We offer something for almost everyone! Researchers and professionals can also be part of the Museum community through our scholarly academic appointments. An academic appointment provides a formal affiliation with the Institution, often lasting many years.
Scholars seeking an academic appointment must be nominated by a member of the NMNH research community. Submission of the nominees complete curriculum vita, listing all publications and grants, is required as part of the nomination. All nominations must first be approved by the sponsoring NMNH Department Chair before being reviewed by the Museum Director and Associate Director for Research and Collections (ADRC). Before approving of an appointment the Director and ADRC carefully evaluate each new and renewing nomination to determine the contributions of the nominee to scholarly endeavors of the Museum.
Nominations are considered twice each year, May 1 and November 1. Appointments are generally for a three year term and may be renewed.
The appointment categories are:
Adjunct Scientist: The title of Adjunct Scientist is awarded by NMNH to distinguished professionals who significantly contribute to the intellectual life of the Museum through their in-residence participation in the care and curation of the collections; active research and publication record; service on NMNH and/or SI panels and committees; and mentoring of students working with NMNH scientific staff. Adjunct Scientists have achieved a doctorate; have professional status within their scientific community; have an active publication record, including at least one scholarly publication each year; and demonstrate a commitment to the NMNH scientific community through their regular participation in the scholarly activities of the Museum. Typically, only full-time, in-residence researchers from our affiliated agencies (e.g. USGS, USDA, NOAA) are awarded the title of Adjunct Scientist.
Research Associate: This is an invitational category for distinguished colleagues who play an active role in our research activities and have a close associated with the NMNH sponsoring Department or Office. Research Associates are scholars who formally and actively interact with NMNH staff through collaborative projects, proposal submission and grants, co-authored publications, and regular use of the NMNH research and collection facilities. Research Associates have have achieved a doctorate (with more than 5 years post doctorate), have professional status within their academic community and are a respected member of their discipline. Research Associates are generally affiliated with a recognized academic institution as active (sometimes retired) research staff and have an active publication record, including at least one scholarly publication each year as well as other scholarly pursuits. Most appointments are for three years and may be renewed.
Research Collaborator: The majority of our academic appointees receive the status of Research Collaborator. This is the standard appointment type for individuals seeking a formal affiliation with NMNH. Research Collaborators are those professionals working independently within the National Museum of Natural History research and collection facilities as well as education and outreach offices actively collaborating with members from the NMNH community. Collaborators have achieved an academic degree and hold professional status within their specialized community. Collaborators must contribute to the professional community through regular scholarly publication and presentation at professional meetings. Most appointments are for three years and may be renewed.
Research Student: This appointment type encompasses those individuals who are actively pursuing their education at a college or university but have not yet achieved professional status. The formal designation "Research Student" acknowledges long-term, active collaboration between an individual and NMNH staff. Research students typically are enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program, their affiliation with the Institution spans more than one year, and they must be engaged in active scholarly collaboration with NMNH staff including regular visits to the Museum.
Individuals awarded an academic appointment by the National Museum of Natural History are not employees of the Smithsonian and do not receive pay or financial award as part of the appointment.
Other appointment titles
Visiting Scientist: The title of Visiting Scientist is given to scholars in-residence at the Museum who are independently utilizing the facilties and collections. This is not a formal academic appointment.
Emeritus: Emeritus status is awarded to NMNH research staff who have elected to retire, but remain active in the Museum community. Researchers with Emeritus status are no longer employees of the Smithsonian and do not receive pay or financial award as part of the appointment.