Frequently asked questions

    Applications for the 2023 Queensland-Smithsonian Fellowship program have closed.

    How to apply

    Who can apply for a Queensland-Smithsonian Fellowship?

    Applications are open to Queensland research, education and cultural agencies that employ staff who work in an area of interest to one or more Smithsonian Institution agencies. The proposed fellowship project must be aligned to one or more of the target investment areas outlined in the program guidelines.

    The applicant organisation nominates the proposed Fellow, who must be one of their employees. The proposed Fellow can be employed in a part-time or full-time capacity with the applicant organisation.

    How do I apply for a Queensland-Smithsonian Fellowships?

    Applications must be submitted online. The link to the application form is available on the SmartyGrants website. Applicants must:

    • complete an online application using SmartGrants
    • submit a scanned (PDF) signed letter of endorsement from the applicant organisation supporting the proposed fellowship, and confirming that they will continue to pay the proposed Fellow’s salary while he/she undertakes the fellowship
    • submit scanned (PDF) evidence of support from the hosting Smithsonian Institution agency/agencies clearly stating their support for the proposed fellowship, and their commitment to host the proposed Fellow’s visit (e.g. signed letter or email)
    • submit a signed Financial Incentive Agreement Terms and Conditions declaration. The declaration must be signed by nominated Fellow and an authorised representative from the applicant organisation.

    Can a Queensland–Smithsonian Fellowship be used to undertake a project on any topic?

    No. The project must address one of the target investment areas outlined in the 2023 program guidelines.

    Can a PhD student be a Queensland–Smithsonian Fellow?

    No. The Fellow must be employed by the applicant organisation.

    Should the nominated Fellow’s curriculum vitaé (CV) or resumé be submitted with the application form?

    No. The nominated Fellow’s CV/resumé is not required, as all the necessary information is provided in the online application form.

    Can the application be revised after submission?

    No. However applicants must advise the department of any changes that are likely to affect eligibility.

    Available funding

    How much funding is available per fellowship?

    Queensland Government funding of up to $25,000 (excluding GST) is available for each fellowship, depending on the duration of the proposed overseas visit(s).

    Must applicants apply for a $25,000 fellowship?

    No. $25,000 is the maximum amount of funding available for overseas visits totalling 16 weeks. Projects supporting international visits of 8 to 16 weeks can be supported, and the duration of the travel determines the funding entitlement.

    How is the fellowship funding paid?

    The fellowship funding is paid to the applicant organisation, that is, the Queensland agency that employs the Fellow.

    What are the funding instalments?

    There are two payment instalments (excluding GST):

    • Payment 1: the total approved funding less $2,000.
    • Payment 2: $2000 on completion of the fellowship and submission of final report.

    Does the fellowship cover the Fellow’s salary?

    No. The Fellow’s salary must be paid by the applicant organisation.

    What if the applicant organisation cannot pay the Fellow’s salary while they are overseas?

    The application must outline how the proposed Fellow will support themselves while overseas. These applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

    What can the fellowship funding be used for?

    Travel costs of up to $5,000 (excluding GST) are available to support one return international economy airfare and associated travel costs. This includes domestic travel costs to secure visas, and internal flights while overseas (if applicable). The applicant organisation will be required to supply evidence of the travel expenditure, e.g. eligible receipts and/or a financial acquittal statement, and will have to return any unused travel funds to the Department.

    Living allowance of $1,250 per week (excluding GST) to cover the costs of living expenses, including accommodation, meals and incidental costs. Funding is available for a minimum of 8 weeks and a maximum of 16 weeks duration ($20,000 maximum). The living allowance funding does not have to be acquitted. However, the Fellow will have a reduced entitlement to living allowance if they spend less than the approved travel time in the USA. For example, if a Fellow is approved for 11 weeks travel but only travels for 10 weeks, the original travel entitlement will be reduced by one week accordingly and $1,250 would have to be returned to the Department or withheld from the final fellowship payment.

    Is additional Queensland–Smithsonian Fellowships funding available if the travel costs or living costs rise?

    No additional Queensland-Smithsonian Fellowships funding is available from the Queensland Government. Any additional costs incurred must be borne by the Fellow and/or the applicant organisation.

    Is the Fellow entitled to additional funding if the standard travel allowances in the applicant organisation exceed that of the fellowship award?

    The Fellow must negotiate any additional funding with the applicant organisation, if applicable.

    Other conditions

    What is a Financial Incentive Agreement (FIA)?

    The Financial Incentive Agreement (FIA) is the legally binding document that outlines the conditions of the Queensland-Smithsonian Fellowships, including the payment schedule and the reporting requirements. The FIA also comprises the Queensland-Smithsonian Fellowships application, the Queensland-Smithsonian Fellowships Financial Incentive Agreement Terms and Conditions (version 2023), (PDF, 367.8KB) and the Queensland-Smithsonian Fellowships 2023 Guidelines. All documents are available from the Department of Environment and Science website.

    The applicant organisation automatically signs the FIA by submitting a signed Financial Incentive Agreement declaration with the application form online, but the FIA is not finalised until the Queensland Government’s authorised officer signs a separate FIA execution page.

    Applicants must ensure that they have read, understand, and accept the Terms and Conditions prior to commencing an application for funding.

    Who signs the FIA declaration?

    The Financial Incentive Agreement Terms and Conditions declaration must be signed by the nominated Fellow and the authorised representative from the Applicant Organisation. The submission process for the declaration page is outlined below.

    1. Print the declaration page.
    2. The nominated Fellow signs the top section of the declaration page; scans the signed page (PDF) and emails it to the officer in the Applicant Organisation who is authorised to sign the declaration.
    3. The authorised officer in the Applicant Organisation signs the appropriate section of the declaration page; scans the fully signed page (PDF) and returns it to the nominated Fellow.
    4. The nominated Fellow uploads the scanned copy of the fully signed declaration page with the online application form.

    Further information

    Further information about the Queensland–Smithsonian Fellowship Program and relevant documents are available on the Queensland Science website.

    For other queries, contact the science grants team by email at

    For technical questions about the online application process or form, please contact SmartyGrants.

    Phone: (03) 9320 6888 and quoting your reference number.