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Native American Awards Program – Community Scholars

This program is temporarily closed and we are not taking applications at this time due to COVID.



Background & Purpose

The Native American Awards Community Scholar falls within the Native American Awards Program which supports applicants, who are formally or informally affiliated with a Native American community or tribe, to visit the Institution to undertake projects on a Native American subject and utilize the Native American resources of the Institution.

One of the goals of the program is for the Community Scholars to take the knowledge they gain through their research and share it with their community.



Applicants must be:

  • Formally or informally affiliated with a Native American community or tribe
  • Must be interested in pursuing a project related to Native American resources
  • Available full-time for a maximum of 21 days during the summer, fall, or spring.


How it Works

Stipend: $175 per day up to 21 days, a small research allowance and with possible travel allowance

  • Deadline: February 1
    • For Summer (beginning after June 1) and Fall (beginning after October 1)
  • Deadline: October 1
    • For Spring (beginning after January 1)


How to Apply

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact potential advisors and co-advisors to determine the feasibility of the proposed research being conducted at the Smithsonian Institution, and the availability of relevant resources, including collections, archives, and library materials during the proposed tenure dates.  Information about research conducted and the Smithsonian research staff is outlined in Smithsonian Opportunities for Research and Study (SORS).

Once a candidate has established a connection between his/her current 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
  • Current affiliation


Files you will need to upload:

Research Proposal

  • The full statement of your research you plan to undertake at the Smithsonian

Resume or Curriculum Vitae


  • Names and email addresses of two references
  • All reference letters are considered confidential unless confidentiality has been waived by the reference
  • Provide a copy of your proposal 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


Selection Criteria

The merit of the proposal

The ability of the applicant to carry out the proposed research and study

The extent to which the Smithsonian, through its staff members and resources, can contribute to the proposed research

Applicants should note that it is not possible for the Office of Fellowships and Internships to award a stipend to all qualified candidates. The number of Community Scholars awards made each year is determined by the availability of funds for the program.

The Smithsonian does not discriminate on grounds of race, creed, sex, age, marital status, condition of handicap, or national origin of any applicant.



Past Native American Community Scholars Award Recipients



Minority Awards Program FAQ


If you have any questions please contact Pamela Hudson Veenbaas at 202-633-7070 or send an email to