Graduate Research Assistantships
These research positions enhance the educational experiences provided by academic course work and teaching assistantships at the university, allowing students to extend their range of academic specializations and expertise, and to augment research skills by direct contact with objects in the collections. If necessary, these positions may be offered remotely in accordance with Yale policy.
Projects in 2023–2024
Archives | Narratives of the Yale Center for British Art: An Oral History Program
Supervisor: Jessica Quagliaroli, Chief Archivist
One semester or full academic year
The Yale Center for British Art (YCBA) Archives seeks to appoint a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) for either one semester or the full academic year to participate in the development of its oral history program. The GRA will have the opportunity to identify significant individuals and topics pertaining to the museum’s history and the history of British art in accordance with the GRA’s interests and expertise; conduct in-depth scholarly research on those subjects in preparation for interviews; and create oral histories. By gathering firsthand comprehensive testimonies that explore a range of topics, including architecture, art collecting, and scholarship, the GRA will create oral histories that shed light on the museum’s history and contribute to scholarship on British art and modernist architecture. By the end of the project, the successful candidate will create and provide access to video recordings and transcripts of new narratives that reflect the multifaceted experiences of those involved in the museum’s past, present, and potential future. This project is an excellent learning opportunity for graduate students interested in using interviews as a research method.
Collections Information Access | Provenance Research
Supervisor: Emmanuelle Delmas-Glass, Head of Collections Information Access
Full academic year
The Department of Collections Information Access seeks to appoint a GRA for the academic year to research the ownership history of paintings in the YCBA collection. Under the supervision of the Head of Collections Information Access, the successful candidate will work independently and in consultation with YCBA curators and archivists to contribute to the provenance research campaign currently underway at the museum. The successful candidate’s provenance research will center on the ownership history of paintings by John Constable (1776–1837) and Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851) and will be published on the YCBA’s online catalog. In addition to honing their research skills, the GRA will gain valuable knowledge of the standards related to writing provenance entries; the research tasks of a curator; the ethical and legal nuances of assessing ownership; the museum’s collections information management infrastructure; and the day-to-day administrative tasks within an art collection. The successful applicant is expected to be familiar with historical or art-historical research, tools, and methodology, or to have experience in object-focused study, with a demonstrated interest in museum work.
Conservation | Technical Cataloguing
Supervisor: Jessica David, Senior Conservator of Paintings
Full academic year
The Painting Conservation Department of the Yale Center for British Art seeks to appoint a GRA for the academic year to assist in the technical cataloging of the museum’s painting collection. Working under the supervision of the painting conservators, the successful candidate will examine paintings and write technical descriptions to be published on the museum’s online catalog. These technical descriptions will describe material elements including a painting’s support, ground or priming material, paint application, and varnish. The group of paintings may be selected in line with the GRA’s research interests or those of the department. In addition to strengthening their skills in close visual analysis, the GRA will develop fluency in reading supplementary textual and visual documents, such as treatment reports and x-radiographs. The successful candidate’s technical observations will be published on the YCBA’s online catalog to provide insight into the construction and condition of collection objects and to contextualize the technical photography (x-rays, infrared images) presented there. To complement their own close looking, the GRA will review unpublished technical material related to YCBA paintings and incorporate aspects of it into their descriptions to convey the depth of research available for each object. This position requires good visual and research skills, some knowledge of painting techniques, and a willingness to research individual artists’ materials and methods.
GRAs at the Yale Center for British Art and the Yale University Art Gallery are open to PhD candidates in all disciplines. The number of assistantships offered may vary each year. GRAs are designed to provide Yale University doctoral students, in their second through sixth year, the opportunity to work as part of an intellectual team on a major scholarly project at one of the museums.
Financial Terms and Duration
The GRA stipend for 2023–24 is equivalent to the stipend for Yale teaching fellows.
No positions beyond those described here can be financed at full stipend level or counted in lieu of teaching requirements. If a student holds a university fellowship, the research assistantship replaces the fellowship for the year in which the student holds the position.
Research assistantships may be offered for one or two semesters depending on project and student circumstances. Full-year GRAs are initially awarded for one semester and are renewed for the second semester after a midyear review, at the discretion of the supervising curator and the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). At the discretion of the DGS, students in their second and third years may substitute up to two semesters of the research assistantship in lieu of fulfilling the teaching requirements. If, in an extraordinary case, a student wishes to pursue the same project for a third or fourth semester, they may be allowed to continue at the discretion of the supervising curator and the DGS.