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The Shirley Ann Jackson Science Internship & the Robert P. Kogod Arts Internship

Delchristoff McGhee, 2019 Robert P. Kogod Art Intern at the Smithsonian

2020 Timeline

January 6: Application opens

March 13: Deadline for applications

April 3: Selections made and all applicants informed

August 31: Deadline for 8-week internship to be completed 

Julien Kearns, 2019 Shirley Ann Jackson Science Intern at the Smithsonian


This internship program was established to honor the achievements of Shirley Ann Jackson and Robert P. Kogod.


Jackson was born in Washington, DC to parents who valued education. In particular, her father encouraged her interest in science by helping her with class projects. At Theodore Roosevelt High School, Jackson attended accelerated programs in both math and science. She graduated in 1964 as valedictorian. She earned a B.S. and M.S. from MIT and is the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate there.

In addition to being a Smithsonian Regent, Jackson is the 18th President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Time Magazine described her as “perhaps the ultimate role model for women in science.” Dr. Jackson, a theoretical physicist, has held senior leadership positions in academia, government, industry, and research. In 2016, she received the National Medal of Science, the highest honor in science and engineering, by U.S. President Barack Obama.


Kogod was born in Washington, DC.  He attended Theodore Roosevelt High School where he enjoyed playing football and tennis. Kogod began his career in homebuilding in the 1950s. In 1959, he joined the Charles E. Smith Companies, then an office of 11 people. As co-CEOs, Kogod and his brother-in-law, Bob Smith, grew the business to several thousand employees. It became one of the largest commercial, residential and mixed-use companies in the metropolitan Washington, DC area with the notable development of Crystal City in Arlington, VA.

In 1969, a friend sent Kogod a brochure about the Richard Estes’ show at the Allan Stone Gallery in New York City.  Mr. Kogod and his wife, Arlene, visited the gallery and soon after also viewed the Henry Geldzahler retrospective “New York Painting and Sculpture 1940-1970” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  These visits were the pivotal moments that began the Kogod’s life-enriching passion for learning about and collecting fine art. Mr. Kogod earned a B.S. in Business Administration (1962) and a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa from American University (2000).

In addition to being a Smithsonian Regent, Kogod is the President of Charles E. Smith Management, LLC which merged with Archstone-Smith, Vornado Realty Trust and JBG Smith Properties. He has served on the boards of American University, Sidwell Friends School, Federal City Council, Economic Club, Progressive Policy Institute, Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, Children’s Hospital & National Medical Center, WETA and the Mount Desert Land & Garden Preserve. He and his wife are involved in many philanthropic activities. They are major supporters of the fine & performing arts, medical research, healthcare and education. In addition, the Kogods are signatories of The Giving Pledge.


These mentor guided learning experiences allow interns to acquire in-depth knowledge and understanding of the arts or sciences in the dynamic atmosphere of the world’s largest museum complex. Interns gain practical skills and program development experience in offices, museums, and research institutes throughout the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. To further enrich their mentor guided learning experiences, interns also attend meetings, lectures, and public programs during their tenure.


These internships are for District of Columbia public high school students who will enter their junior or senior year after completing this summer internship experience.


There are two full-time internships. One internship is awarded to a student interested in science and another is awarded to a student interested in the arts. Awarded students spend eight (8) weeks during the summer with their mentors in and around the Smithsonian facilities in the Washington DC area. Each intern will receive a stipend of $5,200.


Applications are accepted in the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System (SOLAA).

Steps to Apply:

  1. Decide which internship (Art or Science) you want to apply for
  2. Create an Account or Log In to SOLAA
  3. Click Start Your Application
  4. Use the drop down menus to search for programs
    • Program Type: Internship
    • Office/Museum/Research Center: Office of Fellowships
    • Program Status: Currently Active
  5. Scroll down and look for the program of your choice
  6. Click Apply Now

Files you will need to upload for your application

Transcripts (unofficial OK)


  • No more than 2 pages double spaced using 12 point type
  • Please address the following in your essay:

1) Your academic history and any other experiences which you feel have prepared you for an internship focusing on the arts or science

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

3) Review the Smithsonian web site or visit our museums to find out what in particular about the Smithsonian interests you and leads you to apply for an internship here

Resume (optional)


  • Names and email addresses of two teachers who have agreed to serve as a reference for you

Please note:

Through SOLAA you will send an email to these referees so they can provide references through the web

Please encourage your references to submit by the application deadline

Reference letters are considered confidential unless confidentiality has been waived by the reference

Selection Criteria

The Smithsonian anticipates a large number of applications which will be reviewed by a committee of Smithsonian and education experts. Two will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Academic effort and/or achievement
  • Academic and career goals and how they are relevant to Smithsonian collections and expertise related to the arts or science

Previous Robert P. Kogod Art Interns


Delchristoff McGhee

Delchristoff and his mentor Keith Conway in front of the scale model strips Dechristoff created and painted (photo by Joseph Z. Johnson)

To read more about Delchristoff and his Robert P. Kogod art internship, go here.



Anna Burns


Previous Shirley A. Jackson Science Interns


Julien Kearns 

Julien Kearns manning a Discovery Station Cart at the National Air and Space Museum


To read more about Julien Shirley A. Jackson Science internship, go here.



Abigail Atwood