Home » Blog » Smithsonian Institution James Smithson Postdoctoral Fellowship in USA, 2018

Smithsonian Institution James Smithson Postdoctoral Fellowship in USA, 2018

The 2018 James Smithson Fellowship Application is now open for applications starting on September 10, 2018. The James Smithson Fellowship Program offers an early career opportunity for post-doctoral scholars interested in gaining experience in both scholarship and policy through a Smithsonian lens.

The fellowship provides an immersion experience working with Smithsonian scholars and relevant collections.

The Columbia Center for Science and Society brings together a wide variety of scholars and practitioners in the human, social, and natural sciences from around Columbia’s campus and the New York City metropolitan area to support interdisciplinary research, teaching, and outreach about the roles of science, technology, medicine, and public health in past and present societies. The Center also works to enhance public understanding of science in relation to pressing social concerns.


Scholarship Description: 

Application Deadline: January 15, 2018

Course Level: Fellowships are available to pursue Postdoctoral programme.

Study Subject: The theme for 2018 is History, Memory, and Authenticity. In no particular order, subjects for independent study or research through the 2018 James Smithson Fellowship might include but are not limited to:

  • Names and Namesakes: What Places and Buildings are Called
  • When Research Meets Politics
  • Divisive Symbols in Public Spaces
  • Remembering the Past, Honoring Victims
  • The Ethics of Using Historical Data Obtained Unethically
  • Historic Figures, Modern Norms: The Question of Context
  • The Changing Meaning of Material Culture
  • Documenting and Preserving Intangible Cultural Heritage
  • Iconoclasm
  • When Seeing and Believing Collide
  • Popular News and Climate Change
  • The Life of Monuments in the 21st Century
  • Democracy and Public Spaces
  • When Science was Wrong in the Past
  • Portraiture and the Face in a Digital Age
  • Contemporary Ethnography as a Lens to Pre-History
  • Nostalgia and Reflection in History and Policy
  • Ambivalent or Unwanted Legacies
  • War Memorials, Trauma, and Identity
  • National Narratives in a time of Changing Borders

Scholarship Award: To support independent research and study, the fellowship includes a base stipend of $53,000. In addition to this base stipend, allowances may also be provided to help cover relocation, health insurance, and research expenses.

Nationality: US citizens are eligible.

Number of Scholarships: Numbers not given.

Scholarship can be taken in the USA

Eligibility for the Scholarship:

Eligible Countries: U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for this fellowship.

Entrance Requirements: To be eligible for this scholarship you must meet the following requirements:

Candidates must be U.S. citizens and not more than five years beyond receipt of their doctorate degree. Candidates with terminal professional degrees are also eligible to apply.

Who is Ineligible?

No employee or contractor of the Smithsonian Institution may hold a Smithsonian fellowship during the time of his/her employment or contract.

A Smithsonian fellowship may not be awarded to any person who has been employed by or under contract to the Institution in the previous year without the prior approval from the Office of Fellowships and Internships.

USA Scholarships

Application Procedure: 

How to Apply: The James Smithson Fellowship Program is offered in every even-numbered year.  All applications must be submitted through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System (SOLAA)

Each application must include:

  • Candidate Statement: A summary of background and expertise; practical interests related to an area of study; career objectives and how the fellowship may support those goals (no more than two pages).
  • Abstract: Abstract of the proposed research (no more than one page).
  • Research Proposal: Excluding other parts of the application such as the abstract and bibliography this is the full statement of your research (no more than 1,500 words, maximum of six pages with 12-point typescript, double-spaced). In preparing your proposal, be sure to provide an address with the following:
    • A description of the research you plan to undertake at the Smithsonian Institution, including the methodology to be utilized.
    • The importance of the work, both in relation to the broader discipline and to your scholarly goals.
    • The justification for conducting your research at the Smithsonian and utilization of our research facilities and resources.
    • Identify the Smithsonian research staff who will serve as your principal advisor. Identification of a Smithsonian advisor is a requirement. You are strongly encouraged to correspond with your advisor in preparing your proposal.
  • Timetable: Estimate of the time period it will take to achieve your research objectives.
  • Budget and Justification: Budget and justification for equipment, supplies, research-related travel costs, and other support required to conduct the research itself. This excludes stipend and relocation costs. You are encouraged to discuss potential research costs with your advisor before submitting your application.  If the funds you require exceed the maximum research allowance of $4,000, please explain the source of the additional funds.
  • Bibliography: Bibliography of literature relevant to the applicant’s proposed research (no more than two pages).
  • Curriculum vitae: Current curriculum vitae that highlights education, expertise, achievements and honours, and publications. Should include a description of your research interests (not to exceed five pages). Also, if English is not your native language, describe the level of your proficiency in reading, conversing and writing in English.
  • Transcripts:Transcripts from terminal degree institution(s) are required. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.
  • References: You will need the name and email address of three persons familiar with your research. These references will be asked to submit a confidential letter of recommendation online.
    • Encourage your references to submit their letters by the application deadline.
    • Please provide a copy of your proposal and a copy of the Letter to Reference (downloadable PDF)to each of your references. Each applicant is responsible for ensuring that all letters from references are submitted by the deadline. Applications with fewer than three letters of recommendation may not be considered.

Online Application

Scholarship Link


Need Scholarship Help? Comment and Discuss.