UAB/BMA Curatorial Fellowship for MA Students in Art History

BMA Fellowship
The UAB/ Birmingham Museum of Art (BMA) Fellowship provides M.A. students at UAB with a unique opportunity to gain hands-on curatorial experience in a museum setting and is intended to prepare the student for a career in the museum or gallery profession.

Application Deadline: April 1 annually

Terms of the Fellowship:
The application process begins in April for the following academic year and is offered on a competitive basis annually. The fellowship period lasts for one calendar year, beginning and ending in mid-August; it is a one-year appointment and cannot be renewed.

The student must remain in good academic standing at UAB and make satisfactory progress toward the degree in order to continue the Fellowship. At the Museum, the Fellow must be prompt, appropriately dressed and ready to assist in any and all duties and activities assigned. A total of 32 hours of unexcused absence will terminate the Fellowship at the Museum. If BMA or UAB is dissatisfied with the Fellow for any reason, the institutions reserve the right to terminate the Fellowship.

The Fellow works 20 hours per week in a curatorial department at the Birmingham Museum of Art. The Fellow meets with all BMA departments to gain familiarity with the various workings of an art museum; participates in all appropriate meetings subject to availability; and attends museum functions when appropriate. The fellowship involves research, writing, working with curators and staff, and perhaps, artists. The Fellow, together with the supervising curator, typically develops one project or a discrete portion of a larger project during the fellowship appointment, as well as any other duties assigned. Projects may include the permanent collection and exhibition research. Specific duties depend upon the needs of the department to which the student is assigned.

At the end of the first semester of the Fellowship and again at the end of the year, a written evaluation of the Fellow is provided by the Museum. The Fellow also provides a written summary of their experience.

Applicants must have completed one year of course work in art history at the graduate level, show academic excellence and scholarly promise, and be well-versed in art historical research techniques. Along with the letter of application, the candidate is required to submit a resume, a writing sample, such as a paper written for a graduate class, and a 500-word essay outlining career goals, interest in museum work, and reasons for applying. The applicant is also required to submit unofficial transcripts and a letter of reference (or a list of references that the museum can contact independently). 

Application process:
Applications are submitted to the Graduate Program Director at UAB and are reviewed by the UAB art history faculty. Upon recommendation by the UAB faculty, an in consultation with the BMA curatorial staff, finalists will be asked to participate in a formal interview at the BMA. The final selection of the Fellow is made by the BMA. The award will be announced and the Fellow notified by the end of the Spring semester of application.