The Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program (SIFP)

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 investigators 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.  

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
Application Submission and Deadline

All applications must be submitted by November 1, 2020 11:59 PM EST (enter 2021 for the cycle on the application) through the Smithsonian Academic Appointment System (SOLAA) found at

Stipends and Allowances 2021

SENIOR FELLOWSHIPS -for scholars at least seven years beyond the Ph.D.  

  • Term: 3 to 12 months
  • Stipend: $55,000 per year
  • Research Allowance: up to $4,000 per year

POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS – for scholars up to seven years beyond the Ph.D. *  

  • Term: 3 to 12 months**
  • Stipend: $55,000 per year
  • Research Allowance: up to $4,000 per year

** Postdoctoral applicants in Science may apply for up to 24 months. PREDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS -for doctoral candidates to conduct dissertation research. 

  • Term: 3 to 12 months
  • Stipend: $40,000 per year
  • Research Allowance: up to $4,000 per year

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.  

  • Term: 10 weeks
  • Stipend: $8,000

* 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.  
If you have any questions about completing this application, please feel free to contact this office. 

Criteria for Selection

Applications are evaluated and fellows are selected, by scholars in appropriate fields, on the basis of the proposal’s merit, the applicant’s ability to carry out the proposed research and study, the likelihood that the research could be completed in the requested time, and the extent to which the Smithsonian, through its research staff members and resources, could contribute to the proposed research. The number of appointments made each year is determined by the availability of funds for the program. The Smithsonian Fellowship Program does not discriminate on grounds of race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age, or disability.


Phone: 202-633-7070

Office of Fellowships and Internships Smithsonian Institution 470 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Suite 7102MRC 902 PO Box 37012Washington, DC 20013-7012

For more information, please visit Official Website.