Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology

June 27 – July 27, 2016

Supported by the National Science Foundation

The Smithsonian Institution’s Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology (SIMA), supported by the National Science Foundation, is a graduate student training program in museum research methods offered through the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. During four weeks of intensive training in seminars and hands-on work in the collections facility, students are introduced to the scope of collections and their potential as data. Students become acquainted with strategies for navigating museum systems, learn to select methods to examine and analyze museum specimens, and consider a range of theoretical issues that collections-based research may address. In consultation with faculty, each student carries out preliminary data collection on a topic of their own choice and develops (and continually refines) a prospectus for research to be implemented upon return to their home university. In 2016 the program will run June 27 – July 27. Visit the SIMA website for full information. 

Application Information

Who should apply

Graduate students preparing for research careers in cultural anthropology who are interested in using museum collections as a data source. The program is not designed to serve students seeking careers in museum management. Students at both the master and doctoral level will be considered for acceptance. Students in related interdisciplinary programs (Indigenous Studies, Folklore, etc.) will be considered if the proposed project is anthropological in nature and if an anthropology faculty member at the student’s university commits to supervising its implementation. All U.S. students are eligible for acceptance, even if studying abroad, as are international students enrolled in universities in the U.S.A. First Nations people of Canada are also eligible.


The program covers students’ tuition, and shared housing is provided. A small stipend will be provided for food and other local expenses. Participants are individually responsible for the cost of travel to and from Washington, DC.

Deadline: Rolling. See the Smithsonian Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology website here.