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Academic Appointment Differences


Research Associate







Formal scholarly affiliation with the Smithsonian

Independent study or research with a Smithsonian advisor

Learning experience guided by a Smithsonian mentor

Term of Appointment

3 years; but can be renewed

Short term to 3 years; but can be extended to 5 years

Single appointments up to 6 months; reappointment possible  with documentation of learning and mentorship

Eligible for Stipend?


Research Fellows Yes, Visiting Professional and Mobile Fellows No

In Residence Interns Yes,

Virtual Interns No

Stipend Cap


Graduate/pre-docs: $30K/year

Post-docs: $45K/year*

Full-time: $600/week

Allowance Eligibility


Health, Travel, Research


Appointment Paperwork

Research Associate Appointment Form, Staff Nomination Memo, Unit Director Appointment Letter, CV

Academic Appointment Form (w/CV, Research Proposal, Photo Release, and EEO Policy Acknowledgement) or SOLAA

Academic Appointment Form (w/Mentorship Objectives, Learning Objectives, Copyright Release, Photo Release, and EEO Policy Acknowledgement) or SOLAA


Minimum age for all appointment types is 14 (appointees under age 18 must provide parental consent form)


All appointments may be made competitively or non-competitively


Appointees may be of any nationality


Stipends are not awarded for salary or compensation, but are meant to defray living costs in support of learning, study, and research during the tenure of appointment





* Fellows performing study/research in art/object conservation, mineral sciences, or earth studies are eligible for +$5K over the cap


(Rev. 2/20/2013)