Opportunities: SMA Postdoctoral Fellowships: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?
Applications are handled through the 'Application' website.

How do I register online?
Go to the Fellowship Application Login page.

Are there any requirements I must meet in order to apply?
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 for consideration?
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 application deadline. 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 deadline.

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 successfully registered.

How will I know if all my application materials have been received?
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 smapostdoc@cfa.harvard.edu 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 smapostdoc@cfa.harvard.edu.


SMA on Mauna Kea