Queensland-Smithsonian Fellowships Program now open for applications

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History Washington DC, 6 March - 25 April, Closing 2pm

06 Mar
25 Apr

The Queensland Government’s 2024 Smithsonian Fellowship Program is now open.

Individual grants of up to $32,600 are available to staff from Queensland research, education and cultural agencies.

Queensland Chief Scientist Professor Kerrie Wilson said the Queensland-Smithsonian Fellowships Program enabled collaborative research and cultural exchange between scholars and institutions in Queensland and the Smithsonian Institution.

“The fellowships foster interdisciplinary research and knowledge sharing, enabling fellows to access skills, expertise and facilities through the Smithsonian network”.

The Smithsonian Institution operates 19 museums, the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Washington DC, and has research facilities in the USA, Panama and around the world.
“Undertaking a fellowship can be life changing for the person concerned and brings benefits to our own research and museum institutions,” Professor Wilson said.

“Since 2001, the Queensland Government has awarded more than $979,000 to 56 Queensland-Smithsonian fellows providing them with new skills and knowledge that ultimately enhances Queensland’s scientific capabilities and global science reputation.

“Projects undertaken by the fellows have covered a range of disciplines in the environmental and social sciences, natural and cultural heritage, earth sciences, and education and museum management.”

Smithsonian Fellow Dr Lucy Cameron, a Brisbane-based digital transformation and new industry development expert now at CSIRO’s Data 61 (the agency’s specialist data and digital arm), said her 2015 fellowship increased her knowledge of the historical role of government in the development of innovation hot-spots in the US.

“I wanted to understand the role of government in test-bedding, developing and procuring new and emerging technologies for public sector applications, such as 3D printing, cloud skills and learning platforms and digital brokerage of services,” Dr Cameron said.

“These learnings had real implications for government in developing high-tech industries in the Queensland context.

“The Smithsonian Fellowships allow us to create important knowledge links between Queensland and the US on an ongoing basis.

“I stay in touch with researchers at the Lemelson Centre in Washington and look forward to visiting them again.”
Smithsonian Fellow Associate Professor Nathan Waltham, a coastal landscape ecology expert at James Cook University in Townsville, undertook studies in coastal wetland restoration techniques and evaluation, collaborating with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Centre in Maryland in 2019 and in 2023 (due to a COVID interruption).

“Working with Smithsonian research scientists, my project examined how fish move around floodplains impacted by land use conversion and engineering structures and examined oyster reef and broader restoration efforts,” Associate Professor Waltham said.
“This opportunity has been career changing for me.
“I learned so many new things that have influenced my research and teaching and I continue to build strong collaboration and other research links with Smithsonian colleagues, greatly benefitting my research on Australian coastal and marine restoration.”

Applications for the 2024 fellowships close at 2pm Thursday 25 April 2024 with fellows to be announced in mid-2024.

Further details and eligibility information on the Queensland-Smithsonian Fellowships Program are available online.

Key documents and links:

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