VPP candidates must complete the application materials, which include a certification form from the director or supervisor of their home organization, an essay, a CV or resume, and a reference letter from their director or supervisor. All application materials are then reviewed and evaluated by a review committee of Smithsonian Affiliations staff, other Smithsonian colleagues, and at least one external reviewer. Selection criteria are based upon how well the applicant describes the problem/challenge at their organization; the relationship of the project to the Affiliate organization’s strategic plan; and the Smithsonian’s ability to support the project with content, resources and/or expertise.
Smithsonian Affiliations will provide candidates and Affiliate organizations with information regarding the status of applications and will notify the candidates of final selections. VPP is a competitive program, so not all candidates may be accepted.