Link Fellowship Information
General Information for Link Foundation/Smithsonian Institution
12-week Graduate Fellowships
Fellowships are offered to graduate students to conduct research in the marine sciences at the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, Florida. These fellowships are funded through a grant from the Link Foundation to the Smithsonian Marine Station.
Applicants must propose to conduct research at the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce in one of its areas of research in association with a member of the Smithsonian professional research staff (Valerie Paul, Jennifer Sneed, Holly Sweat, and Melanie McField) for a period of 12 weeks at the graduate student level.
Fellows will be selected for the significance of the work they propose, their ability to carry out the proposed research and study, and the extent to which the Smithsonian, through its staff members and resources, can contribute to the proposed research.
Applicants whose native language is not English are expected to have the ability to write and converse fluently in English.
1. Qualification for Application for 12-Week Graduate Student Fellowships
Students enrolled in a graduate program of study at a degree-granting institution and who have completed at least one semester before the appointment period, are eligible for 12-week graduate student fellowships.
2. Deadline for Receipt of Applications
Applications should be completed electronically by November 1st or May 1st at Smithsonian Online Academic Appointments where applicants should register for a free account and click on Start Your Application at the top of the page. Link Fellowships are within the "National Museum of Natural History". Applications should include a proposal (minimum 1500 words), CV, and two letters of recommendation. No applications will be accepted after deadline. Notification of appointment will be sent from this office around 2 months after application deadline.
3. Use of Information and Method of Selection
All information gathered for an application is circulated to appropriate staff members and research associates of the Smithsonian in order to review the application and rank it on its merits. The number of appointments to be made is determined by the availability of funds for the coming year. The Institution does not discriminate on grounds of race, creed, sex, age, marital status, condition of handicap, or national origin of any applicant.
4. Conditions of Appointment
In submitting an application for a fellowship at the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, the applicant does not incur any obligation to accept the appointment if selected.
Graduate student fellows are appointed for a period of 12 weeks. If fellowship is awarded, start date can be determined in consultation with the advisor and funding would be available then. In accepting an appointment in this program, the fellow will be expected to devote full-time effort to the research proposed and to be in residence at the Smithsonian Marine Station except for approved absences.
5. Use of Smithsonian Facilities
Fellows will be provided with appropriate space to conduct their research and with the equipment necessary for their work. Applicants should consult in advance with their proposed advisor(s) regarding the availability of facilities and equipment. The amount of support services available to the fellow will be determined by the workload and the policy of the Marine Station director. Fellows should correspond with their advisor(s) about these subjects before arrival at the Marine Station.
6. Stipends and Allowances
The total stipend for graduate student fellows is $9,000 for the 12-week period. This fellowship does not provide additional support for travel and/or research allowances.
Upon request, the Smithsonian Marine Station, through the Smithsonian Institution, will arrange for appropriate visa documentation for foreign nationals. Normally, visas arranged by the Smithsonian Institution will give the fellow the status of "Foreign Exchange Visitor" (J-visa). A spouse and minor children may travel on the same visa as the fellow.
Non-US citizens must complete all parts of Item 16 on the Cover Sheet to facilitate arrangement of visa certification.
8. Income Tax
All funds provided under a fellowship are subject to taxes, including stipends and research and travel allowances. Payment of income tax is a personal obligation of each individual. Although the Institution cannot give authoritative advice with respect to individual tax liability, the following guidelines, based on information published by the Internal Revenue Service, are provided for your information. Questions with regard to tax liability should be addressed to the District Director of Internal Revenue for the district in which you reside, or to your own attorney.
A. Withholding of Income Tax
Taxes are not withheld from stipends of fellows who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States. However, in most cases, taxes are withheld from the stipends of foreign fellows.
B. Quarterly Estimates of Tax
Since stipends are considered to be income but are not subject to withholding, any portion of such stipend not excluded from gross income may affect the individual's obligation to file quarterly estimates of federal income tax (IRS form 1040-ES).
C. State Income Tax
Laws and regulations governing state income tax obligations vary according to the state of residence. Information regarding such obligations should be obtained from the appropriate state authorities.
D. Social Security
Non-resident aliens present in the United States under an F or J visa receiving fellowship income are not liable for social security tax. With respect to U.S. citizens and resident aliens, informal information received from the Internal Revenue Service advises that fellowship income is not considered to be income derived from a trade or business and is not, therefore, subject to self-employment (social security) tax.