The Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology (SIMA) at the Smithsonian seeks to promote broader and more effective use of museum collections – artifacts, audio recordings, art works, still and moving images – in anthropological research by providing graduate students with an immersive, four-week training program and research experience at the Smithsonian Institution. In addition, fellowships are awarded to teaching faculty who are interested in learning how to incorporate museum collections into their teaching.

June 20 – July 14, 2023

The program is offered by the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, with major funding from the Cultural Anthropology Program and the Documenting Endangered Language Program of the National Science Foundation.

Working intensively each summer with 12-14 students, the institute:

  • introduces students to the scope of museum collections and their potential as data
  • provides training in appropriate methods to collect and analyze museum data
  • makes participants aware of a range of theoretical issues relating to collections
  • positions students to apply their knowledge within their own research and at their home university
  • advances pedagogical training and methods that helps reposition museum collections as critical data for anthropology

Application information

Application Deadline: March 1, 2023

Applicants must submit a short statement of interest and an initial proposal for an individual research project. A letter of commitment is required from a faculty member who will supervise further development and implementation of the project in the year after the student’s participation in SIMA. Students will be notified of acceptance 4 weeks after the application deadline.

Contact Email: SIMA@si.edu



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