The Smithsonian Institution’s Gardens invites applications for research fellowships in the field of horticulture. Fellowships are in-residential and support full-time independent, thesis and dissertation research. The Enid A. Haupt Fellowship in Horticulture was made possible by a generous endowment from philanthropist Enid Annenberg Haupt who, during her lifetime, passionately supported the creation of public gardens and preservation of horticultural institutions. In that same spirit, the Smithsonian Institution’s Gardens offers the Haupt Fellowship to encourage the study of, and professions in, the field of horticulture in its broadest sense.
The Enid A. Haupt Fellowship in Horticulture aims to advance the knowledge and understanding of the roles and significance of horticulture in society, and to contribute to the ongoing dialog in the field. Proposals may address, but are certainly not limited to, the following topics: the cultural significance of public gardens in urban society; the environmental effects of urban settings on horticultural endeavors; art in the garden; vernacular gardens; regional garden types; the business of horticulture or floriculture; historic garden trends and design features; historic garden preservation; and public garden administration. It is natural for proposals to be geared toward the collections and resources located at the Smithsonian Institution, but fellows are also encouraged to use specialized holdings in libraries, archives and public and historic gardens in the Washington, D.C, metropolitan area.
The fellowship recipient will have access to the collections of the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Gardens, the Garden Furnishings and Horticultural Artifacts Collection, and the expertise of horticulturists and landscape architects who manage the Smithsonian gardens in Washington, D.C. The Botany and Horticulture Branch Library of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries also provides a rich resource on the history of American gardens and gardening of the late nineteenth century to the present. In addition to supporting research in all aspects of American history, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History Library includes thousands of historic horticulture trade catalogs in its collections.
Previous Haupt Fellowships have been awarded to scholars whose research interests have considered the field of horticulture from agrarian, architectural, cultural, economic, environmental, historical, social and technological perspectives. More recent Haupt Fellows, whose topics have utilized the Smithsonian’s Garden collections, have had the opportunity to contribute to the American Garden Legacy exhibition series, organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in collaboration with Smithsonian Gardens.
Terms and Conditions of Fellowship
The Enid A. Haupt Fellowship in Horticulture is full time, in-residence, and available for up to 6 months or 12 months, contingent upon available funding.
Within three months of the beginning of the fellowship, a final timetable of significant deadlines within the research plan must be submitted to the Smithsonian Gardens contact. During the fellowship, the fellow is invited to share the progress and/or results of their research by presenting a talk at the annual In Service Training Program which the Smithsonian Gardens coordinates for Smithsonian staff and horticulture professionals in the metropolitan D.C. area. By the conclusion of the fellow’s research, the fellow is invited to provide one copy of their thesis or dissertation to the Smithsonian Institution’s Botany and Horticulture Library and one copy to Smithsonian Gardens.
Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate program seeking (or have received) their Master's or Ph.D. in horticulture, landscape architecture, cultural studies, or a related discipline with concentrations in garden history or landscape studies. Applicants whose native language is not English are expected to have the ability to write and converse fluently in English.
The deadline for Enid A. Haupt Fellowship applications is July 1.
Fellowships are awarded through a competitive process. To be considered for a fellowship, applicants should submit a concise proposal that includes the following:
- A proposal (1,200 words or less) discussing the topic to be investigated including a thesis statement and a description of the nature and scope of the topic relative to the field of horticulture and an explanation of how this proposal will contribute to the knowledge of the topic
- A review of existing literature specific to the proposed topic.
- Preliminary timetable outlining the planned completion dates of significant research steps or goals.
- A résumé or curriculum vitae.
- Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate academic programs.
- Two letters of reference from two people familiar with your academic accomplishments and research goals.
How to Apply
To apply, applicants must create an account and submit an application online to the Smithsonian Online Academic Application System (SOLAA) at https://solaa.si.edu.
1. Once you have created and logged into your SOLAA account click on the link labeled “Add New Application.”
2. The Add New Application screen will appear. There are 2 steps to creating an application:
Step 1 - In the field labeled “Program Type” click on the button labeled “Fellowship/Other Academic Appointment.” In the field labeled “Office/Museum/Research Center” click the down arrow on the right side of the box and select “Smithsonian Gardens.” In the field labeled “Select program that you wish to apply for” click on “Smithsonian Gardens - Enid A. Haupt Fellowship in Horticulture.”
Step 2 – After reviewing the requirements for the program, click the button labeled “Add New Application” at the bottom of the screen.
3. Next you will see the “Add Application Result” screen. At this point an application has been created and you have the option of filling it out by clicking “Continue Application,” adding a new application by clicking the associated button, or logging off and coming back later to finish the application. If you return to the application, click the “Manage Applications” tab then click on the sub-tab “My Applications.” This will yield a list of all your applications. Select the application you wish to edit then click the Edit button.
Meet our Past Haupt Fellows
2015 Enid A. Haupt Fellow
Janie Askew was born in Dallas, Texas but spent the majority of her life in Colorado on a horse ranch. After earning an undergraduate degree in Art History from the University of Denver, she moved to Washington, DC to attend The Smithsonian Associates/George Mason University master's program in the History of Decorative Arts. She was assigned to the Smithsonian Gardens for a research assistantship, which began her three-year relationship SG and their collections. Her work primarily involved studying and writing blogs about objects from the Garden Furnishings and Horticultural Artifacts collection.
Through her research, she became acquainted with the collection wire flower frames, and her master's thesis topic unfolded. As the Enid A. Haupt Research Fellow, she is working on her thesis, Framing Grief: Nineteenth-Century Funeral Flower Frames. The multitude of flowers frames used in American mourning culture of the nineteenth century through World War II have left behind a vivid, visual history of changing perceptions of death. Her thesis explores how funeral flower frames reveal an emotional and cultural shift from fears of puritanical hellfire and damnation, to a concept of restful sleep for the redeemed soul and hope of being reunited in a better place. The use of flowers at funerals shifted over roughly one-hundred years, from a way to mask the physical and sensory ugliness of death to messages of religious and sentimental beauty, to individualized and symbolic representations of the deceased, and finally to conventional tokens for the funeral director to use decoratively.
In the future, Janie intends to pursue a PhD in Art History and Material Culture and ultimately hopes to teach at the college level.
Dr Lisa Horth
2014 Enid A. Haupt Fellow
Dr. Lisa Horth is an Associate Professor of Biology at Old Dominion University. She has an MS Degree in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development from the University of Maryland. Her thesis addressed habitat management for a rare bird species, the endangered Kirtland’s warbler. She has a PhD in Ecological Genetics from Florida State University, where her dissertation addressed understanding the maintenance of a rare genetic color morph in a common fish species, the mosquitofish. She completed post-doctoral work in Evolutionary Genetics at UC Davis on animal color patterns and at University of Virginia on structured plant populations. She has an ongoing interest in the importance of color patterns, and rarity, in nature.
Her most recent publication is found in Biology Open and addresses the novel finding that wild bees preferentially visit black-eyed susans (Rudbeckia hirta and R. fulgida) that have large, ultraviolet (UV) patterns around their centers as compared to those that have small UV patterns. UV patterns are found in many flowering plants and can be seen by a large number of pollinating bees, butterflies and birds but they are invisible to humans. In the study, UV signals were assessed in wild flowers found in remote natural locations, as well as in horticultural cultivars found in maintained, urban landscapes. Ultraviolet patterns have historically been thought to direct pollinators toward a reward once they have landed on a flower but this work suggests that pollinators use these signals from a distance, as well, guiding them toward flowers from a distance.
Dr. Horth loves wild, natural places and she was fortunate to be able to conduct some of this research through the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory near Crested Butte, Colorado, on isolated, steep montane habitat. However, the habitat in Norfolk, VA where she lives is largely urban. In such areas, flowering plants, and therefore pollinators, are found in the greatest abundance in managed gardens and landscapes. This landscape dichotomy led her to think about the importance of horticultural specimens for pollinators as well as their potential role in conservation. Recently, she has been conducting orchid research and began to contemplate the unexpected: when we manage horticultural specimens, we tend to deal with colors and patterns that humans find beautiful. This led her to become the 2014 Enid A. Haupt Fellow. While large, colorful and symmetric may be floral traits of our liking, including in orchids, what does breeding for these traits do to the floral traits that may be important to pollinators (like UV patterns) that we cannot see when we create our favorite horticultural specimens? Taking this question one step further, many orchids are endangered. If we ever decide that it would be beneficial to reintroduce cultivated plants for conservation purposes, would pollinators recognize these plants or would they have distorted UV cues relative to wild, native plants? When cultivars accidentally “escape from captivity” during high winds and hurricanes in places like Florida where large numbers of orchids are routinely bred and maintained, if they hybridize with wild orchid species, does this disrupt the natural visual signals of the wild plants for the pollinators?
As the 2014 Enid A. Haupt Fellow, Dr. Horth is assessing ultraviolet patterns in orchids from the Smithsonian Gardens collection. Understanding more about these natural patterns and their variety in pure species specimens, as well as our favorite horticultural hybrids, may allow us to determine whether we disrupt natural UV patterns when we selectively breed orchids, and other flowering plants, to satisfy our visual palette.
2012-2013 Enid A. Haupt Fellow
Joseph Cialdella is a PhD Candidate in the Department of American Culture at the University of Michigan, where he is finishing his dissertation titled “Landscapes of Ruin and Repair: Detroit and Environmental Change in the Rust Belt, 1879-2010.” His research traces the urban environmental history of Detroit by examining how residents, city leaders, planners, and landscape architects made and remade the city’s cultural landscape using urban parks and community gardens. In particular, he is interested in how various groups of people – such as city planners, landscape architects, European immigrants, African Americans, among others – negotiate a sense of place, create communities, and revitalize urban spaces through environmental change. It is his hope that telling a story about Detroit’s urban environmental history can help us to better understand the more recent urban gardening movement in the Detroit and also shed some light on potential solutions to the complex social, cultural, and environmental issues facing American cities today.
As the Enid A. Haupt fellow, Cialdella completed research using the Smithsonian Gardens’ Archives of American Gardens, wrote blog posts, and assisted with the development of Community of Gardens. Some of his posts can be found here and here.
After graduation, he would like to pursue a career working at organizations dedicated to education and preservation, such as museums and public gardens. When he’s not doing research or experiencing new landscapes, Joe enjoys spending time in the ceramics studio making sculptures and getting his hands dirty in the garden too. He holds B.A., M.A., and graduate certificate in Museum Studies, all from the University of Michigan.