Research Assistantships

Graduate Student Research Assistantships (GRAs) at the Yale Center for British Art and the Yale University Art Gallery 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. 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. For further information, contact Research ( | +1 203 432 2824).

A recent GRA described her experience: 

My year as a Graduate Research Associate was extremely fruitful for me. I had opportunities to work directly with materials in the Rare Books and Manuscripts collection; my primary project was to create a catalogue of a collection of over six hundred historic vernacular photographs, which will become the basis of a searchable database that scholars inside and outside of Yale can access. I also had chances to participate in writing gallery labels, work with visiting undergraduate students, and help with breakout sessions for a symposium on British photography. As an aspiring museum professional, my experience as a GRA in the Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts gave me hands-on opportunities to work with collections over an extended period of time, in ways I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. —Sarah Pickman


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

Financial Terms and Duration

The GRA stipend for 2019–20 is equivalent to the stipend for Yale teaching fellows, which is $11,925.00 per semester in 2019.

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, he or she may be allowed to continue at the discretion of the supervising curator and the DGS.


The application process is formal and competitive. GRAs are equivalent to university teaching assistant positions and cannot be negotiated through conversation with curators. It is suggested that students seek the approval of their DGS before applying. The 2020/21 application cycle is now closed.