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Resources like ours help individuals and institutions preserve and protect their collections. Advance your skills with program materials, professional development, and funding opportunities.

Outside Funding Sources

Funding for individual study or research in conservation through FAIC is limited. The following list of conservation-related grant and fellowship programs may be of help.

Some information is included below, and you can follow the external links for further details on each funding opportunity.


For Conservation Projects

  • American Alliance of Museums - Museum Assessment Program
    The Museum Assessment Program (MAP) helps small and mid-sized museums maintain and improve operations by providing guidance in meeting priorities and goals and understanding how your museum compares to standards and best practices. Specifically, museums can apply for a Collections Stewardship Assessment. www.aam-us.org/map
  • Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
    The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation has established a clearinghouse of information to assist the preservation community and the general public in exploring the range of preservation funding options. The emphasis is on federal funding, with more limited discussion of state, tribal, local, and non-profit funding opportunities. www.achp.gov
  • Archaeological Institute of America - Site Preservation Grant 
    This grant is intended to fund projects that uphold the AIA's mission to preserve and promote the world's archaeological heritage for future generations. The goal of the grant, which carries a maximum value of $25,000 to be awarded over the course of one to three years, is to maximize global preservation efforts and awareness through AIA support. www.archaeological.org
  • Greater Hudson Heritage Network - Conservation Treatment Grant Program
    The Conservation Treatment Grant Program, administered by the Greater Hudson Heritage Network (Greater Hudson), in association with the Museum Program of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), provides support for treatment procedures to aid in stabilizing and preserving objects in collections of museums, historical and cultural organizations in New York State. www.greaterhudson.org
  • Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
    The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. www.imls.gov
  • National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers
    Each state has a historic preservation officer, who may be able to provide additional suggestions specific to your state or region. To find the preservation officer in your state, visit www.ncshpo.org.
  • National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) - Arts Indemnity Program
    The National Endowment for the Arts administers the U.S. Government's Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Program on behalf of the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities (FCAH). The Indemnity Program was created by Congress in 1975 for the purpose of minimizing the costs of insuring international exhibitions. www.arts.gov
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) - Preservation and Access Grants 
    The division’s grant programs recognize that good stewardship of cultural resources requires equal attention to both preservation and access. All of the division’s programs focus on ensuring the long-term and wide availability of primary resources in the humanities. www.neh.gov
  • National Film Preservation Foundation Grants 
    The NFPF helps archives, historical societies, libraries, museums, and universities preserve and make available American films that are not likely to survive without public support. The NFPF offers several types of preservation grants supporting the creation of preservation and access copies of American orphan films of historic and cultural interest. www.filmpreservation.org
  • National Trust Preservation Funds Grants
    The National Trust Preservation Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation offers several types of financial assistance to nonprofit organizations, public agencies, for-profit companies, and individuals involved in preservation-related projects. www.savingplaces.org
  • Society for Industrial Archeology
    The Society for Industrial Archeology offers Industrial Heritage Preservation Grants (IHPG) from $1000 to $3000 for the study, documentation, recordation, and/or preservation of significant historic industrial sites, structures, and objects. Awards are made to nonprofit organizations and qualified individuals. Application deadline March 1. www.sia-web.org

For Individual Study or Research

Funding for individual study or research in conservation is limited. The following sources may be of help.

  • American Academy in Rome
    The American Academy in Rome has awarded the “Rome Prize” to conservators conducting in research in Italy. www.aarome.org
  • American Architectural Foundation - Richard Morris Hunt Fellowship
    Since 1990, the Richard Morris Hunt Fellowship, co-sponsored by the American Architectural Foundation and the French Heritage Society, offers mid-career American and French design professionals an intensive six-month exchange experience that showcases the latest scholarship and practice around historic preservation and architectural heritage. www.archfoundation.org
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
    The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation program for art museums is designed to help excellent institutions build and sustain their capacity to undertake serious scholarship on their permanent collections; to preserve these collections; and to share the results of their work in appropriate ways with scholarly and other audiences. The art conservation program concentrates largely on advanced training for future generations of conservators, but it also undergirds fundamental work in developing fields such as photograph conservation and conservation science – areas of increasing importance to conservation as a whole. www.mellon.org
  • Conservation by Design - Book Conservation Summer School Scholarship
    Conservation by Design invites conservators and skilled bookbinders to apply for the Nicholas Hadgraft Memorial Scholarship. The winner will receive £1,500 towards the cost of attending the Montefiascone Book Conservation Summer School, a unique bookbinding course held each year in the beautiful medieval town of Montefiascone, Italy. For further information on the scholarship, contact Conservation By Design on 01234 844 260 or visit www.conservation-by-design.com.
  • Fitch Foundation 
    The Fitch Foundation offers support for original research in historic preservation, including decorative arts. www.fitchfoundation.org
  • Fulbright Program
    The Fulbright Program has a long history of supporting international scholarly research. eca.state.gov/fulbright
  • Getty Grant Program
    The Foundation promotes the interdisciplinary practice of conservation by supporting projects that foster collaboration between conservators, art historians, conservation scientists, and other heritage professionals. www.getty.edu/foundation
  • John Anson Kittredge Foundation
    The John Anson Kittredge Foundation has made small, one-time grants to conservators attending workshops and conferences. For more information, write to the John Anson Kittredge Foundation, c/o Ernest R. May, P.O. Box 2883, Cambridge, MA 02138. http://kittredgefund.org/
  • J. Paul Getty Trust
    The J. Paul Getty Trust offers scholarships for research residencies at the Getty Center. www.getty.edu
  • National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) Grants
    NCPTT seeks innovative projects that advance the application of science and technology to historic preservation. The PTT Grants program funds projects that develop new technologies or adapt existing technologies to preserve cultural resources. ncptt.nps.gov
  • National Gallery of Art - Conservation Fellowships
    Since 1983, the conservation division has offered fellowships that have enabled graduates of conservation programs to participate in the Gallery's mission to care for the collections. The program allows novice conservators to practice and refine their skills through the examination and treatment of works of art. The fellowships are supported by both the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Charles E. Culpeper Foundation. Fellows serve for a three-year period in the painting, paper, object, or scientific research department. www.nga.gov
  • Samuel H. Kress Foundation - Conservation Grants Program
    The Conservation program supports the professional practice of art conservation, especially as it relates to European art of the pre-modern era. Grants are awarded to projects that create and disseminate specialized knowledge, including archival projects, development and dissemination of scholarly databases, documentation projects, exhibitions and publications focusing on art conservation, scholarly publications, and technical and scientific studies. Grants are also awarded for activities that permit conservators and conservation scientists to share their expertise with both professional colleagues and a broad audience through international exchanges, professional meetings, conferences, symposia, consultations, the presentation of research, exhibitions that include a prominent focus on materials and techniques, and other professional events. Support for conservation treatments is generally limited to works from the distributed Kress Collection, and is coordinated through the Kress Program in Paintings Conservation at the Conservation Center of the New York University Institute of Fine Arts. www.kressfoundation.org
  • Smithsonian Postgraduate Fellowships in Conservation of Museum Collections
    This fellowships program is offered by the Smithsonian Institution to provide opportunities for recent graduates of masters programs in art and archaeological conservation or the equivalent or conservation scientists, including those at the postdoctoral level, who wish to conduct research and gain further training in Smithsonian conservation laboratories for conservation of objects in museum collections. www.smithsonianofi.com
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum Fellowship Opportunities 
    The Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery invite applications for research fellowships in art and visual culture of the United States. Fellowships are residential and support full-time independent and dissertation research. www.americanart.si.edu
  • Smithsonian's Museum Conservation Institute (MCI)
    Fellowships and internships at MCI span a wide variety academic disciplines. Whether the visitor is a fellow in materials science or conservation, or an intern in conservation, there is a common thread --that the experience benefits the students' understanding of artifact characterization or preservation. MCI offers fellowship and internship opportunities involving a variety of artifact analysis, preservation, and conservation treatment specialties. MCI's commitment is to enhance the experience of the fellow or intern, providing specialized technical and scientific training. Such training contributes significantly to the qualifications of the students in their subsequent professional employment. www.si.edu/mci
  • University of Michigan Library Cathleen A. Baker Fellowship in Paper Conservation
    The Cathleen A. Baker Fellowship provides financial support for conservators at various levels in their careers to enable them to spend time in the University of Michigan Library's Conservation Lab to increase their knowledge about the conservation of paper-based collections. Projects that center on the conservation of related non-paper materials, such as papyrus or parchment/vellum, will also be considered. While most fellows will work with U-M Library conservators to increase their own knowledge and skills, a fellow may also join the lab primarily to pass on her/his expertise to the U-M conservators. Building and sharing knowledge are the primary goals of this fellowship. www.lib.umich.edu/preservation-and-conservation
  • Winterthur Research Fellowship Program
    Academic, independent, and museum scholars, as well as advanced graduate students are invited to apply for short and long-term residential research fellowships. Research fellows conduct research in many areas of social and cultural history, including material culture, architecture, decorative arts, design, consumer culture, garden and landscape studies, Shaker studies, travel and tourism, the Atlantic World, and objects in literature. Application deadline January 15. www.winterthur.org

For Formal Education Programs

  • The College Board has resources and links for various college scholarship programs. For more information, visit www.collegeboard.com.
  • In addition, be sure to visit the websites of colleges you are applying to. Most will have a wealth of resources and links.

--Page updated in May 2019 by Elana Oser, a recent graduate of the George Washington University Museum Studies master’s program. She currently is working as a Kress Collections Specialist at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.