Navigation Menu+

Minority Awards Visiting Student Program

Latino Dancers

Smithsonian offers infinite opportunities to explore, discover and innovateThe Office of Fellowships and Internships is committed to increasing the participation of U.S. Citizens and U.S. permanent residents who have previously been underrepresented in Smithsonian scholarly exploration. 

The Minority Awards Visiting Student Program provides an incredible range of opportunities for independent research. Minority Visiting Students can explore, probe and chart new directions at the Smithsonian.

The number of Minority Awards made each year is determined by the availability of funds for the program. The Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program does not discriminate on grounds of race, creed, sex, age, marital status, condition of handicap, or national origin of any applicant. Stipends are $550 per week for 10 weeks with the possibility of a travel allowance and a small research allowance.

Minority Awards Programs FAQ

Program Description

All fellows at the Smithsonian work with a Smithsonian advisor to conduct independent study or research relating to Smithsonian collections, facilities, or staff expertise. The Smithsonian Minority Awards Visiting Student Program is administered through the Smithsonian’s Office of Fellowships and Internships.




Applicants must be:

  • Engaged in graduate study at the time of the appointment
  • In good academic standing with an overall G.P.A. of 3.0 or equivalent
  • U.S. Citizen or U.S. permanent resident
  • Available full-time (40 hours per week) for ten weeks during the summer, fall, or spring.
  • Actively engaged in a field of study that relates to current Smithsonian research 

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 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 of the Office of Fellowships.

General Application Guidelines

Applications must be received via SOLAA by:

February 1 (for Summer and Fall)

October 1 (for Spring)

General Information for the SOLAA Application:

Before filling out an application, candidates must first connect their current field of study to research conducted at the Smithsonian.  This research is outlined in Smithsonian Opportunities for Research and Study (SORS). 

Once a candidate has established a connection between his/her field of study and curent research at the Smithsonian, he/she should then apply through SOLAA.

Once you have created an account and logged into SOLAA you will need to complete all the required information including:

  • Mailing address
  • Academic history
  • Current university or college

Files you will need to upload:

Research Proposal

  • The full statement of your research you plan to undertake at the Smithsonian
  • The importance of the work to your own scholarly goals.
  • 1500 words or less
  • Maximum six pages double spaced
  • Paper size should be 8.5 by 11 inches (210 mm x 297 mm)
  • 12 point type


  • unofficial will be accepted

Curriculum Vitae or Resume

  • Including previous and current fellowships, grants, and/or awards, and a description of your research interests.



  • Names and email addresses of two persons (Not Smithsonian staff) familiar with your work
  • All reference letters are considered confidential unless confidentiality has been waived by the reference
  • Provide a copy of your proposal and a copy of Letter to Reference (downloadable pdf) to your references
  • Through SOLAA you will send an email to these referees so they can provide references through the web
  • Have the reference submit in sufficient time to meet the application deadline

If you have any questions please contact the Office of Fellowships and Internships at 202-633-7070 or send an email to siofi@si.edu.

Apply Through: SOLAA

Back to Internship Opportunities