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.

Applicants to the Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program must propose to conduct research in a discipline pursued at the Smithsonian and must submit a specific and detailed research proposal indicating why the Smithsonian is an appropriate place to carry out the study. Projects that broaden and diversify the research conducted within these disciplines are encouraged. Fellowships are offered to support research at Smithsonian facilities or field stations. Fellows are expected to spend most of their tenure in residence at the Smithsonian, except when arrangements are made for periods of field work or research travel.


  • Postdoctoral Fellowships (3 to 12 months) – for scholars up to seven years beyond the Ph.D.
  • Predoctoral Fellowships (3 to 12 months) – 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 (10 weeks) – 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.

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