Fellowships at NMAH
Are you looking for opportunities for independent study and research that make use of American history experts, facilities and collections under the advice of a Smithsonian advisor? The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH) offers formal fellowships to qualified applicants!
- Margaret S. Vining and Barton C. Hacker Fellowship in Women's Military History
- Lemelson Center Fellowship Program
- Smithsonian Institution Fellowships
*Please note: All academic appointees, inluding fellows, must be fully vaccinated for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized (or, for international remote appointees, a WHO-recommended) COVID-19 vaccine or have an approved Reasonable Accommodation granting an exemption from vaccine requirements. Please see additional information regarding reasonable accommodations here.
The Division of Political and Military History in the Department of Curatorial Affairs at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is accepting applications for the inaugural Margaret S. Vining and Barton C. Hacker Fellowship in Women’s Military History for 2022-2023. Given the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the museum’s reopening status, potential applicants should note:
- We may be unable to accommodate applicants from outside the United States depending on travel restrictions.
- We are hopeful that the appointed fellow will eventually be able to join us in residence, and we are committed to flexibility in scheduling in-person visits. However, the appointed fellow should expect that most engagement with the Division of Political and Military History may be virtual.
- The appointed fellow may have limited access to the museum’s artifacts, archival collections, and library resources.
About the Fellowship
The Division of Political and Military History is accepting applications for the Margaret S. Vining and Barton C. Hacker Fellowship in Women’s Military History at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History (NMAH). This endowed Fellowship is typically an in-residence opportunity for independent research awarded to pre-doctoral students, post-doctoral scholars, and other professionals in the field. For up to twelve weeks, Fellows will conduct independent research and utilize the resources of the Smithsonian Institution with members of the Smithsonian’s professional research staff serving as advisors and hosts.
The Margaret S. Vining and Barton C. Hacker Fellowship supports projects that present creative approaches to the study of women’s military experience and explore how women have shaped armed forces and how military institutions have shaped women’s lives. Creative approaches to the study of women in the military could result in but are not limited to historical research and documentation projects resulting in dissertations, publications, exhibitions, educational initiatives, documentary films, or other multimedia products.
We invite all applications covering the broad spectrum of research topics in the history of women in the military, covering all time periods both in the United States and abroad, including but not limited to uniforms, women’s roles as formal members of the armed forces, and women as workers in war industries, wartime volunteers, activists for and against militarism, and victims of war.
The Margaret S. Vining and Barton C. Hacker Fellowship provides access to the expertise of the research staff across the Smithsonian campus, and the extensive women’s military history collections of the National Museum of American History (NMAH). Representative collections include:
- NMAH Military Collections
- Women in World War I
- Women in World War I--Women's Uniforms
- Women in World War I--War Posters
For a comprehensive catalog of objects, manuscripts, images, and research materials available at the NMAH (and other Smithsonian units), see the Smithsonian's Collections Search Center.
The Margaret S. Vining and Barton C. Hacker Fellowship is open to pre-doctoral graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and other professionals who have completed some advanced training. Undergraduates and Smithsonian staff should not apply.
Fellows are typically expected to reside in the Washington, DC area and to research the collection, and Fellows are encouraged to make a presentation of their work to colleagues at the museum. Fellowship tenure is based upon the applicants’ stated needs up to a maximum of 12 weeks. Fellows are expected to complete their appointment between June 2022 – May 2023.
All stipends are subject to tax; non-US applicants should inquire about visa status and tax implications. Stipends for 2022-2023:
- Up to $10,000 for living expenses
- Up to $2000 travel expenses, applicants must submit a budget
- Up to $3000 research expenses, applicants must submit a budget
Researchers may wish to consult with the Fellowship Manager prior to submitting a proposal (see contact information below). We receive many inquiries during application season, so thanks for your patience, as it may take a few days to respond.
Please note that applications must be completed in English.
Applicants must apply through the Smithsonian OnLine Academic Appointment system (SOLAA):
- From the SOLAA homepage, click the link that reads: "Don't have an Account? Create an Account."
- Once you have created a SOLAA account and successfully logged in, click "Start Your Application."
- For "Program Category" select "Fellowship/Other Academic Appointment."
- For "Office/Museum/Research Center" select "National Museum of American History."
- For "Program Status" select "All." Click Search.
- You will see a result set of various fellowship programs. Find the "Margaret S. Vining and Barton C. Hacker Fellowship in Women's Military History" and click "Apply Now." On the following confirmation screen, click "Continue Application."
- Proceed with entering your information and uploading your documents. For "Year of Program Competition," please select "2022."
A complete application for a Vining-Hacker Fellowship consists of:
- Abstract: A brief project proposal (1 page maximum).
- Bibliography: A bibliography of primary sources (at the Smithsonian and elsewhere) and secondary literature relevant to the proposed project. The bibliography does not need to be annotated; simply provide a list of primary and secondary sources that inform your project (3 pages maximum).
- Curriculum Vitae: A current CV (no page limit).
- Timeline/Schedule: Include the number of weeks (2 to 12 weeks maximum) of requested support and how you plan to use them. The timeline/schedule does not need to include actual calendar dates, which are negotiable if awarded (1 page maximum).
- Project/Research Proposal: The project/research proposal should describe the project's relevance to the National Museum of American History’s mission; how the project is situated within (and extends) existing literatures; the research methodology; the Smithsonian resources (objects, archival collections, trade literature, staff members) to be consulted during the fellowship; and the intended research product(s) or result of the work (6 pages double-spaced maximum).
- Two Reference Letters: Applicants will solicit letters of support from two references who are familiar with their work. Applicants will enter their referees’ contact information and click "Email referee" for both referees. SOLAA will send a system-generated email to each referee with instructions for uploading their letters to your application. Applicants may submit the application before the reference letters have been received. However, referees should upload their letters to SOLAA by Tuesday, March 1st. Smithsonian staff members may not serve as referees.
Traditionally, the most successful applications have: 1) explicitly explored themes of invention, innovation, and technology, including the specific sub-themes listed above; and 2) drawn explicitly upon the collections at the NMAH and across the Smithsonian.
All application materials will be made available to the Office of Curatorial Affairs, Division of Military History staff and its selection committee, which may include outside readers. The Vining-Hacker Fellowship is open to all qualified individuals without regard to race, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability, or national origin.
Deadlines: Applications must be submitted via SOLAA by Tuesday, February 22nd at 12 PM EST.
**Note: Get your application uploaded early! Several academic appointment programs across the Smithsonian have applications due during the end of February, and because of high user volumes, the SOLAA website may exhibit poor performance during our application deadline. Please plan ahead!
Reference letters must be uploaded to SOLAA by Tuesday, March 1st. Fellowships will be announced in Spring 2022. Fellows should plan to schedule their residencies at the Museum on or after June 1, 2022 through May 31, 2023.
For more information, contact the Fellowship Manager:
Smithsonian resources: More information about Smithsonian collections and staff can be found on the following websites:
- National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
- Smithsonian Collections Search Center
- Smithsonian Institution Libraries
- Other Smithsonian museums and research centers
APPLICATIONS FOR THIS PROGRAM ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED DUE TO THE ONGOING PANDEMIC. The information shared below is for potential applications to reference for future planning purposes; it is not a current recruitment announcement.
The Lemelson Center Fellowship Program supports projects that present creative approaches to the study of invention and innovation in American society. These include, but are not limited to, historical research and documentation projects resulting in dissertations, publications, exhibitions, educational initiatives, documentary films, or other multimedia products.
The program provides access to the expertise of the Smithsonian's research staff and the vast invention and technology collections of the National Museum of American History (NMAH). The NMAH Archives Center documents both individuals and firms across a range of time periods and subject areas. Representative collections include the Western Union Telegraph Company Records, ca. 1840–1994 and the Earl S. Tupper Papers, documenting Tupper, and his invention, Tupperware. In addition, the NMAH Library offers long runs of historical technology serials like Scientific American and American Machinist, and the American Trade Literature collection, which includes 300,000 catalogs, technical manuals, and advertising brochures for some 30,000 firms, primarily from 1880–1945. For a comprehensive catalog of objects, manuscripts, images, and research materials available at the NMAH (and other Smithsonian units), see the Smithsonian Collections Search Center.
Topics: The Lemelson Center invites all applications covering the broad spectrum of research topics in the history of technology, invention, and innovation. However, the Center especially encourages proposals that align with one (or more) of its strategic research and programmatic areas, including 1) projects that illuminate inventors from diverse backgrounds or any inventions and technologies associated with under-represented groups, such as women, minorities, LGBTQ, and the disabled; (2) projects exploring innovation in sports and sports technology; or (3) projects that explore the broader ecosystem of individuals and institutions that support inventors, including inventors' professional organizations; angel investors, venture capitalists, and financiers; incubators and entrepreneurial coaches; patent agents and IP attorneys; product designers, manufacturers, and marketers; and bankruptcy-liquidation specialists.
Eligibility: The Center annually awards two to three fellowships to pre-doctoral graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and other professionals (e.g. authors, journalists, attorneys) who have completed some advanced training (e.g. usually an MA or JD, but please inquire if you have questions). Undergraduates and Smithsonian staff should not apply. Fellows are expected to reside in the Washington, DC area, to participate in the Center's activities, and to make a presentation of their work to colleagues at the Museum.
Awards: Fellowship tenure is based upon the applicants’ stated needs (and available funding) up to a maximum of 10 weeks. All stipends are subject to tax; non-US applicants should inquire about visa status and tax implications. Stipends for 2020–2021 were:
- Pre-doctoral: $750/week
- Post-doctoral/Professional: $1,000/week
Each year dozens of fellows, working on a variety of research topics, find a home at the National Museum of American History. They are selected by the Smithsonian's Office of Fellowships which issues announcements, asks the appropriate curator to review the incoming proposals, and then refers the proposal to a special committee to make the final determination about awards. These decisions are based on the candidates' academic standing, scholarly competence, experience, and the suitability of the proposed research project of study.
During their fellowship tenure, fellows are advised by museum staff and have access to the Museum's libraries, archives, and many other resources depending on the nature of their research. Fellows are expected to give a presentation on their research as part of the weekly Tuesday colloquium series here at NMAH. At the completion of their appointment, they take their work with them.
There are so many different fellowship opportunities at the Smithsonian! Learn more about fellowship opportunities here, and find out the fellowship application deadlines here! Might we recommend perusing the Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program page?
Not sure who you'd want to ask to be your NMAH fellowship advisor? Check out our different teams (including museum staff's bios) on our website to see who might be a great advisor for your research. Applicants should consult with their potential Smithsonian advisors early in the application process to discuss specific research needs and collections availability.
Have questions about fellowship funding, visas, tax information, and more? Check out OF's general information on the SI fellowships here.