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My winning proposal: Set your sights on the Smithsonian

Attention to detail brings the Smithsonian Institution’s prestigious fellowships within reach

Top tips

  • Do not be overawed by the Smithsonian’s reputation—a good bid has a fighting chance.
  • Do not make your application longer than necessary.
  • Be specific and concise about your research questions, hypotheses and methodology.
  • Give the impression that you can hit the ground running as soon as you start the fellowship.
  • State clearly what the institution can offer you and demonstrate why you can only do your research with its resources.

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC claims to be the world’s largest museum, education and research complex. Its postdoctoral fellowships, which can last from 3 to 12 months, include a stipend of $55,000 (£42,000) a year plus a research allowance of up to $4,000. Applications can also be written for up to two years of support, but the second year of funding will be contingent on certain conditions being met in year one.

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