Apply Now: Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Fellowships

Oct 05, 2022 • Views -

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex, offers Fellowships annually to outstanding early career scientists.  The Smithsonian’s distinctive combination of field research facilities, museum archives, and expertise in ecology, biological conservation, systematics, and paleobiology provides opportunities for synthetic, big-picture insights into some of the most profound issues challenging our world today, including habitat loss, climate change, and invasive species.   

Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland conduct environmental research in temperate, tropical, and polar ecosystems across the globe. Recent research has highlighted the separate and interactive impacts of multiple global change factors on populations, communities, and ecosystems, including climate change, biological invasions, biodiversity loss, nutrient loading, trace element pollution, and habitat alteration.  Insights gained in these studies will be crucial to developing science-based conservation plans that allow human societies to thrive while protecting our finite natural resources. 

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Fellowship Programs

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) offers the following fellowships to support research in residence at its facility in Edgewater, MD. This program is administrated through the Smithsonian Institution Office of Academic Appointments and Internships in Washington DC.

Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program (SIFP)

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

Smithsonian Biodiversity Genomics Postdoctoral Fellowship Program (BioG)

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 Smithsonian’s molecular research facilities are located at National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute/National Zoological Park (SCBI/NZP), Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in the Republic of Panama. Collaboration among SI facilities is encouraged.


Post-doctoral Fellowships are offered to scholars who have held a PhD or equivalent for less than seven years. Senior Fellowships are offered to scholars who held a PhD or equivalent for seven years or more. Applicants must submit a detailed proposal including a justification for conducting research in-residence at the Institution. The term is 3 to 12 months. Both fellowships offer a stipend of $55,000 per year plus allowances.

Pre-doctoral Fellowships are offered to doctoral candidates who have completed preliminary course work and examinations, including advancing to candidacy if in a PhD program. The applicant must submit a detailed proposal including a justification for conducting research in-residence at the Institution. Candidates must have the approval of their universities to conduct doctoral research at the Smithsonian Institution. The term is 3 to 12 months. The stipend is $42,000 per year plus allowances.

Graduate Student Fellowships are offered to students formally enrolled in a graduate program of study, who have completed at least one semester, and not yet have been advanced to candidacy if in a PhD program. Applicants must submit a proposal for research in a discipline which is pursued at the Smithsonian Institution. The term is 10 weeks with a stipend of $8,000.

You do not have to be a US citizen to apply for these fellowship opportunities.

Application Deadline: November 1st

To ensure that proposed fellowship projects are appropriate for SERC, applicants are
encouraged to coordinate with proposed SERC sponsors early on in preparing fellowship proposals.

Apply Now

To learn more about research projects currently at SERC, visit

For questions, please contact Dan Gustafson, SERC Academic Appointment Coordinator at [email protected]

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