Neville-Pribram Mid-Career Educators Awards

Researcher with magnifying glass.

2018 Neville-Pribram Mid-Career Educators Award

Applications have closed for 2018. Details for 2019 opportunities will be updated soon. 

The Smithsonian Libraries is pleased to offer a call for applicants for the 2018 Neville-Pribram Mid-Career Educators Award. The Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology is the host library for the selected 2018 Educator. The purpose of this award is to provide an educator with travel funding that will enable him/her to use Smithsonian Libraries collections to develop educational materials (materials may include lesson plans, study modules, educational games, educational websites, etc.).

The core of the holdings of the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology consists of approximately 11,000 rare books and manuscripts that were generously donated to the nation by the Burndy Library (founded by Bern Dibner) on the occasion of the nation's Bicentennial. The collection has since grown to 35,000 rare books and 2,000 manuscript groups. The strengths of the Dibner Library’s holdings are in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, classical natural philosophy, theoretical physics (up to the early twentieth century), experimental physics (especially electricity and magnetism), engineering technology (from the Renaissance to the late nineteenth century), and scientific apparatus and instruments.  The Dibner's collections would be particularly well-suited for an educator in a STEM field.

The 2018 Neville-Pribram Mid-Career Educator awardee will have ample opportunity to explore, utilize, create, and share a project that contributes to continued learning and application of the history of science and technology in education. 

Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Astronomy
  • Chemistry
  • Electricity and magnetism
  • Engineering
  • History of the Book
  • History of Science
  • Mathematics
  • Medicine
  • Natural Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Technology
  • World’s Fairs

In addition to library resources, the awardee will have the opportunity to engage with staff, and researchers at the Dibner Library as well as Smithsonian educators; attend Smithsonian or NMAH sponsored lectures, symposia, programs and events to enhance the resident experience. 

Applicants must be current middle school, high school, or college teachers or museum educators working on curriculum development or publications. They may not reside within commuting distance of the Dibner Library in Washington DC, where they will conduct their research. This award is not intended to further the research of doctoral candidates or post-doctoral scholars. One award is offered each year. Awards may not be used to extend other Smithsonian appointments. 

How to apply:
Selection is based upon a complete application.

The application should include:
•    Description of the educational project and intended outcome (no more than three pages)
•    The relationship of the project to the Dibner Library collections
•    A current resume
•    One letter of recommendation 
•    The length and preferred dates of the residency

Applications should be submitted through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment system (SOLAA) at You will be required to create an account. You may review the SOLAA User’s Guide on the website to familiarize yourself with application procedures. When applying, please chose "Smithsonian Institution Libraries" as the unit and "Neville-Pribram Mid-Career Educators Award" as the program.

Stipends are $750 a week.  Appointments may be 4-12 weeks in length. The Libraries does not provide housing directly, however applicants may consult the Smithsonian's Office of Fellowships and Internships Housing Guide for suggestions.

Following the summer residency with the Smithsonian Libraries, the awardee will provide a presentation of their research, and submit a short report on their project. Should any publication result from this residency, the awardee will also provide the Dibner Library a copy to be added to the collection.

For questions about the program, contact Erin Rushing. For question about the Dibner Library and resources, contact Lilla Vekerdy.

The Katherine Neville-Karl Pribram Mid-Career Educators Awards were established in 2013 through the generosity of best-selling novelist Katherine Neville and neuroscientist Karl H. Pribram.

Ways to Support the Neville-Pribram Mid-Career Educators Awards