Internships for undergrads

Posted on Jan 19, 2013

2013 Analytical Studies Group Intern Program at MCI

Sponsored by NSF REU Sites Program

The Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute in conjunction with the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF REU) Sites Program is offering short-term opportunities for undergraduates to work on research projects with staff members of its technical studies and research group.  The Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute (MCI) is the center for specialized technical collections research and conservation for all Smithsonian museums, collections, and research centers.  MCI combines state-of-the-art instrumentation and scientific techniques to provide technical research and characterization of objects.

Internships will take place during the summer of 2013.  Applicants must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate in a university program or scheduled to matriculate in the fall of 2013.  Acceptable majors include, but are not limited to:  museum studies, art history, archaeology, paleontology, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, ecology, earth science, chemical engineering, and materials science engineering.  Basic chemistry and mathematical coursework is preferred; laboratory experience is not required.  Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.  A stipend will be offered for a period of 10 weeks starting in late May or early June 2013.

Projects will be supervised by one of the following staff members in their specific project area.  Applicants are strongly urged to contact potential advisors in advance of application.  Students are also welcomed to propose projects of their choosing contingent upon agreement of a staff member to advise the project.

  • Christine France, Research Physical Scientist, 301-238-1261,
  • Analyses of human and animal remains using stable isotope mass spectrometry
  • Jennifer Giaccai, Conservation Scientist, 301-238-1211,
  • Analytical studies of artists’ materials and degradation using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence, Raman, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy
  • Nicole Little, Physical Scientist, 301-238-1243,
  • Environmental studies of heavy metals using time of flight inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, X-ray diffraction, and scanning electron microscopy
  • Odile Madden, Research Scientist, 301-238-1257,
  • Analytical study of polymer composite materials in cultural heritage using Raman, FTIR, and/or XRF spectroscopies, as well as visible light and scanning electron microscopy
  • Mehdi Moini, Senior Research Scientist, 301-238-1238,
  • Study of protein degradation in museums’ proteinaceous specimens
  • Melvin Wachowiak, Senior Conservator, 301-238-1218,
  • Advanced imaging of archaeological objects using 2D- and 3D-imaging techniques as well as optical imaging beyond the range of human vision
  • Edward Vicenzi, Research Scientist, 301-238-1215,
  • Spectroscopic Imaging of Natural and Manufactured Materials

Applications must be made on line at  - apply for the Museum Conservation Institute Analytical Studies Group Intern Program.  Application deadline is February 25, 2013.  Selected candidates will be interviewed by telephone, although MCI visits are welcome.  Notifications will be sent by April 15, 2013.