Fellowship at the Smithsonian American Art Museum 2024–2025

The Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) and its Renwick Gallery invite applications to its premier fellowship program, the oldest and largest in the world for the study of American art. Scholars from any discipline who are researching topics that engage the art, craft, and visual culture of the United States are encouraged to apply, as are those who foreground new perspectives, materials, and methodologies. Fellowships are residential and support full-time research in the Smithsonian collections. SAAM is devoted to advancing inclusive excellence in the discipline of art history and in higher education more broadly, and therefore encourages candidates who identify as members of historically underrepresented groups to apply.

Fellowships Available

Candidates may apply to one or more of the following three opportunities:

  • SAAM and SIFP Fellowships: SAAM hosts fellows through the Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program (SIFP), and also awards a number of named fellowships to graduate, predoctoral, postdoctoral, and senior candidates from this general pool. Deadline: November 1, 2023
  • The Betsy James Wyeth Fellowship in Native American Art: This joint fellowship at SAAM and the National Museum of the American Indian is awarded for a twelve-month term at the predoctoral level or a nine-month term at the postdoctoral or senior level. Deadline: December 1, 2023
  • The Audrey Flack Short-Term Fellowship: One fellowship is awarded at the predoctoral, postdoctoral, or senior level for a one-month term. Deadline: February 1, 2024

How To Apply

The museum hosts a number of fellows each year through the Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program (SIFP), and also awards its own named fellowships to candidates from this general pool. 

Applicants must identify a member of SAAM’s research staff to serve as primary fellowship advisor in order to hold a residency at this museum. They are encouraged to notify the potential advisor in advance of their application. To find a potential advisor whose research interests match yours, browse the museum’s staff listings in the Smithsonian Opportunities for Research and Study guide or search our Staff Bios. 


Scholars from any discipline who are pursuing research on topics that engage with American art, craft, and visual culture may apply at one of the following levels: 

  • Graduate student fellowships support independent research by MA and PhD students who have not yet advanced to candidacy. Students must be formally enrolled in a graduate program of study at a degree-granting institution at the time they apply. They must have completed at least one full-time semester or its equivalent before the fellowship begins. 
  • Predoctoral fellowships are for those who have completed coursework and preliminary examinations for their doctoral degree and are engaged in university-approved dissertation research. 
  • Postdoctoral fellowships are available to support independent research projects by scholars who have earned a PhD or equivalent within the last seven years. 
  • Senior fellowships are intended for scholars with a distinguished publication record who have held their doctoral degree for more than seven years or who possess a commensurate record of professional accomplishment. 
  • No employee or contractor of the Smithsonian Institution may hold a Smithsonian fellowship during the time of their employment or contract, nor may an award be offered to any person who has been employed by or under contract to the Institution in the previous year, without prior approval. 

Support and Tenure

The stipend for a twelve-month fellowship is $45,000 for predoctoral scholars and $57,000 for postdoctoral and senior scholars, with an allowance of up to $5,000 available for short research trips. Additional allowances may be provided to help with temporary relocation to the Smithsonian and the cost of health insurance. The standard term of residency is a full year, but terms as short as three months are available with prorated stipends. Residencies should take place between June 1, 2024, and August 31, 2025, and must begin on the 1st or 15th of the month. Housing is not provided. 

Graduate student fellowships are available for ten-week terms and are awarded a stipend of $10,000. An additional allowance may be provided to assist with temporary relocation to the Smithsonian. Residencies are available in June, July, and August. 

The Audrey Flack and Betsy James Wyeth Fellowships have unique stipend levels and tenure lengths.

The Smithsonian Office of International Relations will assist with arranging J-1 exchange visas for all fellowship recipients who require them. 

Website link: Apply for a Fellowship in American Art | Smithsonian American Art Museum (si.edu)

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