Research Assistantships

Graduate Student Research Assistantships at the Yale Center for British Art and the Yale University Art Gallery are designed to provide Yale doctoral students, in their second through sixth year, with the opportunity to work as part of an intellectual team on a major scholarly project at one of the museums. These research positions enhance the educational experiences provided by academic course work and teaching fellowships at Yale, allowing students to extend their range of academic specialism and expertise, and to augment research skills by direct contact with objects in the collections. Students also gain in-depth knowledge of the intellectual and logistical aspects of exhibition preparation and other professional skills, although the positions are not restricted to those students who wish to pursue a museum career.

For further information, contact Research ( | +1 203 432 9805).


Graduate Student Research Assistantships at the Yale Center for British Art are open to graduate students in all disciplines, while those at the Yale Art Gallery are restricted to students specializing in History of Art. The number of assistantships offered may vary each year.


Submissions for assistantships in 2017 are currently closed. Submissions for assistantships in 2018 will be accepted starting in fall 2017.
Assistantships Offerings for 2018

Please be sure to check back as projects will be added once the application process opens in fall 2017. 

Recent Projects

Projects change annually. The following descriptions of past projects give a sense of the types of opportunities offered by the Center.

Museum Access and Community Practice: Developing and Teaching Interpretative Programs for Museum Visitors

Working under the direction of Linda Friedlaender, Senior Curator of Education, this project focused on researching, documenting, and analyzing accommodation strategies and best practices for audience inclusion. By fostering relationships with university and community partners this project sought to establish new program initiatives and engagement opportunities, while also evaluating strategies and best practices for teaching with specific audiences, such as individuals with autism spectrum disorders; individuals with physical, intellectual, and developmental disabilities; and individuals with dementia and their caretakers. In addition to researching, documenting, and analyzing accommodation strategies and best practices for audience inclusion, this project also opened a dialogue about accessibility and inclusion in the university museum that serves both the university and the greater community.

Research and Development of Exhibition and Seminar: Sculpture Victorious

Working under the direction of Martina Droth, Deputy Director of Research and Curator of Sculpture, this project focused on the development of the exhibition Sculpture Victorious: Art in an Age of Invention, 1837–1901, which was the first substantive examination of sculpture produced in Britain and the British Empire during the reign of Queen Victoria. The project entailed researching collections for materials relating to Victorian sculpture and sculptural practice, bringing the Center’s collections to bear on the planning of a loan exhibition and providing continuity between exhibition research and teaching.

Interpretation and Accessibility: Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts

Offered annually, the goal of this project is to make the collections of the Rare Book and Manuscript department more accessible to students and researchers by identifying subjects of interest to art historians and to social, political, and cultural historians. Under the direction of Elisabeth Fairman, Senior Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts, possible projects will include working on material related to eighteenth-century exploration, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century artists’ correspondence, twentieth-century book arts, maps and atlases, or ephemera from all periods. This research assistantship is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and may include travel to other collections for related research.

Research and Development of Exhibition on William Bartram 

Working under the direction of Amy Meyers, Director, this project focused on the preparation of the first major exhibition of the work of William Bartram (1739–1823), a Philadelphia-based naturalist and artist, opening at the Center in the spring of 2020 before traveling to Philadelphia and London. This project allowed for participation in all aspects of exhibition preparation, including assisting with the finalization of a selection list, scholarly research and writing, and assisting in the production of an accompanying exhibition catalogue.