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Cheng-Harrell Graduate Internship

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art (NMAA), invites applications for the new Cheng-Harrell Graduate Internship program. This academic year, part-time (20 hrs/wk) paid opportunity is designed to foster interest and deliver training in museum work for five graduate students annually who may not otherwise have the resources to pursue a career in this professional sector. The two-semester (Fall-Spring) program is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of museum operations by combining hands-on project experience with professional instruction so interns can contribute to projects in the museum's curatorial, conservation, and collections management departments. Specific department projects will be determined at the time of selection. NMAA's internship program seeks talented individuals of all backgrounds. We value diversity of cultures, races and ethnicities, gender expressions, and abilities.

We plan for on-site internships in Washington, DC for Fall 2022. However, depending on the status of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, internships may be converted to virtual or hybrid (part in-person, part virtual) to ensure the safety and health of our staff and interns.

$17,000 (includes a stipend for living costs)

Paid, Part-time (20 hrs/week)
September 6 – December 16 , 2022 (Fall semester) and January 23 – May 5, 2023
(Spring semester)

How to Apply

To begin the application process, you must create an account through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointments external application portal (SOLAA):

After entering SOLAA, follow the instructions on the left-hand navigation bar and select the “National Museum of Asian Art (Freer Gallery and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery)” from the drop-down menu. Then select the “Cheng-Harrell Graduate Internship” program listing.  

Only completed applications submitted through SOLAA will be considered. Application materials must include: (1) Essay (in no more than two pages), describing your educational background, interest in our program, preferred museum department (curatorial, conservation, or collections management), and current academic and career learning goals (2) Current CV or resume, (3) two letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to your skills or knowledge related to this internship opportunity. Professional references are preferred, and (4) undergraduate and graduate transcripts (unofficial are accepted). In addition, applicants must answer brief application questions at the end of the online application.

Application deadline: April 1, 2022

Contact Information

For questions regarding this opportunity, please contact:

Start Date
End Date
Washington, DC
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