Objects Conservation at the Smithsonian, National Air and Space Museum

Posted on Jul 15, 2016
Conservation intern working on a helmet

Conservation intern working on a helmet

Fellowship appointments are for 1 year with the potential for a 1 year renewal.  They commence in the fall and include a $37,000 stipend, with additional funds up to $5,000 for medical insurance, relocation, research related expenses, and conference registration. The fellowships take place at the Emil Buehler Conservation Laboratory in the Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center, Chantilly VA.

Start date: Fall 2016- start date is flexible
Funded amount: $ 37,000.00
Deadline for application: August 15, 2016
*There is limited public transportation to the Udvar Hazy Center–a car is highly recommended for this position.

Fellowship Description

The National Air and Space Museum holds over 60,000 artifacts representing three centuries of aerospace history from 18th century ballooning to current spacecraft. While NASM is best known for the collection of rare and historically significant aircraft and spacecraft, these artifacts represent less than one percent of the entire collection.  The collection also includes a large art collection, spacesuits, engines, textiles, toys and much more.  The fellowship will introduce the candidate to a wide range of composite objects, metals, organic materials, textiles, and painted surfaces.

Fellows will be encouraged to develop a research project while at NASM. The independent research will be derived from the diverse collection of materials and may be related to evaluations of treatment procedures, diagnostic imaging, ethical considerations, technical studies or surveys.  Fellows will be encouraged to publish or present their research at the end of their tenure.  The fellowship is intended to contribute to the education of recent graduates by allowing the candidate to research historic and industrial objects and delve into the complexities of working with composite materials.

Candidate Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have a Master’s degree in conservation from a recognized program and be able to conduct research independently.  The candidate should have knowledge of ethical and professional principles and concepts related to the preservation of objects in a wide variety of media. They should also understand the theories, principles, techniques, practices, and methodologies used to examine, study, treat, analyze and preserve historic objects.

Applicants should have a proven record of research, writing ability, and verbal communication skills. They must be proficient in English language skills (written and spoken). Finalists will be invited for an interview, either in person or over the phone, and asked to submit a portfolio.

Application materials required:

-  A two page letter of interest (12 point font, 1.5 line spacing) explaining the candidate’s interests and intent along with a brief description of a research topic.  Please include a budget for health insurance, relocation cost, and conference registrations. The total allowance is $5,000.
-  Curriculum vitae including basic biographical information with current and permanent addresses, telephone numbers, and email address.
-  Unofficial transcripts of both undergraduate and graduate courses of academic study. Please send an explanation of the evaluation system if your transcript is from outside the United States.
-  Two references from conservation professionals familiar with the candidate’s work.

Fellowships are awarded without regard to age, sex, race, or nationality of the applicant.

Applications are submitted through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System (SOLAA) https://solaa.si.edu/solaa/SOLAAHome.html. Select the “Engen Conservation Fellowship” listed under the National Air and Space Museum to submit your application materials.

For questions about this opportunity please contact Lauren Horelick (Horelickl@si.edu).

We are excited about the opportunity to provide this fellowship experience and look forward to receiving your application materials.