STRI’s success as a research institute is a direct function of our ability to attract the brightest scholars from disparate fields of study. We invest more than $3 million annually to support creative young researchers and to back leading scientists at critical stages of their careers. Modern facilities in tropical mangrove, forest and marine ecosystems and a thriving research community enable scholars to hone good ideas into brilliant questions.

Conduct your own research in the context of a 100-year relationship between the Smithsonian and Panama that has resulted in more than 10,000 scholarly publications. You’ll benefit from constant exchange that leads to transformational research and seeds new questions about the origins of biodiversity, the implications of environmental change and cultural innovation accompanying shifts in resource use.

The next deadline for Short-Term-Fellowship applications is April 15, 2015.

Note: STRI nor the Republic of Panama withholds taxes on any fellowship awards.

US citizens: Payment of income tax is a personal obligation of each individual. The Internal Revenue Service of the United States (IRS) specifies that all income of citizens and residents of the USA, and their spouses if filing jointly, that is generated from fellowship or internship appointments is reportable.

SI stipend recipients who are U.S. citizens or residents will NOT receive an IRS tax form (W-2 or 1099) from the Smithsonian because they are not employees of or contractors for the Smithsonian. Stipend recipients are responsible, however, for including the entire award (stipend, travel and research allowances) in their income tax return for each full or partial tax year during which he/she received an award. U.S. citizens who reside in the U.S. will receive a Financial Statement from the Smithsonian that is acceptable to the IRS in reporting income. U.S. Citizens who reside in Panama will not receive a Financial Statement unless they request one. For persons of other nationalities, reportable income is to their own countries and tax liability on that income varies.

For those required to report their income to the IRS, various income exemptions and the tax credits on fellowship and internship awards are available, depending in part on the length of time the fellow or intern spends in Panama during a tax year. These exemptions vary tremendously with individual circumstances and each fellow/intern is responsible for determining his/her own exemptions and tax liability. The Smithsonian Institution cannot give authoritative advice on these matters. Fellowship recipients are encouraged to consult IRS publications 970 "Tax Benefits for Education" at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf, and publication 54 “Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad” at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p54.pdf. You may call the IRS at 1-800-829-3676 for further information and to request forms by mail. Commercial online tax preparation services also are helpful.
  • Short-Term Fellowships
    The STRI Short-Term Fellowship Program allows selected candidates to come to STRI year-round and is an excellent resource to provide support for graduate students and introduce them to tropical research.

    Although focused primarily on graduate students, awards are occasionally given to undergraduate and postdoctoral candidates. These fellowships enable selected candidates to work in the tropics and explore research possibilities at STRI. The Ernst Mayr Fellowship is awarded to an outstanding Short-Term Fellowship candidate every year.

    Deadlines: January 15, April 15, July 15 and October 15.
  • Earl S. Tupper 3-Year Postdoctoral Fellowship:
    STRI's most prestigious fellowship provides complete freedom to pursue intellectual curiosity at one or more of our nine facilities in Panama for three years.
    Deadline December 1, 2015
  • Smithsonian Institution 10-Week Graduate Student Fellowships:
    Students must be formally enrolled in a graduate program and are usually intended for students who have not yet been advanced to candidacy if in a doctoral program.
    Deadline December 1, 2015
  • Smithsonian Institution Predoctoral Fellowships:
    Students must be enrolled in a university as candidates for the Ph.D. or equivalent.
    Deadline December 1, 2015
  • Smithsonian Institution Postdoctoral and Senior Postdoctoral Fellowships:
    To apply for the Postdoctoral Fellowship, the degree must be completed by the time the fellowship begins. To apply for the Senior Postdoctoral Fellowships, applicants must have held a Ph.D. or equivalent for at least 7 years.
    Deadline December 1, 2015
  • SI Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biodiversity Genomics:
    Scholars who have held a doctoral degree or equivalent for less than seven years are invited to apply to advance research on an aspect of molecular evolution, population genetics, or systematics.
    Deadline December 1, 2015
  • SI MarineGeo and Biodiversity Fellowships
    MarineGEO is a developing partnership among diverse organizations united by focus on globalscale, long-term study of coastal biodiversity and ecosystems using standardized approaches.
    Deadline December 1, 2015
  • Stable Isotope – Interdisciplinary Post Doctoral Fellowship
    Research proposals must integrate the use of stable isotopes (2H/1H, 13C/12C, 15N/14N, and 18O/16O) into their specific research questions. Stable isotope analysis must comprise a significant portion of the research.
    Deadline December 1, 2015


Katia SilveraMichiel Van Breugel
Former Smithsonian Fellow

Michiel works on STRI's Panama Canal Watershed Project, which aims to improve understanding of smart reforestation and ecosystem services in the tropics.

Christie Riehl Christie Riehl
Former Smithsonian Fellow

Christie studies the complex behavior of Greater Anis, cuckoo birds that both cooperate - by sharing nests - and compete - by tossing the eggs of nest mates.

Kate Ihle Kate Ihle
Former Smithsonian Fellow

Kate studies the behavior of Megalopta genalis, a sweat bee, to better understand social evolution.

Luis Mejía Luis Mejía
Former Tupper Fellow

Before it’s chocolate, it’s a cacao seed. Endophytic fungi growing inside cacao leaves protect them from disease. Plant pathologist Luis Mejia came home to Panama after finishing his Ph.D. in Maryland to find out how endophytes affect gene expression and health of their host plants.

Mivhiel Van Breugel Katia Silvera
Tupper Fellow

After finishing a Ph.D. at the University of Nevada, Katia returned to Panama to explore the evolution of a special, water-saving, photosynthetic pathway in orchids that may be an excellent illustration of the ability of an organism to adapt to changing environmental conditions through time.

Dave Marvin Dave Marvin
Former Smithsonian Predoctoral Fellow

Woody vines are overtaking tropical forests in the Americas. After comparing the growth of tree and vine seedlings under increased atmospheric carbon dioxide to use airborne and satellite remote sensing imagery to study how changes in forest composition affect the global carbon cycle.

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