Internship in Historic Artifact Research, U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Reception Rooms

Fall 2019 Internship

The Office of Fine Arts, U.S. Department of State, offers an unpaid, experience-oriented internship in American cultural historic artifact research and museum education in the Office of the Curator at the Diplomatic Reception Rooms, in Washington, D.C.
The 42 Diplomatic Reception Rooms, located on the top two floors of the U.S. Department of State, are the site for many of our nation’s diplomatic meetings and events including international summits, treaty negotiations, official U.S. State Luncheons, and important Presidential speeches. The rooms house a historic museum-quality collection of more than 5,000 fine and decorative art objects valued at more than $150 million that tell the story of our country’s founding and formative years. The fine and decorative arts collection is comprised of paintings, sculptures, prints and manuscripts, furniture, silver, glass, textiles, export porcelain and earthenware from 1730-1840. A significant portion of the collections relate to important moments in our country’s history and represent excellent examples of fine and decorative art from important artists and craftsman.

The internship is open to graduate students pursuing a Master of Arts degree in American fine or decorative arts, American history, American studies, art history, arts management, exhibition design, history of decorative arts, material culture, museum education, or museum studies. The internship provides opportunities for historic object research to help educate and encourage the development of future professionals in the field. Candidates must have a demonstrated interest in historic artifact research, and must have prior experience researching historic objects and art. The successful applicant must pass an official security background check and receive a Secret level clearance before final acceptance for this internship. The application process for security clearances can take up to four months. Students notified of their acceptance to the internship program will need to begin the process immediately upon selection, working with the U.S. Department of State and Diplomatic Reception Rooms.

The intern supports the work of the Collections Manager for the Diplomatic Reception Rooms as a collections research or museum educator assistant. For Fall Semester 2019, the primary focus of the internship is conducting research on select fine and decorative arts objects in the collection to identify related primary resources and assets. Duties include: conducting additional research on fine and decorative arts objects in the DRR collection including researching important historical figures associated with the selected objects, associated historical time period/s, and potential uses of the object to identify related primary resources and assets. The intern will conduct research on and off-site, and will document findings and sources using standard museum research practices.
Candidates must have prior experience conducting historic object research, demonstrate excellent research and writing skills, and have the ability to work independently and as part of a team. The opportunity to conduct historic research in a dynamic environment used to conduct our nation’s diplomacy is part of the internship experience.

The Diplomatic Reception Rooms internship requires a minimum of 20 hours/week. Working hours are between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., and some work can be conducted off-site. Days and hours are flexible, depending on the student’s course schedule.
United States Department of State
Washington, D. C. 20520
2019 Fall Internship applications are now being accepted through 11:59 p.m. ET on February 28, 2018.
Application materials can be accessed by visiting:

Detailed instructions on how to apply can be found on the “How to Apply” tab located at the top of the vacancy announcement. Read this section carefully and follow ALL instructions in this section completely as they are written or you will NOT be eligible to be considered for this position.

Note that there are three parts to the application process that must be fully completed to be considered. Students are responsible for logging in and confirming that the entire process is completed correctly, however here are some helpful things to note:
Part I: Applicant Profile (for applicants new to USA Jobs) & Resume Builder
o You must create an account on USA Jobs
o You must create and complete your profile on USA Jobs
o You must answer ALL required fields
o You must use the Resume Builder to create a new resume on USA Jobs; uploaded resumes will NOT be considered

Part II: Required Documents—Official Transcripts
o You must UPLOAD your current / most recent transcript; applications without transcripts will NOT be considered
o Click “Apply for this position” after receiving confirmation that your transcript has been successfully uploaded

Part III: Internship Application, including Statement of Interest, Transcript & Resume
o You must answer all required questions, even those answered previously on the USA Jobs site
o You must select “yes” to the question, “Do you wish to be considered for Grade NA?” o On question 4 you must select “yes” to the question to qualify for the internship, even if you cannot commit to 31-40 hours per week. We will work with you to explore flexible scheduling options.
o On question 18 and 19, you must select “A Bureau of Administration (200000)”
o On question 25, you must submit a one-page Statement of Interest that describes your objectives and motivation in seeking an internship. (Maximum of 2,500 characters only)
o On questions 18.1 and 19.1 (will appear in next round of questions), you must select “M/FA Diplomatic Reception Rooms (012400)
o You must re-upload your transcript
o You must ensure that the resume you created using the Resume Builder appears in your documents (this will be the last step you will view before hitting “submit application.”
To be considered for the internship opportunity, students must ALSO send a copy of their resume and cover letter expressing their interest in the position to the Office of Fine Arts Internship Program Coordinator Lisa Sellman via email at Lisa can be reached for questions by calling 202-647-1990

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