SIMA 2024 Call For Applications

The Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology (SIMA) is happy to announce that we are accepting proposals from prospective graduate student participants for the 2024 program. The program will be held next summer at the National Museum of Natural History from June 24 – July 19, 2024. We hope you will forward this announcement to interested students and re-post to relevant lists.

SIMA is a graduate student summer training program in museum research methods offered through the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History with major funding from the Cultural Anthropology Program of the National Science Foundation.

During four weeks of intensive training in seminars and hands-on workshops at the museum and an off-site 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 a prospectus for research to be implemented upon return to their home university. Visiting faculty members for 2024 will be announced in the coming months. Local faculty will include Dr. Joshua A. Bell, SIMA director and Dr. Candace Greene, Director emeritus of SIMA, as well as other Smithsonian Institution Department of Anthropology curators and staff.

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 masters and doctoral level will be considered for acceptance. Students in related interdisciplinary programs (Indigenous Studies, Folklore, etc.) are welcome to apply if the proposed project is anthropological in nature. All U.S. students are eligible for acceptance, even if studying abroad. International students can be considered only if they are enrolled in a university in the U.S. Canadian First Nation members are eligible under treaty agreements.


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

Dates: June 24, 2024 – July 19, 2024

Application deadline – March 1, 2024

For detailed information about SIMA please visit:

For full application instructions visit:

Additional questions? Want to discuss a project proposal? Email

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