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Fellowships in Museum Practice - About the Program

The Smithsonian's Fellowships in Museum Practice (FMP) program is a professional development opportunity for experienced museum practitioners, academics, and training providers. It was developed in response to an articulated need by the field for career development and renewal opportunities at advanced levels.

The program, unique in the museum profession worldwide, supports research about issues of theory and practice in education, curation, exhibition, administration and other museum functions and disciplines. It offers competitively selected individuals an opportunity to study a museological topic of their choice for up-to-six months in residence at the Smithsonian.

The purpose of the fellowships program is to serve as a catalyst for helping expand the intellectual resources and networking capacities of museums and their personnel - conditions necessary for fostering inspiration, innovation and ultimately, the production of new scholarship. It is not a training program or a collection survey tool.

Through self-designed programs of activities, interviews, readings and observations, fellows consult current museological scholarship while generating their own original research projects, interact with colleagues at the Smithsonian, and develop meaningful relationships within the broader Washington, DC cultural community. Participation in the program enables accomplished practitioners to reflect on their work, think creatively, and rejuvenate their talents and energy.

Residency arrangements are flexible. Individual schedules are structured to meet a fellow's employment situation and research objectives. Some people divide their time in Washington into two or more segments.

Fellows are expected to produce a document reflecting their work during the fellowship and to participate in forum discussions. Dissemination can be through a variety of formats such as journal articles, books, lectures, case studies, instructional materials, literature reviews and web sites.

Acknowledgement of the role of the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access in contributing to the resulting documentation is requested. A brief report describing the fellowship experience and its outcomes is due within six months after completing the fellowship.



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