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The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) is offering one fellowship in ethnographic and archaeological object conservation, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The fellowship is awarded for two years, commences fall 2021, and carries a yearly stipend of $40,000 with a yearly $5000 travel/research allowance and yearly $2000 assistance for medical insurance. Fellows take part in the Conservation Department’s major activities and carry out a research project under the supervision of Conservation staff. Current activities include preparation of collections for exhibit or loan, and preventive conservation at NMAI’s two museums (Washington, DC, and NY, NY) and the Cultural Resources Center. Conservation work in 2021 may also include a condition survey of collections for long-term loan to a cultural center. The fellowship is located at the NMAI Cultural Resources Center in Suitland, MD (8 miles southeast of Washington, DC).

The fellowships cultivate practical skills and foster a solid understanding of the cultural contexts of materials, the NMAI’s conservation philosophy, 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 fluency in English language skills (written and spoken). Fellowships are awarded without regard to age, sex, race, or nationality of the applicant.

Deadline: Complete applications, including letters of reference, must be submitted online no later than March 12, 2021.

Finalists will be invited for an interview and asked to submit a portfolio of completed projects.
All applicants will be notified by May 14, 2021 of the selection committee’s decision. 

For additional information about how to register and apply via the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System, please visit: