Charles A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History

The Charles A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History is a competitive 12-month fellowship open to senior scholars with distinguished records of publication who are at work on, or anticipate being at work on, books in aerospace history. Support is available for living expenses in the Washington, D.C, area up to a maximum of $100,000 a year. Tenure is typically for an academic year (September through August) and applications are due December 1 of the year preceding the award of the fellowship. (For example, applications for 2017–18 should be submitted by December 1, 2015.)

Charles A. Lindbergh

Charles A. Lindbergh (1902-1974) was one of the most significant figures in the history of aviation. On May 20-21, 1927, he made a historic nonstop solo flight in the Ryan NY-P Spirit of St. Louis from New York to Paris that changed the face of aviation for all time. As a result, he was given international honors and acclaimed a hero.

His 1927 air tour of the United States in the Spirit, sponsored by the Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics, and his Latin American air tour in 1927-1928 were significant steps in establishing a transcontinental airlines system in the United States and in linking the northern and southern continents of the Western Hemisphere with airline service. He was a consultant for Pan American Airways and Transcontinental Air Transport and helped establish each company's airline routes. In 1931 and 1933, he and his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, made two historic long-distance flights in the Lockheed Sirius Tingmissartoq to survey possible overseas airline routes in the pioneer days of international air travel.

His reputation was somewhat darkened by his acceptance of honors from the Nazi government in 1938, and by his noninterventionist activities for America First in 1941. Nevertheless, when war came he worked for United Aircraft to develop aircraft engines in the Pacific theater and flew combat missions as a civilian consultant.

After the war, Lindbergh became interested in global environmental problems, and he traveled extensively to promote these causes. He received the Langley Medal, the highest honor given by the Smithsonian Institution in 1927, and two of his aircraft, the Spirit of St. Louis and the Tingmissartoq, are on display at the Museum in Washington, DC.

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) and applications are due December 1 of the year preceding the award (references are due December 15).

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.

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 March 1. 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

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.

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(s) 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.


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.

Application date
1 Dec 2017
12 months
America United States Mid-Atlantic
Humanities History History & Philosophy of Science Other Engineering Mathematics
Required post-doc experience: 
between 10 and 99 years
Award granted
Up to US$ 100.000