The American Philosophical Society (APS), the nation’s first
learned society, invites applications for its two-year
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Curatorial
Fellowship. The APS seeks applications from recent PhDs in
the fields of 18th- or 19th-century American history, history of
science, art history, museology, 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. As
the public face of the Society, the museum researches and
interprets the APS’s extensive collections for the regional,
national, and international visitors who come to Philadelphia’s
The goals of the Museum are to:
- Share the circa 13 million manuscripts and other materials held
by the Society with the general public through curated thematic
- Nurture the spirit of inquiry, promote critical thinking, and
engender enthusiasm for object-based learning by using primary
source documents and authentic objects.
The Mellon Fellow’s primary responsibility will be to conduct
research in the APS Library and Museum collections in preparation
for exhibitions exploring the intersections of history, art, and
science. The Fellow will be fully integrated into the APS Museum
staff, working closely with others on the curatorial team. They
will select objects for exhibitions and develop thematic
narratives. The Fellow will gain extensive experience in planning
and implementing 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 Museum’s needs, they may also
participate in public programming, museum education, collections
management, and website development. Upcoming exhibitions include
April – December, 2018: Benjamin Franklin to the Moon:
275th Anniversary Exhibition
April – December, 2019: Mapping the New
April – December, 2020: Benjamin Franklin’s
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, and evening
programs with specialists in a wide range of fields.
This two-year Fellowship begins July 1, 2018 and ends June 30,
2020. Compensation is $47,000 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. The application deadline is November 27, 2017.
Notification is in February 2018.
- PhD in any humanities discipline, awarded within the past five
years. 18th- and 19th-century American history, the history of
science, 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. Applicants must have PhD in
hand by June 30, 2018.
- Excellent analytical and writing skills; experience in writing
for different purposes and broad audiences.
- Comfort with working 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.
REQUIRED MATERIALS (APPLICATION CHECKLIST)
Applications must be submitted by EMAIL only to MellonFellowship@amphilsoc.org
with the subject line as follows: Last Name, First
Name - Mellon Application 2018-20
- 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
personal research project during the Fellowship, preferably one
related to the APS collections or programs.
- Excerpt(s) from dissertation or thesis (no more than 5,000
words). An excerpt from a working draft is acceptable.
- Example of non-scholarly writing, if available.
- A letter from a Department Chair or Director of Graduate
Studies (or equivalent) confirming that the applicant has completed
or will complete their PhD by the required date.
- Three confidential letters of recommendation, which must be
submitted with the APS recommendation form provided at http://amphilsoc.org/grants/curatorialfellowship
- See application form for further
To Download Application Form and Recommendation
For Further Information on Library and Museum