Andrew W. Mellon Advanced Training Fellowships in Ethnographic and Archaeological Object and Textile Conservation National Museum of the American Indian Smithsonian Institution

Posted on Dec 18, 2013

The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) offers two fellowships in ethnographic and archaeological object and textile conservation, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  Fellowship appointments are for 1 year, w/1 year potential renewal; commence fall 2014; include $35,000 stipend, $4000 travel/research allowance, $2000 for medical insurance, and benefits. Fellows work on the Conservation Department’s major projects and research related to the projects and collections. Current projects include preparation of artifacts for exhibit at both NMAI sites: Washington, DC, and New York City. Fellowship site is Suitland, MD (outside of Washington, DC).

The fellowships are intended to cultivate practical skills as well as to foster a solid understanding of the contexts of material culture, the philosophies of conservation at NMAI, and the ethics of the conservation profession.  Museum programming involves collaboration with Native Peoples in the development of appropriate methods of care for, and interpretation of their cultural materials, this may include community consultations both at NMAI and in the field.

Applicant Qualifications: Applicant should be recently graduated from a recognized conservation training program or have equivalent training and experience. The best qualified candidates are those 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 proficient English language skills (written and spoken). Fellowships are awarded without regard to age, sex, race, or nationality of the applicant.

Application Procedure: The application process is via the Smithsonian On-Line Academic Appointment System (SOLAA) found at the
link below. The Applicant is responsible for submitting all the following materials in English:  A cover letter explaining applicant’s interests and intent in applying for the fellowship; A curriculum vitae including basic biographical information, current and permanent addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses; Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate courses of academic study with an explanation of the evaluation system if it is not equivalent to that of the US; At least two examples of pertinent publications, lectures, or other written material; Two letters of recommendation from conservation professionals familiar with the applicant’s work and one letter of personal reference.

Additional information and the link to SOLAA may be found at:


Applications must be completed by midnight March 15, 2014. Finalists will be invited for an interview and asked to submit a portfolio of completed projects.  All applicants will be notified by May 9, 2014 of the selection committee’s decision.

Marian A. Kaminitz
Head of Conservation
Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian
Cultural Resources Center
4220 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, MD  20746-2863
Fax: 301-238-3201