Smithsonian Secretary's Scholars

$25 Million goal

Smithsonian Secretary's Scholars

Our Goal: $25 Million

The Smithsonian Secretary's Scholars will recruit and hire more than 40 of the world's most promising scholars for five-year positions across the institution. Through the Smithsonian Campaign, these scholars will infuse new energy into the institution's creative workforce, accelerate the pace of discovery in every field, and build a pipeline of intellectual leaders for the future.

Smithsonian Secretary's Scholars
Leadership Message

Leadership Message

For all the treasures held in the Smithsonian's vast and diverse collections, our greatest assets are our curators, conservators, researchers and scientists. Without them, our collections are mere objects, our stories are untold and our imperative – the increase and diffusion of knowledge – remains a promise waiting to be fulfilled.

This is why, as my first priority, I launched the Smithsonian Secretary's Scholars, a $25-million initiative to grow our ranks of talented leaders in humanities, art and science.

It is a prestigious appointment for innovative trend setters and thinkers. With access to the Smithsonian's 19 museums, nine research centers and the National Zoo, the scholars will thrive in a vibrant community of scholars surrounded by the world's largest collection of biological and cultural research objects and mentored by distinguished professionals.

Finding and nurturing talent is a competitive challenge, which takes unwavering attention and generous investments. I look forward to working with you to launch the next generation of scholars who will redefine science, art and the humanities and amplify our global impact well into the future.

  • David J. Skorton
    David J. Skorton
    Secretary, Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Secretary's Scholars
Campaign Case

Campaign Case

For nearly two centuries, the Smithsonian has been in the scientific and cultural vanguard, providing the inspiration for the National Weather Service, the know-how and seed money behind the technology for the first fuel-propelled rocket launch, and setting the standards for how museums care for their art and artifacts.

Today, the Smithsonian is a place of innovation — a resource of deep scientific and cultural knowledge that is fueling research as we explore space, save species, preserve and enhance cultural heritage and respond to global challenges.

Our scholars are expanding our understanding of artistic expression across all media. They are searching for answers to climate change in our Earth's fossil record and redefining what it means to be an American.

Smithsonian Secretary's Scholars

Smithsonian Secretary's Scholars

The Smithsonian Secretary's Scholars program will provide a rich environment for promising scholars and scientists to make the next break-through discoveries.

Campaign Priorities

Invest in the entire Smithsonian Secretary's Scholars Program

$25 million

will fund the entirety of the Smithsonian Secretary's Scholars program.

Fund Four Emerging Scholars

$2.5 million

will fund four scholars for five-year terms.

Fund One Emerging Scholar


will fund one scholar for a five-year term.

Smithsonian Secretary's Scholars

Contact Us

Smithsonian Campaign

Smithsonian Secretary's Scholars Campaign Officers

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