The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellowship at the American Philosophical Society Library & Museum

Job Type: Postdoc

Application Deadline: November 25, 2019


The American Philosophical Society Library & Museum (APS) invites applications for its two-year The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellowship. The APS seeks applications from recent humanities Ph.D.’s interested in exploring career paths in libraries, museums, and cultural heritage institutions. The Fellowship, based in the APS Library & 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 & Museum.

The Fellow will be fully integrated into the APS Library & Museum staff, working closely with others on the curatorial team. Primary responsibilities will include:

  • Conducting research in the APS Library & Museum collections in preparation for exhibitions exploring the intersections of history, art, and science;
  • Selecting objects for exhibitions and developing thematic narratives;
  • Helping plan and implement exhibitions as well as researching and writing interpretive materials for non-scholarly audiences (exhibition labels and text panels, website text, etc.);
  • Depending on the Fellow’s interests and the Library & Museum’s needs, they may also participate in public programming, museum education, collections management, and website development.

Twenty percent of the Fellow’s time will be reserved for their own independent research, ideally using resources at the APS or kindred regional institutions. The Fellow will also be expected to participate in the vibrant intellectual community at the Society, including biannual symposia for the elected Members of the APS, monthly lunches at the Library with visiting scholars, daytime workshops and programming with other residential fellows, and evening programs with specialists in a wide range of fields.

This two-year Fellowship begins July 1, 2020 and ends September 15, 2022. Compensation is $48,500 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.


  • Ph.D. in any humanities discipline, awarded within the past five years. The Library & Museum’s approach is interdisciplinary, and applications from qualified researchers in any humanities discipline are welcome. Applicants must have Ph.D. in hand by June 30, 2020.
  • Excellent analytical and writing skills; experience in writing for different purposes and broad audiences.
  • Desire to work collaboratively.
  • 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.
  • Project-oriented organizational skills.
  • Strong interest in exploring a career in the museum field and/or public history.
  • Fellows are not required to have specialized expertise in the individual exhibition topics. However, general interest in these topics is desirable. There is one exhibition per year, running from mid-April through December. Upcoming exhibitions include (working titles):
    • April – December, 2020: Benjamin Franklin’s Science
    • April – December, 2021: Women in Science: Unequal Recognition (2020-2022 fellow will be co-curator)
    • April – December, 2022: TBD (2020-2022 fellow will be co-curator)

See more information on the APS website. See full job posting and apply here.

Posted: September 30, 2019