Curatorial Traineeships: Apply to be a regional partner

  • Published 10 January 2013

We are looking for two new regional museum partners to work with the National Gallery and host one of two fully funded curatorial traineeships, running from September 2013 to July 2015.

National Gallery, London

National Gallery, London

The partnership will deliver essential and practice-based curatorial training both at the National Gallery and at the regional museum partner, where the trainee will work on a collections/object and research-based project with a beneficial outcome for this museum. The project should fall within the remit of European Paintings pre-1900 and the regional museum partners are expected to have a relevant paintings collection.

The traineeship programme was launched in 2011, with the first two trainees working on projects at Manchester Art Gallery and Tyne & Wear Museums.

Through this initiative we wish to help address the continuing need for renewed focus on object and collections-based expertise, ensuring that such skills are not lost in the modern museum environment.

How it works

The programme will provide practical curatorial training, alongside collections-based and specialist research skills. The regional partners will gain the assistance of an additional specialist member of curatorial staff for the period during which they host the trainee. In the longer term they will be helping to provide the expertise needed to work with Old Master painting collections in the future.

  • The Art Fund will provide the National Gallery with funding to employ the trainees for the duration of the project on a 22 month fixed term contract, and travel expenses to enable the trainee to work between the National Gallery and the regional partner.

Philippa Stephenson and Henrietta Ward, our previous curatorial trainees

Philippa Stephenson and Henrietta Ward, our previous curatorial trainees

  • The National Gallery will provide mentoring and support, giving practical and methodological training which curators will progressively apply within their regional placement. Applicants will be recruited by the National Gallery with the regional partners, and expected to work between the two organisations from the very beginning.
  • Regional museum partners will identify a collections/object and research based project which could include these material outcomes: a revised collections policy; an up to date catalogue of the collection; changes to the permanent displays; 'in focus' displays; temporary exhibitions; new acquisitions. The project should focus on an aspect of European Paintings pre-1900 and the host museum should have a relevant collection. While British Art could be part of this, it is preferable that it should establish a relationship with European painting rather than have a purely local focus.

The model for the allocation of time between the two organisations will be developed with the partner museums: in an initial training period of six months the trainees would be based at the Gallery with a number of visits to the partner museum to encounter the collection and staff and to discuss the project to be undertaken. The trainee would then be based principally at the partner museum for the greater part of the training period to deliver the project, with the option to conclude the period at the Gallery if that were helpful, for example in writing a report or producing other written or researched material, as a formal report of the outcome of the project is a required element.

The 2013-15 Traineeships are supported by the Art Fund with the generous assistance of the Vivmar Foundation.

How to apply

Contact the Head of Programmes at the Art Fund, Sarah Philp ( for an application form. The deadline for applications is Monday 15 April 2013.