Guggenheim Fellowship at the National Air and Space Museum

The Guggenheim Fellowships are competitive three- to twelve-month in-residence fellowships for research in aviation and space history. Postdoctoral applicants should have received their PhD within the past seven years. An annual stipend of $45,000 for postdoctoral candidates will be awarded, with limited additional funds for travel and miscellaneous.

Candidates are encouraged to pursue programs of research and writing that support publication of works that are scholarly in tone and substance and intended for publication as articles in peer-reviewed journals or in book form from a reputable publisher in the case of post postdoctoral applicants.


Each fellow will work closely with staff members who have similar interests. Staff members of the Aeronautics Department currently conduct research into aviation history including such themes as the growth and impact of aeronautics on society; the evolution of aircraft technology; and the development of air transport and military aviation. The department emphasizes both U.S. and international aspects of aviation history. Members of the Space History Department conduct research in the history of post-war science and technology and the history of space flight, and have written major works on the history of rocketry and the origins of space science.


Excellent archival and library staff and facilities are available. The Museum's archival collection contains photographs, motion picture film, a major collection of technical manuals and engineering drawings, and other documentary materials. The library holds over 29,000 book volumes and 11,000 serial volumes. The archival and library collections cover the history of aviation, space science and exploration, flight technology, aerospace industry, aerospace biography, lighter-than-air technology, and rocketry. The Center for Earth and Planetary Studies houses a NASA-supported Regional Planetary Image Facility that contains photographs, images and digital data of the planets and their satellites, as well as cartographic products generated from these images. Access to all other Smithsonian libraries, the Library of Congress, and the National Archives is available.


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 Predoctoral Guggenheim Fellowship. All applicants must be able to speak and write fluently in English.

Conditions of Appointment

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.

Stipends and Allowances

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

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 allowance of up to $2000 for the Guggenheim Predoctoral Fellowship, of up to $3000 for the Guggenheim Postdoctoral Fellowship, and of up to $5000 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 date
15 Jan 2017
3-12 months
America United States Mid-Atlantic
Humanities History History & Philosophy of Science Other Engineering Mathematics
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 7 years
Grants available
Award granted
US$ 45.000