Post-Doctoral Curatorial Fellowship at the American Philosophical Society

American Philosophical Society

Job Type: postdoc

Application Deadline: January 9, 2013

The American Philosophical Society (APS), the nation’s first learned society, invites applications for its two-year Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Curatorial Fellowship, beginning in September 2013. The APS seeks applications from recent PhDs in the fields of history of science, art history, 18th- or 19th-century American history, or any other related humanities disciplines. The fellowship, based in the APS Museum, will provide hands-on experience in curatorial work and the opportunity to pursue an independent research project, preferably one related to the collections or programs of the Society’s library and museum.

The Mellon Fellow will conduct research in the APS collections in preparation for the APS Museum’s interdisciplinary exhibitions exploring the intersections of history, art, and science. The exhibitions take place in Philosophical Hall, located within Independence National Historical Park. As the public face of the APS, the museum researches and interprets the APS’s extensive collections for the regional, national, and international visitors who converge on Philadelphia’s historic district.

The Fellow’s primary responsibility will be to conduct scholarly research for exhibitions, programs, and other related activities. He or she will be fully integrated into the APS Museum staff, working closely with the curator and others on the curatorial team. The Fellow will gain extensive experience in planning and implementing exhibitions as well as researching and writing interpretive materials for non-scholarly audiences (exhibition texts, publications, etc.). Depending on the Fellow’s interests and the Museum’s needs, he or she may also participate in public programming, museum education, collections management, and/or grant-writing. Twenty percent of the Fellow’s time will be reserved for his or her own independent research, ideally using resources at the APS or kindred regional institutions. The Fellow will also have the opportunity to network with APS Library staff and other post-doctoral fellows in the region’s cultural institutions.

This two-year Fellowship will begin in September 2013. Compensation is $45,000 a year plus benefits, along with additional funds for research support, travel, and relocation. The Fellowship may not be held concurrently with any other fellowship or grant.


• PhD in any humanities discipline, awarded within the past five years. The history of science, 18th- and 19th-century American history, and the history of art often relate most closely to exhibition content. However, the museum’s approach is interdisciplinary, and applications from qualified researchers in any humanities discipline are welcome.
• Excellent analytical and writing skills; experience in writing for different purposes and broad audiences (including but not limited to scholars).
• Broad interests, along with the intellectual and conceptual tools necessary for working across disciplines and time periods, and for making creative connections.
• Flexibility and the capacity to learn quickly and to work both independently and in collaboration with others.
• Project-oriented organizational skills applied to both academic and practical tasks.
• Strong interest in exploring a career in the museum field.

Applications must be submitted by EMAIL only to and must include:

• Cover letter stating interest in exploring curatorial work.
• Completed application form, found at
• Comprehensive Curriculum Vitae, with items listed within categories in reverse chronological order (Include external support received during graduate study: fellowships, teaching or research assistantships, tuition grants, etc.
• Statement of current research interests (no more than 1,500 words). This statement should include a description of a potential research project during the Fellowship, preferably one related to the APS collections or programs.
• Excerpt(s) from completed dissertation or thesis (no more than 5,000 words); example of non-scholarly writing if available.
• Confirmation Letter of Academic Status (candidacy or degree conferred).
• Three confidential letters of recommendation, which must be submitted on the APS recommendation form provided at
• See application form for further instructions.

The deadline for receipt of all materials is January 9, 2013.

To Download Application Form and Recommendation Forms:

For further information on Library and Museum collections:

Posted: November 09, 2012