Qualifications and Application Instructions

Qualification for the Guggenheim Fellowship

Applicants who have received a Ph.D. degree or equivalent within seven years of the beginning of the Fellowship period are eligible to apply for a Postdoctoral Guggenheim Fellowship. The limitation may be waived upon demonstration that a Fellowship appointment would further the applicant's research training. Recipients must have completed that degree at the time the Fellowship commences. Students who have completed preliminary course work and examinations and are engaged in dissertation research are eligible to apply for a Pre-doctoral Guggenheim Fellowship. All applicants must be able to speak and write fluently in English.

Qualification for A. Verville Fellowship

The A. Verville Fellowship is open to all interested candidates who can provide a critical analytical approach to major trends, developments, and accomplishments in some aspect of aviation and/or space history. Good writing skills are required. An advanced degree is not a requirement. Graduate pre-doctoral students will normally not be considered for the Verville.

Qualification for the Charles A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History

The Lindbergh Chair is open to established and recognized senior scholars with distinguished records of publication who are at work on, or anticipate being at work on, books in aerospace history. Tenure typically ranges from nine months up to an academic year (September through August).  NOTE: The Lindbergh Chair selection process runs one cycle earlier than for the other fellowships because senior scholars often need more time to arrange sabbaticals or leave.  Applications are due December 1 (and references by December 15) for a term that begins nearly two years later.

Conditions of Appointment for Verville Fellows

The Verville Fellow is appointed for a period of 9 to 12 consecutive months, normally beginning between August 15 and October 1. The starting date should be mutually selected by the appointee and the Smithsonian advisor. Extension or renewal of appointments are competitive, not automatic. Applicants are not obligated to accept a Fellowship if selected. Residence in the Washington, DC metropolitan area during the Fellowship term is a requirement of these Fellowships.

The Verville Fellow is required to write a series of articles or a book as outlined in his/her proposal, make at least one work-in-progress staff presentation on his/her topic, report regularly to his/her advisor, adhere to a 40 hour work week, maintain research expenditure records, and prepare a summary report at the end of the term.

Conditions of Appointment for Guggenheim Fellows

Guggenheim Fellows are appointed for a period of three to 12 consecutive months. More than one Fellow may be selected. The major portion of the appointee's research must be conducted at the Smithsonian. Requests for extension or renewal of appointments will be considered on a competitive basis with new applications. Residence in the Washington, DC metropolitan area during the Fellowship term is a requirement of the Fellowship.

In accepting an appointment in this program, the Guggenheim Fellow will be expected to devote his or her entire effort to the research program. Financial assistance may be received during the term of tenure, provided there is no objection on the part of the granting institution and no demands are made upon the time of the Fellow. Purposes for which other support is acceptable include attendance at seminars, scientific meetings, or conferences that contribute to the Fellow's program of research.

The Guggenheim Fellow is required to make at least one work-in-progress staff presentation on his/her topic, report regularly to his/her advisor, adhere to a 40 hour work week, maintain research expenditure records, and prepare a summary report at the end of the term.

The starting date for the Guggenheim Fellowship term should be mutually selected by the appointee and the Smithsonian advisor, with the concurrence of the Office of Fellowships.

Conditions of Appointment for the Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History

Appointments vary from nine to 12 months, and typically are for an academic year starting in September. Residency in the Washington, DC area is a requirement. Interaction with Museum professional staff is highly desired and expected, including attendance at selected professional seminars and colloquia. Appointments cannot be automatically extended and typically are not renewable. The incumbent will be expected to engage in work leading to a major publication. Participation in the Museum's work-in-progress series is expected.

Deadline for Receipt of Application

Applications must be submitted electronically by December 1. The deadline for statements from references is December 15.

Use of Information and Method of Selection

All completed applications are made available to appropriate Museum staff members and external reviewers for review. Applications and comments are then compiled and submitted to the Verville and Guggenheim Fellowship Selection Committee.

Selection will be based on the consensus of the Selection Committee according to the following criteria: the potential contribution of the project to the field of aviation and space history, its utilization of National Air and Space Museum and Smithsonian resources and staff, and its potential contribution to National Air and Space Museum programs. The Smithsonian Institution's Office of Fellowships offers and administers all awards.

The recipients will be notified by phone or e-mail before mid-March. Applicants may reapply in subsequent years only by submitting a new application.

Use of Smithsonian Facilities

Each Fellow will be provided with appropriate work space and supplies to conduct research, including a computer and telephone. Secretarial service is generally not available.

Stipends and Allowances

Normally only one Guggenheim Fellowship is awarded each year, either Postdoctoral or Pre-doctoral, although in some years funding may allow the awarding of additional Fellowships. The stipend for Postdoctoral Fellowships is $45,000 for a 12 month term, and the Pre-doctoral stipend is $30,000 for a 12-month term. For shorter terms, the stipend amount will be prorated.

The A. Verville Fellowship stipend is $55,000 for a 12-month Fellowship. Only one Fellowship is awarded. For a shorter term, the stipend amount will be prorated.

The Charles A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History is compensated for replacement of salary and benefits up to a maximum of $100,000 a year. Research expenses and relocation are negotiable.

Fellows are eligible to receive a travel allowance not to exceed the cost of one round trip ticket from the nearest airport to assist their temporary relocation to the Smithsonian. For research-related expenses, Fellows may also receive a research travel allowance of up to $2,000 for the Guggenheim Pre-doctoral Fellowship, of up to $3000 for the Guggenheim Postdoctoral Fellowship, and of up to $5,000 for the Verville Fellowship and Lindbergh Chair, subject to the submission of a budget acceptable to the principal advisor(s). Please provide a budget and provide justification within your proposal. See the instructions below for further details.

Taxes and Visas

The Smithsonian Institution does not withhold income taxes from stipends. This is the responsibility of the Fellow. Fellows are excluded from Social Security coverage as well, as a Fellow is not an employee of the Smithsonian Institution.

The Smithsonian Office of Fellowship and Grants will assist with the necessary arrangements for visas for foreign nationals who do not already possess visas, or who wish to change the type of permit held. Normally, visas arranged by the Smithsonian Institution will give the Fellow the status of "Foreign Exchange Visitor" (J-visa). A spouse and minor children may travel on the same visa as the Fellow.

Application Instructions for Guggenheim, Verville and Lindbergh Fellowships

All applications for the Guggenheim, Verville and Lindbergh Fellowships must be submitted electronically through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System (SOLAA). Before beginning your application, you must create an account. As you work on your application, you can save your progress and resume your application as needed. As part of the application, you will be required to include the following supplemental files:

  • Three letters of reference
  • A summary description, not longer than 250 words, of your proposed research.
  • A research proposal not more than 1,500 words. This statement should set forth your research plan, indicating the importance of the work both in relation to the larger discipline and to your own intellectual goals. The proposal must contain your evaluation of the contributions that Museum staff members are expected to make to your studies, and indicate what Museum collections, special facilities, and other resources are needed. In addition, the proposal must also provide justification for the research-related expenses included in the research budget. We encourage the inclusion of an annotated historiographical introduction to the subject field of your proposal.
  • A research budget for remote travel costs, and other support required to conduct the research itself. Research budget does not include:
    • Fellowship stipend.
    • Relocation expenses.
    • Living expenses.
    • Reasonable quantity of photocopying.
    • Local travel expenses to Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Library of Congress, National Archives, etc. in the Washington Metropolitan Area (including northern Virginia and Maryland).
    • Supplies (pencils, pens, paper, folders), equipment, or services normally available at the Museum.
    • Computers, laptops, printers, cameras, scanners, sound recorders, etc.

      Maximum research budget allowance for the Guggenheim Predoctoral Fellowship is up to $2,000 for a full 12-month term. For the Guggenheim Postdoctoral Fellowship, the allowance is up to $3,000 for a full 12-month term. For the Verville Fellowship and the Lindbergh Chair, the allowance is up to $5,000 for a full 12-month term. If expenses significantly exceed these amounts, the applicant should indicate what other funds will be available to cover the difference. In addition, the amount requested must be justified by the research budget.
  • A bibliography of literature relevant to the applicant's proposed research, especially that cited in the research proposal.
  • An estimated schedule for each phase of the proposed research.
  • A curriculum vitae or resumé, not longer than three pages, including pertinent publications, fellowships or accomplishments relevant to your proposal.

Smithsonian Advisors

Every Fellow appointed at the Smithsonian must have a Smithsonian principal advisor. Identify in the proposal the member(s) of the Smithsonian's research staff who might properly serve as your principal advisor(s), as well as those who might be suitable as consultants:

This announcement contains the necessary information about staff research specialties and current departmental interests to help you determine which staff member is best suited to your research needs. It is to your advantage to contact that person or persons as you develop your proposal. You are urged to do so, but are not obliged.

If you have any further questions, please contact NASM-Fellowships@si.edu or call (202) 633-2648.