How do I apply?
Applications for the 2019 SMA Postdoctoral Fellowships are no longer being accepted. The 2020 SMA Postdoctoral Fellowship opportunity will be announced in late summer 2019, with online submissions through the application website. See 'Application' on left.
How do I register online?
Go to the Fellowship Application Login page.
Are there any requirements I must meet in order to
Applicants must have a Ph.D. in astronomy or a related field at the
time you begin the fellowhip. SMA Postdoctoral Fellowships are aimed
chiefly at research in submillimeter astronomy, and the successful
candidates are expected to propose and participate in science
observations with the SMA.
What type of visa will the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
issue me if I am selected for an SMA Postdoctoral Fellowship?
Only J-1 visas may be issued to international exchange scholars for the
SMA Postdoctoral Fellowship. (The position is considered a non-service
fellowship, and it is not an employment position in this context.)
Where can I find more information about the SMA?
Detailed information about the SMA is available at the
SMA Observer Center or SMA Website.
As an SMA Postdoctoral Fellow, may I use telescopes other
than the SMA?
While the SMA fellowships are intended
primarily for research associated with the SMA, fellows enjoy
extraordinary freedom in structuring their research in this area
whether in astronomical observations, their interpretation through
theoretical research, or receiver and electronics development.
What is the start date for an SMA Postdoctoral Fellowship?
The start date is flexible. Most SMA Fellows begin their appointments in
the fall, often on October 1.
When will an offer be made for the SMA Postdoctoral Fellowship?
It is expected that the first offers will be issued by mid-January.
Are applications for other CfA Fellowship Programs (e.g. CfA,
Clay, Menzel) automatically forwarded to the SMA Fellowship Selection Committee
No, the SMA Postdoctoral Fellowship requires a separate application.
How should letters of recommendation be submitted?
Letters of reference should be submitted by three "referees"
familiar with your scientific abilities and must be received by the
The name and email of each referee must be supplied in the application form.
A message is emailed to each referee, which provides a unique URL. The referee
uses that URL to upload the letter. Once the letter has been uploaded, the
applicant will see "Complete" when checking the appropriate area of the
application status page.
Can I edit my application online?
Yes, you can access the application as many times as you want until the
deadline. You can enter more information or edit existing information
each time. You can upload new files to replace existing ones until the
If my password does not work, what should I do?
On the "Fellowship Application: Login" page select "Reset
Password" and a new password will be emailed to you if you have already
How will I know if all my application materials have been
After logging in to the application, select "View Application Status"
to check what remains incomplete in your application. In addition, when
viewing your application online, you can check previously uploaded files
by clicking on the numbered button provided.
What should I do if I notice an error in my application
after I submit it?
Until the deadline, you can access the application to make corrections,
including uploading new versions of the pdf files.
What if I decide to withdraw my application?
If you want to withdraw your application, send email to
stating your full name and describe the fellowship application that you
wish to withdraw.
What if I have other questions?
We are happy to answer your questions! Please send an email inquiry to us at