James Smithson Fellowship Program

Funding Agency:
Smithsonian Institution

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

Deadline: Jan. 15, 2020

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Theme for 2020: Open Access

The Smithsonian Institution is a trusted knowledge organization with 155 million objects reflecting culture, history, art, and science of the world. While the Smithsonian has an active scholarly and research staff, there are many discoveries and insights left to be made. The goal of the 2020 James Smithson Fellowship is to help the Smithsonian in fulfilling its “diffusion” mission with 21st century technology, to engage the world in creating new knowledge. Post-docs interested in pursuing research and improving the public’s access to the Smithsonian are encouraged to apply.

Eligibility 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.

Funding Type



Post Doctoral Fellows


Arts & Humanities
Social Sciences

External Deadline

January 15, 2020