College and University Students
Create site-specific installations in the RISD Museum. Formerly known as Sitings, the Dorner Prize is a juried competition in which RISD degree candidates explore and celebrate the Museum’s buildings and collection through works that engage the public. Named in honor of Alexander Dorner, RISD Museum director from 1938 to 1941, the Dorner Prize includes an honorarium and implementation funds. Awarded artists work with staff to realize the exhibition of their proposed work. Submissions are due in October and winning proposals are on view during the spring term. Funded by the Artist’s Development Fund of the Rhode Island Foundation.
Selected undergraduate and graduate students participate in an intensive program that prepares them to be skilled educators, adept in teaching from works of art and design. Students are trained in object-based learning and supported in developing research and public-speaking skills. Once trained, students facilitate public tours, discussions, and other programs related to the Museum’s collection. This small group of students will also serve in an advisory capacity, assisting in the creative development of public programs and academic collaborations. Applications for new educators will open in November 2015. Selected new members will begin training in February of 2016. For more information, contact Academic Programs.
RISD HAVC Museum Fellows
In collaboration with RISD’s History of Art and Visual Culture department, the Museum offers selected art history concentrators an opportunity to earn HAVC credit working for a semester in a curatorial department or with the Museum’s conservator, depending on departmental needs. This program, administered by HAVC, allows students to learn firsthand about the behind-the-scenes activities in the Museum.
RISD Graduate Research Assistantships in the RISD Museum
The Museum participates in RISD’s Graduate Studies Research Assistantship program, allowing selected graduate students to work in the Museum for the academic year. Openings vary and usually range from curatorial to museum education, installation, digital content, and graphic design, providing students insight into potential career paths in museums. Graduate Studies administers the program.
Spalter Teaching Fellowship
Open to RISD and Brown graduate and undergraduate students from all disciplinary backgrounds, Spalter Teaching Fellows are trained as RISD Museum educators and are responsible for teaching children and youth ages 5 to 18 during guided visits in the Museum. Fellows receive $5000 per academic year and must commit to a two-year fellowship. For questions regarding the Spalter Fellowship, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer Internship Program
The RISD Museum’s summer internships offer undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to gain professional experience. Working within one of the Museum’s departments, interns receive an honorarium and contribute to timely projects to learn about the various activities that take place in the Museum. Participants receive a stipend and arrange for academic credit at their home institutions.
Various departments in the Museum have work/study opportunities for RISD students. Current open positions are listed on RISD’s website.
College and University Faculty
Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellowships
Together with RISD Academic Affairs, the Museum offers interested RISD faculty a limited number of two-year fellowships as residents in a curatorial department. The fellowships provide faculty members across disciplines the opportunity for in-depth research in the collection to enhance their work and teaching practices. They also provide an avenue for engaging in the day-to-day life of the Museum, including working with fellow faculty to select objects for classes and with students, faculty, and the general public to facilitate object-based learning.
Andrew W. Mellon Teaching Fellowships
The RISD Museum and the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology invite interested RISD and Brown University faculty to apply for one-year Teaching Fellowships as part of a collaborative project, Assemblages, funded by the Mellon Foundation, focusing on the evolving field of object-based teaching and research. Two fellowships are available (one from each institution) in this cycle (for Fellows in academic year 2016-17).
RISD Art Circle
For high school students looking to deepen their leadership skills in the arts, the Art Circle offers an opportunity to collaborate with the RISD Museum as an advisor, ambassador, and creative thinker. The Art Circle seeks motivated students to share their voice on creative practice within the Museum on this teen arts council.
Summer Teen Intensive
July 18-23 & 25-30
This 12-day intensive program fully immerses high school students in the RISD Museum, art, and the creative experience. Participants spend two weeks surrounded by artists, designers, and fellow creative thinkers as they examine works of art and design from across time and cultures and respond through art-making, writing, and discussion. They explore the RISD Museum’s galleries and visit local studios to learn how artists, educators, and curators work. No art-making experience is necessary—we are looking for intellectually curious students interested in developing an expansive understanding of what it means to be creative. The application process is competitive and space is limited.
Through generous funding by the National Endowment for the Arts, the RISD Museum is pleased to offer an artist fellowship for 2017. One selected artist will receive a stipend of $10,000, professional-development support, and the opportunity to work closely with the Museum’s collections and staff members to realize a proposed project.
Share your vision for activating our collections and exploring artistic materials and processes.
Submit a proposal
RISD and the RISD Museum offer a supportive, collegial, and inclusive work environment and a competitive benefits package.
Volunteer educators at the RISD Museum, also known as docents, provide rewarding learning experiences for Museum visitors of all ages. By engaging visitors in close looking and discussion, docents encourage them to find meaning and pleasure in works of art and design from ancient times to the present day. This volunteer group attends weekly trainings and collaborates with staff, community-based teachers, and other docents to support the RISD Museum’s mission and the Education Department’s interpretive goals.
We are currently looking for interested individuals to apply for the Museum’s docent program to begin September 2016. Please click below to read a description of the role. You will be asked to submit a resume and answer some relevant questions. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through July 2016.
Our Special Events Department has frequent volunteer opportunities; those interested in volunteering at public and private Museum events may contact the manager of special events.