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Academic Appointment Guidelines

Questions?  Please reach out to us! 202-633-7070 or siofi@si.edu

For a printable version: Click here

 

Internships

  • Learning experiences that relate to an intern’s education, coursework, or career goals guided by a SI staff mentor
  • Have a defined start and end date
  • Last up to six months and may be extended with renewed mentorship commitment & learning objectives 
  • Awardees do not qualify for Smithsonian group health coverage

Stipend Payments

  • Are not considered salary
  • Are limited to helping defray living expenses during the term of appointment and can’t be paid retroactively
  • Begin 4 weeks after the awardee returns entire award agreement to OFI
  • Arrive in equal installments around the 10th and 25th of each month
  • May not exceed $600/week for full-time interns
  • May specify an allowance for the onetime cost of R/T travel from intern’s point of origin to the SI duty station
  • May not specify an allowance for insurance or research
  • For U.S. citizens and those considered U.S. residents for tax purposes taxes are NOT withheld
  • For non-U.S. citizens taxes may or may not be withheld depending on existing tax treaties the U.S has with the awardee’s country of origin
  • Non-U.S. citizens have an option of checking-in with OFI before leaving their home countries so their first payment may be available upon arrival in the U.S
  • Awardees receive a financial summary at the end of each calendar year and are responsible for meeting their own state and federal tax obligations

Fellowships

  • Opportunities for independent study/collaborative research in fields pursued by SI staff
  • Can be awarded competitively or non-competitively
  • Awardees must be enrolled in a degree program or hold a terminal degree
  • Awardees may not have not been employed by the Smithsonian for at least 1 year
  • Last one 1 year but with research progress may be extended up to 5 years
  • Eligible for enrollment in Smithsonian group health insurance if appointment is full-time and lasts 3 months or more  

Stipend Payments

  • Are not considered salary
  • Begin 4 weeks after the awardee returns entire award agreement to OFI can’t be paid retroactively
  • Are made in equal installments at the end of each month with the 1st payment equal to 10% of the total stipend
  • For appointments shorter than three months or involving awards less than $1,500, payment can be made in one lump sum at the request of the unit
  • May not exceed $30K/year for graduate fellows or pre-doctoral fellows ($35K/year for conservation), $45K/year for post-doctoral fellows ($50K/year for mineral scientist & earth sciences)
  • May specify allowance for the cost of health insurance, travel, and/or research
  • For U.S. citizens and those considered U.S. residents for tax purposes taxes are NOT withheld
  • For non-U.S. citizens taxes may or not be withheld depending on existing tax treaties the U.S has with the awardee’s country of origin
  • Foreign fellows have an option to check-in with OFI before leaving their home countries so their first payment is available on arrival in the U.S
  • Awardees receive a financial summary at the end of each calendar year and are responsible for meeting their own state and federal tax obligations

Intern

Smithsonian internships are learning experiences guided by a mentor, occurring during a specific time frame, which provide benefits relating to an intern’s education, coursework, or career goals. With stated learning objectives and a mentor’s commitment, interns may be appointed for a term of up to six months. As an intern’s experiential education progresses, with revised learning objectives and a renewed commitment from a mentor, they may be reappointed.

Stipends issued by the Smithsonian are not considered salary, but are awarded to help defray living expenses for an intern during the term of their appointment. Stipend payments for full-time interns should not exceed $600/week. Smithsonian internship stipend awards may specify an allowance for the cost of travel. For U.S. citizens (and for those considered U.S. residents for tax purposes) taxes are not withheld from stipend payments. Interns awarded stipends receive a financial summary at the end of each calendar year and are responsible for meeting their own state and federal tax obligations; interns are not eligible to enroll in Smithsonian group health coverage.

Interns receiving Smithsonian stipends should expect to receive payments no sooner than six weeks after this form has been submitted and/or four weeks after they return their award agreement. Stipend payments are usually made to interns in equal installments around the 10th and 25th day of each month.

 

Fellow

Smithsonian fellowships awarded competitively to graduate, pre-doctoral, or post-doctoral students – or granted non-competitively to visiting professionals, students, scientists, or scholars – are offered to individuals who design and develop proposals for independent study or collaborative research in fields pursued by and of interest to Smithsonian staff. Research fellows receiving stipends through the Smithsonian are generally appointed to terms lasting between 1 to 3 years; with documentation charting progress, research fellow terms may be extended to 5 years. Non-stipend visiting professional fellowship terms usually last one year.

Research fellows receiving Smithsonian stipends must be enrolled in a degree program or hold a terminal degree and generally have not been employed by the Smithsonian for at least 1 year. Smithsonian-issued stipend payments to research fellows are not considered salary, but are awarded to aid individual pursuit of independent study and research. Stipend payments should not exceed $30K/year for graduate fellows or pre-doctoral fellows, $45K/year for post-doctoral fellows. Fellows awarded full-time appointments with Smithsonian stipend funding for three months or longer are eligible for enrollment in Smithsonian group health insurance. Smithsonian fellowship stipend awards may specify allowances for the cost of health insurance, travel, and/or research.

For U.S. citizens (and for those considered U.S. residents for tax purposes) taxes are not withheld from stipend payments. Fellows awarded stipends receive a financial summary at the end of each calendar year and are responsible for meeting their own state and federal tax obligations. Stipend awards provided to non-U.S. fellows are subject to withholding of taxes. Determination of non-U.S. fellows’ tax status and calculation of any taxes to be withheld are made at the beginning of the fellowship appointment. Foreign fellows have an option to check-in with OFI before leaving their home countries so their first payment is available on arrival in the U.S.

Otherwise, fellows receiving Smithsonian stipends should expect to receive payments no sooner than six weeks after this form has been submitted or four weeks after they return their appointee agreement. Stipend payments are usually made to fellows in equal installments at the end of each month, with 10% of the total stipend paid at the beginning of the fellowship, provided the award agreement is returned at least 4 weeks before the appointment commences. For appointments shorter than three months or involving awards less than $1,500, payment can be made in one lump sum at the request of the unit.