The NMAI Conservation Department offers several types of training opportunities for students interested in pursuing a career in conservation and for practicing conservators seeking professional development. Specialized conservation training may also be offered for professionals from tribal museums and cultural centers.
CONSERVATION SIX-MONTH PRE-PROGRAM INTERNSHIP
One pre-program internship is offered each fall.
Internship specifications: The six-month pre-program internship is designed for qualified individuals preparing to apply to a graduate-level training program in art conservation. Pre-program interns perform supervised condition examinations, write reports and treatment proposals, perform photo documentation, and treat objects requested for exhibitions or loans. An understanding of Native American cultural heritage and approaches to conservation is developed during the year. Interns benefit from having gained work experience in a museum conservation department and may include work completed at the NMAI in their portfolios. This position carries a stipend of $16,900.
Applicant Qualifications: This internship is designed for students applying to a graduate program in conservation. Applicants must have 3.0 GPA or higher and have an interest in pursuing the chemistry requirements for graduate school. The applicant should have a proven record of research, writing ability, and fluency in English language skills (written and spoken). The Smithsonian does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, gender stereotyping, pregnancy, and sexual orientation), national origin, age, disability, genetic information, parental status, or marital status of any applicant.
Submission: Applications must be completed and submitted through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System (SOLAA) no later than the closing date (second Sunday in February, see SOLAA for specific date). Requirements include transcripts of undergraduate degree (unofficial preferred) are required; a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or its equivalent (with withdrawals and incompletes explained); curriculum vitae or résumé; and three letters of recommendation, with at least two from professional referees.
ANDREW W. MELLON FELLOWSHIPS
Two Andrew W. Mellon conservation fellowships are offered each fall—one in object conservation and one in textile conservation—for candidates with interest in both specialties.
Fellowship specifications: The fellowship is awarded for two years, commences at the end of September, and carries an annual stipend of $40,000 plus an annual allowance of $5,000 for research and related travel. $2,000 is offered annually to assist with the costs of medical insurance. Fellows develop and carry out a research project with the guidance of Conservation staff. Fellows may take part in Conservation Department activities such as collections stewardship and preparation of collections items for outgoing loans or exhibits. The fellowship is primarily located at the Cultural Resources Center in Suitland, Maryland, eight miles southeast of Washington, DC.
Applicant Qualifications: Applicants should be recently graduated (within five years of graduation) from a recognized conservation training program or have equivalent training and experience. The most qualified candidates are pursuing a conservation career specializing in material culture of Indigenous peoples from North, Central and South America. The applicant should have a proven record of research, writing ability, and fluency in English language skills (written and spoken). The Smithsonian does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, gender stereotyping, pregnancy, and sexual orientation), national origin, age, disability, genetic information, parental status, or marital status of any applicant.
Submission: Applications must be completed and submitted through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System (SOLAA) by the due date (second Sunday in March, see SOLAA for specific date). The application must include two to three examples of treatment reports, three letters of professional recommendation, a written proposal outlining goals of the fellowship and potential topics of research, and unofficial transcripts for undergraduate and graduate education. Finalists will be invited for a virtual interview and opportunity to present portfolio selections. All applicants will be notified by mid-May of the selection committee's decision. See Smithsonian | Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for more information on these opportunities.