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National Air and Space Museum Announces the Engen Conservation Fellowship Program

Posted on Dec 18, 2014 by in The OFI Blog |


Engen Conservation Fellowship

Objects Conservation at the Smithsonian, National Air and Space Museum

Fellowship appointments are for one year, with a one year potential renewal.  They commence in the fall and include a $37,000 stipend, with additional funds for relocation, research related expenses, conference registration and travel in addition to $3,000 for medical insurance.  The fellowships will take place at the Emil Buehler Conservation Laboratory in the Udvar Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

Start/end dates: October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016.

Funded amount: $37,000.00

Deadline for applications: March 1, 2015.


Fellowship Description:

The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) holds over 60,000 artifacts representing three centuries of aerospace history from eighteenth 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 5,000 works of art, spacesuits, engines, textiles, toys and much more.  The fellowship will introduce the candidate to a wide range of composite objects, metals, organic materials and painted surfaces.

The fellow’s independent research will be derived from the diverse collection materials.  Fellow will be encouraged to publish or present their research at the end of their tenure. Access to other Smithsonian conservators, conservation scientists and analytical capabilities at the Museum Conservation Institute (MCI) will also be available.

The fellowship is intended to contribute to the education of recent graduates by allowing them to continue research into traditional historic objects and delve into the complexities of working with modern 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 and knowledge of the theories, principles, techniques, practices, and methodologies used to examine, study, treat, and preserve historic objects.

Applicants should have a proven record of research, writing ability, and proficient English language skills (written and spoken).  Finalists will be invited for an interview and asked to submit a portfolio.


Application materials required:

A brief research proposal.  The research proposal can be related to collection materials or an evaluation of a treatment process (no more than two pages, twelve point font).  Please include a budget request for research related expenses, and conference registration.  The maximum research 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.

A writing sample such as a condition report, or examples of published 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) which is linked here.  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 Malcolm Collum, Chief Conservator at