Outside Funding Sources
The following list of conservation-related grant and fellowship programs may be helpful to you. Listings include descriptions of funding opportunities for both institutional and individual applicants with links to specific information about each program.
Students from The George Washington University Museum Studies program update these listings annually. Due to COVID-19, some of the listed deadlines may be canceled or postponed. Contact organizations directly to confirm current offerings and new deadlines.
Information on FAIC funding for individual study or research programs in conservation is at culturalheritage.org/funding.
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
For over a century, the American Academy in Rome has awarded the “Rome Prize” to support innovative and cross-disciplinary work in the arts and humanities. Each year, about thirty artists and scholars from various disciplines, including Historic Preservation and Conservation, are awarded the “Rome Prize.” The deadline for applications is November 1 (or 15th for a fee). 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. Applications for the 2022 American prize will open soon - sign up for an alert. architectsfoundation.org/
- Fitch Foundation
The James Marston Fitch Charitable Foundation’s mission is to support professionals in the field of historic preservation and to provide mid-career grants to those working in preservation, landscape architecture, urban design, environmental planning, decorative arts, architectural design and architectural history. Grants are awarded only to individuals, not organizations and the Foundation does not fund university-sponsored research projects or dissertation research. Check back for updates on 2021 deadlines. www.fitchfoundation.org
- Fulbright Program
The Fulbright Program operates in more than 160 countries worldwide and awards approximately 8,000 competitive, merit-based grants annually in most academic disciplines and fields of study. eca.state.gov/fulbright
- 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. All materials should be received by the Fund no later than February 15 of the grant year. http://kittredgefund.org/
- J. Paul Getty Trust and the Getty Grant Program
The Getty Foundation has many funding programs for scholars around the world and also administers grants for scholars who come to work at the Getty Center on behalf of the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Trust. Grants specifically focused on conservation include the Getty Rothschild Fellowship, which supports innovative scholarship in the history of art, collecting, and conservation, and the Conservation Guest Scholar Program which supports new ideas and perspectives in the field of conservation (with an emphasis on the visual arts including sites, buildings, objects) and the theoretical underpinnings of the field. Deadlines for these and all other Getty Foundation fellowships have passed but check back in the Summer of 2021 for information about 2022-2023 applications. www.getty.edu/foundation/initiatives/
- National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) Grants
Preservation Technology and Training Grants are intended to create better tools, better materials, and better approaches to conserving buildings, landscapes, sites, and collections. The PTT Grants are administered by the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT), the National Park Service’s innovation center for the preservation community. Application deadlines for 2021 have closed, check back for updates on 2022 deadlines. ncptt.nps.gov
- National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) – Preservation and Access, Federal/State Partnership, Research, Challenge Programs, Digital Humanities; seven divisions and offices. Specifically, the division of Preservation and Access’ 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, and several grant programs are tailored to individuals. See: www.neh.gov
NEH is accepting, reviewing, and processing grant applications on its normal schedule. Deadlines for current NEH grant program applications range from April 14, 2021, to January 13, 2022. Current Grant Program Opportunities include:
- 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. Conservation departments that are accepting fellowship applicants will be listed on the website with detailed instructions on how to apply. www.nga.gov
- Samuel H. Kress Foundation – Publication Fellowship
The FAIC/Samuel H. Kress Conservation Publication Fellowships are focused on improving the quality and quantity of publications in the field of conservation by encouraging conservation professionals to prepare publishable manuscripts. The cash awards of $30,000 is payable in three installments as the manuscript is developed. The deadline for submission is November 1. This grant opportunity is funded by the Kress Foundation and administered by the FAIC; see AIC/FAIC
- 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. The amount awarded for the Postgraduate Conservation/Predoctoral Fellowship is $36,000 annually, with a research allowance up to $4,000. Application deadlines for 2020 have closed, check back for updates on 2022 deadlines. 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. Applicants should propose a SAAM primary advisor and are encouraged to share proposals with prospective advisors before applying. Check back for updates on 2022 deadlines. www.americanart.si.edu
- 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, allowing them to spend time in the University of Michigan Library's Conservation Lab as they 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. The application deadline for 2021 projects has passed, check back for updates on proposal deadlines for 2022. www.lib.umich.edu/preservation-and-conservation/cathleen-baker-fellowship-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. Check back for application deadlines. 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, if you are associated with a college or university, be sure to visit their websites. Most will have a wealth of resources and links.
--Page updated April 2021 by Mary Del Vecchio, George Washington University Museum Studies master’s program
--Page updated June 2020 by Sydney Sanderson, George Washington University Museum Studies master’s program
--Page updated 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.