We are pleased to announce a new graduate student fellowship available at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) - The Kenneth Jay Boss Fellowship.  This fellowships provides financial support to graduate students to conduct collections-based research in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology (IZ) at SI-NMNH.


Fellowships are available to currently enrolled graduate students engaged in collections-based research (e.g., systematics, phylogeny, biogeography, comparative morphology, species conservation).  Students seeking support for conducting molecular studies at the museum should consider applying to other fellowship programs.

Both US and non-US citizens are eligible; applicants must write and converse well in English.  Local investigators (based in the Washington, D. C. metropolitan area) are not eligible for these fellowships.

Applicants must contact an IZ research scientist to serve as the fellowship advisor well in advance of submitting their application (list here  


The Department of Invertebrate Zoology can provide access to imaging facilities equipped with standard, low vacuum, environmental and field emission scanning electron microscopes, a microfocus X-ray computed tomography scanner, a compound fluorescent microscope, and digital microscopes with z-stacking capabilities; a histology lab equipped for paraffin sectioning and whole mount preparation; standard dissecting and compound microscopes.  Fellows will also have access to the main NMNH Library and the specialized library collections in the department.

How it Works

The fellowships are awarded preferentially to students investigating mollusks, although proposals focused on other invertebrate groups (exclusive of insects, arachnids, and myriapods) will also be considered and are encouraged.

Fellowship proposals are solicited biannually for projects ranging from one week to three months (no more than six months); the awards provide a stipend to cover housing and subsistence while visiting the museum.

The number of fellowships to be awarded each review cycle will depend on the quality of proposals and available funding.

Awardees must be in residence in the Washington, D.C. area and spend a significant amount of time working in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology during their fellowship tenure.

How to Apply

All application materials should be sent to the Chairman of the Department of Invertebrate Zoology (Dr. Ellen Strong, [log in to unmask]) by email in pdf format.  Applications that do not conform to the guidelines will not be considered.

I am happy to answer any questions about this fellowship or contact Ellen Strong at the above listed email.

Regards, Karen Osborn


Karen Osborn

Research Zoologist/Curator of Polychaetes, Peracarids and Plankton

Department of Invertebrate Zoology




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Mail: Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, MRC-163
P.O. Box 37012, Washington, D.C. 20013-7012 USA

Courier Address: Smithsonian Institution, MR 0163, Natural History, West Loading Dock, 10th and Constitution Ave
 NW, Washington, D.C. 20560