The Smithsonian Institution’s Minority Awards provide undergraduate and beginning graduate students the opportunity to learn more about the Smithsonian and their academic fields through direct experience in research or museum-related internship projects under the supervision of research and professional staff members at the Institution’s museums, research institutes, and offices. The program aims to increase participation in such pursuits by individuals who have historically been underrepresented.
Smithsonian fields of research include: animal behavior, ecology, and environmental science, including an emphasis on the tropics; anthropology, including archaeology; astrophysics and astronomy; earth sciences and paleobiology; evolutionary and systematic biology; folklife; history of science and technology; history of art, especially American, contemporary, African, and Asian art, 20th-century American crafts, and decorative arts; and social and cultural history of the U.S.
Internships and Visiting Student appointments are full-time (40 hours per week), for ten weeks during the summer, fall, or spring. Stipends are $550 per week, with additional travel or research allowances offered in some cases.
Candidates should be currently engaged in undergraduate or graduate study and should be maintaining an overall GPA of 3.0 or better on a four-point scale.
Candidates are evaluated largely on the relevance of an internship at the Smithsonian to their academic and career goals. Most successful candidates are students of the disciplines in which the Smithsonian conducts research, listed above.