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U.S. Interns

Once you have been selected for an internship and received your formal award letter from OIP, there is a series of steps to complete before beginning your appointment.

This page will guide you through the initial steps to help you become familiar with the paperwork and the steps to starting your internship.

Required Forms

Once your internship has been approved by OIP, you will receive a detailed email that outlines the documents needed in order to process your stipend. There are 3 forms that must be returned to OIP:

  1. Your Signed Award Letter
  2. W-9 Form
  3. Electronic Funds Transfer Form

If you have any questions about these forms, please reach out to your Unit Coordinator for guidance or contact OIP directly.


Payment Timeline

Once your forms have been completed and submitted, OIP staff will review them and then submit them for final processing. Some important things to know about your stipend:

  • It takes the accounting department approximately six weeks to set up stipend payments
  • The first payment is not released until your internship tenure has begun
  • All stipend payments are disbursed around the 10th or 25th of each month


Final Steps

Please contact your mentor and/or unit coordinator to ask about a Smithsonian ID badge, a network account, and workspace.

Unpaid Internships

If you are not receiving a stipend, you are not required to follow the steps outlined on this page. We encourage you to contact your Unit Academic Coordinator to coordinate your schedule and project, and to understand requirements for a background check for network and/or building access.


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