Graduate Research Assistantships

Graduate Research Assistantships at the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art are designed to provide Yale doctoral students, in their second through sixth year, the opportunity to work as part of an intellectual team on a major scholarly project at one of the museums.

About the Assistantships

Application Deadline: March 7, 2014

Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs) are paid research positions, commensurate with a teaching fellowship of 17.5 hours per week, that are designed to enhance the educational experiences provided by academic course work and teaching fellowships at the University, allowing students to extend their range of academic specializations and expertise, and to augment research skills by direct contact with objects in the collections. GRAs are excused from their departmental teaching duties during the tenure of the research assistantship.

Research assistantship positions are open to graduate students in all disciplines.

Applicants for research assistantship positions at the Gallery may also be considered for Gallery curatorial internships. However, curatorial internships, unlike research assistantships, involve a flexible number of work hours and may not be substituted for a teaching requirement.


The application process is formal and competitive. Research assistantships are equivalent to University teaching assistant positions and cannot be negotiated through conversation with curators. Students who wish to apply should send a statement of intent and curriculum vitae. It is suggested that students seek the approval of their Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) before applying.

Short-listed applicants will be contacted for interviews with faculty and museum staff representatives in April.

To apply, please e-mail (as an attached Word document) a letter of application and curriculum vitae to:

Lisa Ford
Associate Head of Research
Yale Center for British Art

The deadline for application is March 7, 2014. Inquiries may also be addressed to this email address.

Financial Terms and Duration

The stipend for 2014–15 will be $10,650 per semester.

Research assistantships are being offered for one or two semesters, as indicated. Full-year GRAs are initially awarded for one semester and are renewed for the second semester after a midyear review, at the discretion of the supervising curator and DGS. At the discretion of the DGS, students in their second and third years may substitute up to two semesters of research assistantship in lieu of fulfilling the teaching requirements. If, in an extraordinary case, a student wishes to pursue the same project for a third or fourth semester, the student may be allowed to continue but the term research assistant will not apply.

No positions beyond those described can be financed at full stipend level or counted in lieu of teaching requirements. If a student holds a University fellowship, the research assistantship replaces the fellowship for the year in which the student holds the position.

Project Descriptions

Contemporary Ceramics

Supervised by Patricia Kane, Friends of American Arts Curator of American Decorative Arts; John Stuart Gordon, the Benjamin Attmore Hewitt Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts; and Pamela Franks, Deputy Director for Exhibitions, Programming, and Education and Interim Seymour H. Knox, Jr., Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

The Gallery’s departments of Modern and Contemporary Art and American Decorative Arts seek a GRA to work on an exhibition of contemporary ceramics drawn from a private collection to be held in 2015. The exhibition will integrate ceramics into the galleries of modern and contemporary art and design on the third floor. The GRA will assist in choosing the objects, planning the installation, and writing catalogue entries. Knowledge of contemporary ceramics is a preferred skill.

The Critique of Reason: Romantic Art, 1760–1860

Supervised by Cassandra Albinson, Curator of Paintings and Sculpture, Yale Center for British Art; Elisabeth (Lisa) Hodermarsky, the Sutphin Family Senior Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings, Yale University Art Gallery; and Paola D’Agostino, Assistant Curator of European Art, Yale University Art Gallery

Curators at both of Yale’s art museums will be teaming up on the organization of a large exhibition that will bring together their marvelous collections of primarily French and British Romantic art. The exhibition, scheduled for spring 2015, will be presented in the suite of newly renovated temporary-exhibition galleries on the fourth floor of the Gallery and will feature each museum’s treasures from the Romantic period in a new and dynamic context. In preparation for the exhibition, the curators are seeking a GRA with a strong interest and background in this area to aid in the development of this exciting exhibition. The research assistant’s duties will include conducting research on exhibition objects, assisting in the authoring of object labels and wall texts, and aiding in the development of a wide range of exhibition programming. Reading knowledge of French is preferred. While making a significant contribution to the project, the research assistant will learn how an exhibition is planned and implemented.

Iranian and Indian Art in the Department of Asian Art

Supervised by David Ake Sensabaugh, the Bruce and Ruth Dayton Curator of Asian Art

The Department of Asian Art has a large collection of objects from Persia and India, including paintings, manuscript pages, ceramics, architectural inscriptions, and textiles. With growing interest from faculty and scholars in using the collection for teaching and research purposes, and with the inaugural arts of Islam installation in the Mimi Gates Study Gallery, the Department of Asian Art is in need of an assistant to conduct research on the paintings, calligraphy, and ceramics in the collection; verify and update catalogue records; write label text; and prepare research-based descriptions of objects, which will not only be useful to students and scholars but also become the basic text for a future catalogue of the highlights of Yale’s Islamic holdings. Research on the manuscripts and paintings would lead to a special installation in the Dayton Gallery of Asian Art and in the Gates Study Gallery. In addition, during the year of the assistantship, the research assistant may be called upon to assist the Education Department with Yale course visits and other educational initiatives using the Islamic collections in the Gates Study Gallery.

Continue Exploring

Collection Catalogues, New Releases
Collection Objects
European Art
Bulletins, New Releases
Collection Catalogues, New Releases
Collection Objects
Asian Art
Collection Catalogues