of Fellowships and Internships is committed to increasing the participation of U.S. Citizens and U.S. permanent residents who have previously been underrepresented at the Smithsonian.

The Minority Internship Program administered through the Office of Fellowships and Internships provides students the opportunity to experience the Smithsonian as a universal lens for learning. Under the guidance of Smithsonian staff who are experts in their fields, Smithsonian Minority Interns are inspired to learn, examine and collaborate in their specific academic fields that relate to current research at the Smithsonian.

The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) – Smithsonian Fellowship

Opportunity Type: Fellowship
Application Deadline: December 01, 2017
Description: The CIC universities share the Smithsonian’s goals and commitments.  Through collaboration, member  universities build upon the strengths, assets and expertise of each member university, connecting scholars with resources and opportunities and exploring ways to promote greater strategic engagement across the spectrum of the research enterprise.

The goal of the program is to identify up to seven current students from CIC universities who have been admitted into doctoral candidacy and satisfied all requirements except completion of dissertation. These doctoral candidates are matched with appropriate advisers at the Smithsonian to conduct research and scholarship that will further the development of their respective theses and further the development of the Smithsonian’s grand challenges: Understanding the American Experience, Valuing World Cultures, Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet and Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe.

The current members of the CIC are: University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Indiana University, University of Iowa, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Northwestern University, The Ohio State University, Penn State University, Purdue University, Rutgers University, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The George Burch Fellowship in Theoretic Medicine and Affiliated Theoretic Science

Opportunity Type: Fellowship
Application Deadline: January 15, 2018
Description: The George E. Burch Fellowship Program is a nomination-only opportunity that awards a stipend to defray living expenses during independent research and study to a  post-doctoral scholar, whose research interests lie within at least one of the following areas: medicine, biology, physics, chemistry, and fields in the social science and humanities, as it applies to health and medicine.

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 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.

James Smithson Fellowship Program

Opportunity Type: Fellowship
Application Deadline: January 15, 2018
Description: The James Smithson Fellowship Program was created to offer early career opportunities for post-doctoral researchers interested in gaining a better understanding about the interplay between scholarship and public policy through a Smithsonian lens.  While this fellowship provides an immersion experience working with Smithsonian researchers and relevant collections, it also affords fellows a hands-on opportunity to explore relationships between research and public policy through direct interaction with Smithsonian leaders, and with policy leaders throughout the Washington, DC network.

The program is designed for a new generation of leaders, who seek a experience that leverages both scholarly and practical expertise in an environment of innovation like no other. Among the goals of the James Smithson Fellowship are to provide fellows with the opportunity to:

  • Conduct scholarly research at the Smithsonian
  • Strengthen understanding of the interplay between research and public policy
  • Gain skills at leveraging research to inform conversations about public policy

Minority Awards Program – Visiting Student (Summer)

Opportunity Type: Fellowship
Application Deadline: February 01, 2018
Description: The Office of Fellowships and Internships offers visiting student awards to increase participation of U.S. minority groups who are underrepresented in Smithsonian scholarly programs, in the disciplines of research conducted at the Institution, and in the museum field. This program is designed to provide beginning graduate students the opportunity to learn more about the Smithsonian and their academic fields by conducting research using its collections with a Smithsonian research staff member serving as an advisor at the Institution’s many museums, research institutes and offices.

The Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program

Opportunity Type: Fellowship
Application Deadline: December 01, 2017
Description: The Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program  is the Smithsonian Institution’s centrally-funded flagship fellowship program. SI Fellowships are awarded annually to scholars wishing to conduct independent study or research at one or more of the Smithsonian’s 19 units and research centers. These fellowships are offered through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships, and are administered under the charter of the Institution, 20 U.S. Code section 41 et seq.

The Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program supports independent research and study related to Smithsonian facilities, experts, or collection for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.

Smithsonian Biodiversity Genomics Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

Opportunity Type: Fellowship
Application Deadline: December 01, 2017
Description: Background: 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. The fellows selected will participate in the newly formed Smithsonian Institute for Biodiversity Genomics (SIBG), a pan-institutional program designed to stimulate and create opportunities for biodiversity genomics research at the Smithsonian. The SIBG guides and facilitates genomics research within traditional strengths of the Smithsonian, including studies of the tree of life, ecology, evolution and adaptation, and conservation. The Smithsonian’s molecular research facilities are located at National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), National Zoological Park (NZP), Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in the Republic of Panama. Collaboration among SI facilities is encouraged. Note that the Smithsonian Biodiversity Genomics Postdoctoral Fellowship replaces the Molecular Evolution Postdoctoral Fellowship starting in 2015.

How To Apply: All applications must be submitted by December 1 through SOLAA. Notification of decisions will be made on or before March 15. The publication, Smithsonian Opportunities for Research and Study outlines Smithsonian research activities and lists research staff. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact staff members to help identify potential advisors, determine the feasibility of the proposed research being conducted at the Smithsonian Institution, and the availability of relevant resources such as staff, collections, archives and library materials during the proposed tenure dates.

Smithsonian Postgraduate Fellowships in Conservation of Museum Collections Progra

Opportunity Type: Fellowship
Application Deadline: December 01, 2017
Description: This fellowship program is offered by the Smithsonian Institution to provide opportunities for recent graduates of masters programs in art and archeological conservation or the equivalent or conservation scientists, including those at the postdoctoral level, who wish to conduct research and gain further training in Smithsonian conservation laboratories for conservation of objects in museum collections.

These fellowships are offered through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships. They are 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.

Native American Awards Program – Visiting Student (Fall, Spring or Summer)

Opportunity Type: Fellowship
Application Deadline: February 01, 2018
Description: The Native American Awards Visiting Student falls within the Native American Awards Program which supports students, who are formally or informally affiliated with a Native American community or tribe, to visit the Institution to conduct independent research using its Native American-related resources in with the advice and guidance of Smithsonian research staff.

Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (SARF)

Opportunity Type: Fellowship
Application Deadline: December 01, 2017
Description: 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.

Fellows study not only what is on view in the Smithsonian’s nineteen museums and National Zoo, but also the vast collections in non-public areas, libraries, archives, gardens, laboratories, storage facilities and field sites in the U.S. and abroad. As the program’s reputation has grown, SARF has become increasingly competitive and international.

There is no fixed number of Fellows selected each year as funding varies.

Smithsonian Mpala Postdoctoral Fellowship

Opportunity Type: Fellowship
Application Deadline: December 01, 2017
Description: Background: In 1991, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) was instrumental in establishing the Mpala Research Centre, a site for multidisciplinary research and training in Africa, in collaboration with Princeton University, the Kenya Wildlife Service, the National Museums of Kenya, and the Mpala Wildlife Foundation. Located on the Laikipia Plateau in north central Kenya, the Centre provides an ideal setting for research in a variety of disciplines, offering 49,107 acres of savannah and dry woodland, an extensive wildlife community typical of East Africa, and ample housing and laboratory space for 35 researchers and students. The Mpala Research Centre is perfect for studies ranging from ecology and botany to animal behavior and human-wildlife interactions. Research at Mpala can be conducted by any applicant with an explicitly proposed, approved, and funded project. Purpose: The purpose of the Mpala Postdoctoral Fellowship is to promote the study biology, anthropology, geology, hydrology, material science, social science, soil science or related areas. Projects must be tenable in residence at Smithsonian Institution facilities and Mpala Research Centre.

Smithsonian Stable Isotope Postdoctoral Fellowship

Opportunity Type: Fellowship
Application Deadline: December 01, 2017
Description: The Office of Fellowships and Internships is offering an Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowship in the area of stable isotope sciences.  Research proposals must integrate the use of stable isotopes (2H/1H, 13C/12C, 15N/14N, and 18O/16O) into their specific research questions.  Stable isotope analysis must comprise a significant portion of the research. The successful applicant will conduct analyses at one of the two Pan-Institutional isotope facilities (OUSS/MCI Stable Isotope Mass Spectrometry Facility in Suitland, MD or at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City, Panama).

The Secretary’s Distinguished Research Fellowship

Opportunity Type: Fellowship
Description: Background The Secretary’s Distinguished Research Fellowship recognizes the most promising and innovative research proposals to the one-year Smithsonian Institution Fellowship program by providing a current Smithsonian Fellow with a second year of support. This endowed fellowship was established in 2009 through significant financial support from members of the Smithsonian Board of Regents. The fellowship, in honor of Secretary Wayne Clough’s support for research at the Smithsonian, was named “The Secretary’s Distinguished Fellowship.” This award supports the most promising and innovative research within the fields of science covered by the Smithsonian. Purpose This distinguished award is especially meant to recognize interdisciplinary research that expands the frontiers of areas of Smithsonian strength through cross disciplinary approaches and/or applications of new methods, tools, or theories. Such research often involves two or more programs within one museum or research center, or two or more museums and/or research centers.

How it Works All applicants to the SI Fellowship program are considered for this award on an annual basis. Selection of candidates for receipt of this award is managed through the regular review process each spring. Applicants identified as possible candidates by the various science unit review committees are considered by a panel arranged by the Office of the Under Secretary for Science (OUSS), with the finalists to be nominated to the Secretary for decision on the final award. The term of the fellowship adds a second year to a one-year appointment through the Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program. How to Apply No applications are available to apply directly to the Secretary’s Distinguished Research Fellowship. Rather, recipients of this Fellowship are selected from the applicant pool to the Smithsonian Institution Fellowship program.

Walter Rathbone Bacon Fellowship

Opportunity Type: Fellowship
Description: Background The Walter Rathbone Bacon Fellowship was funded by an endowment given in 1911 by Virginia Purdy Bacon in memory of her husband. Purpose “To establish a traveling scholarship for the study of the fauna of countries other than the United States of America.”

How it Works Applicants do not apply directly to the fellowship. All Smithsonian Institution Fellowship applicants are reviewed for the Walter Rathbone Bacon Fellowship funding. The Bacon Fellowship funding may be used in place of, or in addition to the Smithsonian Institution Fellowship funding. How to Apply Applicants do not apply directly to the fellowship. Recipients of the funding are chosen from the pool of Smithsonian Institution Fellows. If you believe that your research would be ideal for the award, please highlight how in your application. Selection Criteria The research proposal, submitted to the Smithsonian Institution Fellowship, must pertain to the study of fauna not indigenous to United States.

Contact Information

Smithsonian Institution
PO Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012
www.si.edu/