Paid, Part-time (20 hrs/week)
Academic Year 2023-24:
September 5 – December 15, 2023 (Fall semester) and January 22 – May 3, 2024 (Spring semester)
Application deadline: March 20, 2023


We invite applications for the second year of the Cheng-Harrell Graduate Internship program. This academic year, part-time (20 hrs/wk) paid opportunity is designed to foster interest and deliver training in museum work for five graduate students annually who may not otherwise have the resources to pursue a career in this professional sector. The two-semester (Fall-Spring) program is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of museum operations by combining hands-on project experience with professional instruction so interns can contribute to projects in the museum’s curatorial or collections management departments. Specific department projects will be determined at the time of selection.


We plan for on-site or hybrid (on-site and virtual) internships in Washington, DC depending on the status of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


$17,000 (includes stipend for living costs)

How to Apply

To begin the application process, you must create an account through the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointments external application portal (SOLAA).

After entering SOLAA, follow the instructions on the left-hand navigation bar and select the “National Museum of Asian Art (Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery)” from the drop-down menu. Then select the “Cheng-Harrell Graduate Internship” program listing.

Application materials must include:

  1. Essay (no more than two pages) describing your educational background, interest in our program, preferred museum department (curatorial or collections management), and current academic and career learning goals.
  2. Current CV or resume.
  3. Two letters of recommendation from individuals who can speak to your skills or knowledge related to this internship opportunity. Professional references are preferred.
  4. Undergraduate and graduate transcripts (unofficial are accepted).

In addition, applicants must answer brief application questions at the end of the online application.

Only completed applications submitted through SOLAA will be considered. We seek talented individuals of all backgrounds. We value diversity of cultures, races and ethnicities, gender expressions, and abilities.