Deadline: March 29, 2024
Work model: Hybrid
Duration: 1 year, with potential for a permanent position
Contact: Cole Johnson (


The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), based in Edgewater, Maryland, leads the nation and the world in coastal ecosystem research, focusing on sustainable solutions for the planet’s pressing environmental challenges. With 60 years of research excellence, it leverages its Rhode River site and global networks to address ecological issues, particularly where human activity converges with economic interests. By fostering innovation and collaboration, SERC aims to integrate scientific discoveries into policies and practices for a resilient and sustainable future.

As an integral part of the SERC Office of Advancement, the Advancement Assistant plays a pivotal role in supporting the institution’s fundraising efforts. This position has technical and administrative assistance duties that ensure the smooth operation of advancement activities and contribute to the center’s ongoing success.

Key Responsibilities

  • Gift Processing: Responsible for the accurate recording and acknowledgment of gifts.
  • Donor Information/Relations: Manage communications for donor events, assemble solicitation materials, and maintain up-to-date donor information. Assist in drafting correspondence and ensure the readiness of materials for donor engagement.
  • Data Processing: Maintain donor information records in the Smithsonian advancement database. Ensure all donor and prospect engagement is recorded in the database.
  • Research: Support the identification and engagement of potential donors by researching interests and aligning them with SERC’s programs and exhibits. Compile and organize data to assist advancement staff in donor outreach.
  • Administrative Support: Assist in the preparation of stewardship reports, event logistics, meeting arrangements, prospect portfolios, and travel. Maintain and manage office records and correspondence, ensuring efficiency and compliance.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to effectively interact with a diverse range of individuals.
  • Proficiency in administrative and management principles, with a keen eye for detail and organization.
  • Ability to work independently and in a team, with a flexible approach to managing multiple tasks and deadlines.
  • Familiarity with standard office software and database management.
  • Knowledge and experience in fundraising is preferred.
  • Candidates must be willing to work flexible hours, including occasional late nights and weekends, and be open to travel as needed.

How to Apply

The Smithsonian Institution values and seeks a diverse workforce. Interested candidates should submit their resumes and a cover letter by March 29, 2024. Resumes should include a description of your paid and non-paid work experience that is related to this job; starting and ending dates of job (month and year); and average number of hours worked per week. Relocation expenses are not paid. This position is a temporary position funded for a one-year term. This is an excellent opportunity to join Smithsonian Advancement, demonstrate your talents and abilities, learn, and grow, with potential for a permanent position.

Apply at


Cole Johnson
Senior Advancement Officer

About the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) provides world-class science, education, and research training to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century. SERC leads research and education on coastal ecosystems—where the land meets the sea—to inform real-world decisions for wise policies, best business practices, and a sustainable planet. Our work is urgent. The world’s coastal zones are home to more than 70 percent of the global population and experience intense economic activity. Environmental change is accelerating at an alarming rate. Since its creation in 1965, SERC has been conducting peer-reviewed research to understand the causes and consequences of rapid global change and helping people through education and participatory science to become responsible and effective stewards of the Earth.

SERC is a research center of the Smithsonian Institution, located in Edgewater, Maryland, on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, approximately 10 miles south of Annapolis, 40 miles west of Washington D.C. and 40 miles south of Baltimore. SERC’s 2,650-acre campus is a living laboratory for long-term ecosystem research on forests, farmland, wetlands, shorelines, and estuaries. The SERC campus contains a laboratory and office complex, as well as education and waterfront facilities, dormitories for interns, and guest housing for visitors.

The Smithsonian Institution is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital, parental, or caregiver status, and disability. The SERC community recognizes the value of workforce diversity, and we strongly encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply. We recognize that each applicant for this role will bring unique skills, knowledge, experiences, and background to this position.