Interns & Fellows

Fellowships

The Smithsonian Institution is committed to training the next generation of scientists to meet the environmental needs of the 21st century. The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center offers a variety of fellowship opportunities to graduate, pre- and post-graduate students. Research topics of interest are located below. Please click on the appropriate accordion tab for more details about each fellowship type.

Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland conduct environmental research in temperate, tropical, and polar ecosystems across the globe. Recent research has highlighted the separate and interactive impacts of multiple global change factors on populations, communities, and ecosystems, including climate change, biological invasions, biodiversity loss, nutrient loading, trace element pollution, and habitat alteration. Insights gained in these studies will be crucial to developing science-based conservation plans that allow human societies to thrive while protecting our finite natural resources.

 

Meet Our Fellows

Click here to meet our current fellows! Discover what their research interests are and how their interests overlap with SERC's research direction and goals.

Research Topics Include:

  • Global Climate Change

  • Invasion Biology

  • Estuarine Ecology

  • Forest & Wetland Ecology

  • Solar Radiation

  • Water Quality & Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

  • Food Web Dynamics

  • Trace Element & Nutrient Cycling

  • Coastal & Upland Ecosystem Processes

  • Plant-Herbivore Interactions

Graduate student fellowships are offered for students formally enrolled in a graduate program who have completed at least one semester and not yet been advanced to candidacy if in a Ph.D. program. 

Appointment term: 10 weeks

Stipend: $7,000

Application deadline: December 1

How to Apply

Applicants currently working at SERC should dedicate one page of the proposal to describing their research progress. This progress report should include publications and presentations at conferences and meetings. In a brief paragraph, applicants should include the following components:

  • State your affiliation with SERC
  • The nature of the work
  • Provide evidence of progress (i.e. publications, presentations, etc.)


In addition to the Smithsonian fellowship program, SERC scientists sometimes have externally funded research projects that can support graduate students. Contact individual scientists for more information on such opportunities.

Pre-doctoral fellowships are offered for students enrolled in a university as candidates for a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral candidates who have completed preliminary course work and examinations. By the time the appointment begins, the university must approve the undertaking of dissertation research at the Smithsonian Institution and certify that requirements for the doctorate, other than the dissertation, have been met. 

Appointment term: 1 Year

Stipend: $32,500 plus allowances

Application deadline: December 1

How to Apply

Applicants currently working at SERC should dedicate one page of the proposal to describing their research progress. This progress report should include publications and presentations at conferences and meetings. In a brief paragraph, applicants should include the following components:

  • State your affiliation with SERC
  • The nature of the work
  • Provide evidence of progress (i.e. publications, presentations, etc.)

In addition to the Smithsonian fellowship program, SERC scientists sometimes have externally funded research projects that can support pre-doctoral students. Contact individual scientists for more information on such opportunities.

The Smithsonian Institution offers several Postdoctoral Fellowships annually to outstanding early career scientists.  The Smithsonian’s distinctive combination of field research facilities, museum archives, and expertise in ecology, biological conservation, systematics, and paleobiology provides opportunities for synthetic, big-picture insights into some of the most profound issues challenging our world today, including habitat loss, climate change, and invasive species.   

Smithsonian Fellows often stay for two years, with the second year of funding contingent upon satisfactory progress.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to coordinate with a SERC scientist prior to submitting an application for this competitively-awarded fellowship. 

Appointment term: 1 Year

Stipend: $48,000 plus health, relocation and research expenses

Application deadline: December 1 & January 15

How to Apply

  • Provide current Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Provide graduate transcripts (unofficial acceptable)
  • Two letters of reference
  • Bibliography of published, in press, or in prep manuscripts
  • Provide research abstract (maximum 1 page)
  • Provide research proposal
    • Maximum 6 pages double-spaced text
    • Including the importance and justification of the proposed research
    • Identify SERC sponsor
    • Include work plan and budgetary needs
  • Upload all application materials to Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment system
  • For more detail, visit the Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships

The most often awarded fellowships programs include:

Applicants currently working at SERC should dedicate one page of the proposal to describing their research progress. This progress report should include publications and presentations at conferences and meetings. In a brief paragraph, applicants should include the following components:

  • State your affiliation with SERC
  • The nature of the work
  • Provide evidence of progress (i.e. publications, presentations, etc.)

In addition to the Smithsonian Fellowship program, SERC scientists sometimes hire postdoctoral researchers to work on externally funded research projects. Check Current Employment Opportunities at SERC or contact individual scientists for more information on such opportunities.