Neville-Pribram Mid-Career Educators Awards

2019 Neville-Pribram Mid-Career Educators Award

The Smithsonian Libraries is pleased to offer a call for applicants for the 2019 Neville-Pribram Mid-Career Educators Award. The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library in New York is the host location for 2019. 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.). Application deadline extended to January 25th, 2019.

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library consists of approximately 100,000 items focusing primarily on design and decorative arts. Founded with the Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration in 1897 by Sarah and Eleanor Hewitt, granddaughters of industrialist and inventor Peter Cooper, the library and museum joined the Smithsonian in 1967 and moved to the Andrew Carnegie Mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Including over 14,000 rare books and special collections materials, the strengths of the Cooper Hewitt Library’s holdings are in the fields that support the museum’s four curatorial departments: Textiles, Wallcoverings, Product Design & Decorative Arts, and Drawings, Prints, & Graphic Design. Collections are international in scope, with emphasis on European and American design spanning from the Renaissance to today. Cooper Hewitt Library’s rare collection also includes subject areas beyond the current collecting scope like natural history, science and technology, and World’s Fairs making it particularly well suited for an educator in a STEAM field.

The 2019 Neville-Pribram Mid-Career Educator awardee will have many opportunities to explore, utilize, create, and share a project that contributes to continued learning and application of the history of design in education.

Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Architecture
  • Design theory, education, process
  • Ceramics and Glass
  • Children’s literature (18th-early 20th century)
  • Color theory, standards, dying techniques
  • Furniture
  • Graphic Design
  • Metalwork
  • Pattern and Ornament
  • Pop-up and Moveable Books (18th – early 20th century)
  • Technology
  • Textiles
  • Trade Literature
  • Typography
  • Wallcoverings
  • Woodwork
  • World’s Fairs (1851-late 20th century)

In addition to library resources, the awardee will have the opportunity to engage with staff, and researchers at the Cooper Hewitt Library as well as Smithsonian educators; attend Cooper Hewitt 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 Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library in New York, 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 Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design 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 Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library a copy to be added to the collection.

For questions about the program, contact Erin Rushing. 

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