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The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) Andrew W. Mellon Conservation Internship Program

The three year Mellon grant for the NMAAHC Mellon Curatorial Fellowship and Internship programs has come to an end. At this time we are not accepting any more applications for these programs. It we receive the grant again, an announcement will be posted on our website. Thank you for your interest in our Mellon program.

The NMAAHC is pleased to announce internship opportunities in conservation funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This internship focuses on increasing diversity in the museum conservation profession. NMAAHC seeks applicants who are recent degree holders or currently enrolled Undergraduate or Graduate students from HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), and other universities with a demonstrated interest in the conservation of African American cultural heritage.

Preferred qualifications include introduction to chemistry and art history, excellent hand skills, and a desire to pursue a career in conservation. Previous hands-on conservation experience is a strong asset.

The Conservation Interns are mentored and supervised by the Museum’s Conservator of Objects. Work locations include the Museum’s off site lab facilities at the Pennsy Collections and Support Center in Landover, MD or the temporary conservation labs in Suitland, MD.

The Conservation Interns are part of the exciting and groundbreaking journey to culminate with the opening of the new National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) on the National Mall in 2016. As the Smithsonian’s 19th and newest museum, and the first ‘green’ museum, the NMAAHC is committed to presenting a compelling history of our country through the lens of African American experience. Researching, documenting, conserving, and preparing objects for exhibit are an integral part of the internship experience.

For more information on how to become a museum conservator, or to see short videos on what conservators do, please visit the AIC (American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works) website

Internship Sessions

The NMAAHC Andrew W. Mellon Conservation Internship will consist of a 16 week term, beginning from June 1, September 15, or January 15. Start dates are flexible and arranged in coordination with the supervisor. Internships will be paid positions with a stipend of $8,800 ($550 per week) plus funds for travel, research and training/conferences. Four interns will be selected each year. Deadlines for applications are as follows: February 15 for the Summer session to likely begin on June 1; June 15 for the Fall session to likely begin on September 15 and October 15 for the Spring session to likely begin on January 15.

Academic Credit

The Smithsonian Institution welcomes the opportunity to work cooperatively with schools seeking to grant academic credit for internships. Applicants are encouraged to initiate arrangements for credit with their college or university. The Smithsonian does not grant academic credit.

Please address all inquiries to the Fellowship Program Administrator at