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Diversity Awards Program – Internship (formerly the Minority Awards Program)

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


Background & Purpose

The Smithsonian offers these internships to increase participation of groups who are underrepresented in the in the disciplines of research conducted at the
Institution, and in the museum field. This program is designed to provide undergraduate and graduate students opportunities to learn more about the Smithsonian and their academic fields through direct experience in research or museum-related internship projects under the mentorship of research and professional staff members at the Institution’s many museums, research institutes and offices.



Applicants must be:

  • U.S. Citizens and U.S. permanent residents
  • Must be formally enrolled in an undergraduate or in a graduate program (this includes community college students)
  • Students are generally expected to have an overall G.P.A. of 3.0 or its equivalent

*Graduate students may also want to consider applying for the Diversity Awards Program – Visiting Student award




How it Works

Stipend: $700 per week, with possible travel allowance

All Sessions = 10 weeks, full time (40 hours per week)

  • 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

Applications must be received via 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:


  • 2 – 4 pages double spaced
  • 12 point type
  • Must address the following:

1) Your past and present academic history and other experiences which you feel have prepared you for an internship

2) What you hope to accomplish through an internship, and how it would relate to your academic and career goals

3) What about the Smithsonian in particular interests you and leads you to apply for an internship.

Transcripts (or other materials when transcripts are not issued) from all appropriate institutions are required. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable. If transcripts or other materials are not in English the applicant should provide translations.



  • Names and email addresses of two academic references
  • All reference letters are considered confidential unless confidentiality has been waived by the reference
  • 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 relevance of an internship at the Smithsonian to the student’s academic and career goals will be an important part of the evaluation of an applicant. Applicants should note that it is not possible for the Office of Fellowships and Internships to arrange an internship project or award a stipend to all qualified candidates. The number of Diversity Internships 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.



2015 Minority Awards Program (MAP) Awardees 



Minority Awards Program FAQ


If you have any questions please contact Pamela Hudson Veenbaas at 202-633-7058 or send an email to


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