COVID-19 Funding Guide: Introduction

The Smithsonian is well positioned to engage in activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding guide for COVID-19 pandemic related initiatives and projects is intended for Smithsonian experts from all disciplines to identify funding opportunities for current and potential COVID-19 related initiatives and projects. It provides resources and guidance to locate COVID-19 related funding that may align with Smithsonian expertise.

Smithsonian experts will likely need to be creative to find and be competitive for funding opportunities. This is an opportune time to form internal collaborative teams to maximize expertise and competitiveness for COVID-19 related proposals and initiatives. If you would like to seek additional expertise outside of your primary discipline, please feel free to reach out to the following Smithsonian COVID-19 related activity leads:

  • History, Art, Culture, and Design: Dwan Reece (
  • Health and Biological Sciences: Carly Muletz Wolz (
  • Workplace/Exhibit Safety and Material Science: Susan Ades (

Guidance for Researching and Seeking Funding

Smithsonian Institution staff (federal, trust, emeritus, and research associates) can submit applications for project funding from foundations, corporations, and governmental entities, through Smithsonian’s status as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, as recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. The Office of Sponsored Projects can help you understand the role of their office, the role of the Office of Advancment and to Understand the Federal Research Compliance Rules (SI staff).

Searchable Grant Databases

The Smithsonian Office of Advancement, Smithsonian Office of Sponsored Projects, and the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives (SLA) partner to provide access toand information abouta number of searchable databases on grant opportunities and grantmaking organizations. These powerful databa​ses (SI staff) can help you find federal and private funding opportunities.


Many hands from across the Smithsonian were involved in the creation of this guide.

Trina Brown, Smithsonian Libraries and Archives (SLA); Kate Christen, Smithsonian Facilities; Stephen Cox, SLA; Brian Coyle, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute/National Zoo; Barbara Ferry, SLA; Anissa Holmes, Office of Advancement; Zach Johnson, Smithsonian Facilities; Carly Muletz Wolz, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute; Karen Otiji, Office of Sponsored Projects; Baasil Wilder, SLA; Sue Zwicker, SLA