Student Research Internships 2017, Royal Museums Greenwich, UK

Publish Date: May 16, 2017

Deadline: May 31, 2017

Student research internships 2017

Royal Museums Greenwich encompasses a unique blend of history, science and art, at the centre of the Greenwich World Heritage site. Student Internships at Royal Museums Greenwich support research in maritime and naval history; material culture; royalty, court culture, art and architecture; and the history of science and technology, in the context of maritime history, astronomy and time. Internships are particularly beneficial to those considering postgraduate research.

About internships

Designed around a defined project, our Student Internship Programme provides access to our world class collections, plus valuable experience in the study of material culture.

During each internship, participants undertake new research that furthers understanding of the collections at the Museum, and they help to increase the accessibility of our collections to audiences. Participants are encouraged to put research outcomes towards their university dissertation, article assessments or seminar papers.

Who can apply

  • Holders of UK/EU passports who have the right to live and work in the UK.
  • Postgraduate students.
  • Final year undergraduates who wish to use research on the Museum's collections for a dissertation or long essay.
  • Students between undergraduate and postgraduate study.

Research ideas and specific projects

Applicants are invited to suggest their own research topic for their internship. A selection of potential topics based on the expertise of our curators are listed below for inspiration.

Art and architecture

Melanie Vandenbrouck, Curator of Art

  • The Queen’s House
  • Architecture
  • Fine and decorative arts
  • Fashion and interiors
  • Art and astronomy
  • Provenance research

Charts and maps

Megan Barford, Curator of Cartography

  • Cartographic materials and historic globes


Rory McEvoy, Curator of Horology

  • Horological collections.
  • Time derivation
  • Time distribution
  • Changing aesthetic and functional aspects of timekeepers in relation to changes in society. 

History of navigation

Richard Dunn, Senior Curator, History of Navigation

  • The use of scientific instruments in polar exploration (mid 19th to early 20th century).
  • The process of invention and adoption of navigational instruments eg instruments produced as prototypes and used for trials, or those which did not prove to be successful.
  • The development of computing instruments for navigation

History of science and technology and the Royal Observatory, Greenwich

Louise Devoy, Curator, Royal Observatory Greenwich

  • The history of magnetic and meteorological instruments used at the Royal Observatory Greenwich (late 19th to early 20th century).
  • Object-based research on our collection of telescopes, sundials astronomical compendia and astrolabes
  • The history of photographic and spectroscopic techniques and instruments used at the ROG

Naval history

James Davey, Curator of Naval History

  • Researching and cataloguing the Museum’s collection of Theodor de Bry prints. This famous engraver created numerous depictions of the early European expeditions to the Americas, and the NMM has one of the finest collections of his work. Applicants with some knowledge of early-modern history/art history are encouraged to apply.

Ship models, Ships’ Equipment and Boat collections

Simon Stephens, Curator of Ship Model and Boat Collections

Nick Ball, Assistant Curator of Ship Models

  • Lifeboats and lifesaving  
  • Sailmaking
  • Half block models, their design, development and uses
  • Maritime patent models
  • Sectional models (such as bow, midship and stern), design, development and uses
  • Naval architecture and Royal Dockyards
  • We particularly welcome projects which involve researching and cataloguing the Museum’s Ships’ Equipment collection
  • Anchors (model and full sized)
  • Ships’ bells

What's involved

  • Successful applicants for the Student Internship programme will be expected to:
  • Undertake their research towards an agreed piece of work, such as an article for a journal, a Museum blog post, a staff seminar paper, collection catalogue entries, visitor talks, exhibition interpretation or a contribution to a postgraduate dissertation
  • Successfully complete any courses, such as object handling, necessary for safe working.
  • Complete a brief research report and a short blog post at the end of the internship.
  • Present a 15-minute summary of their research findings to staff at the Royal Museums Greenwich.
  • Be in attendance at the Museum during normal working hours, report absence through illness the same day and provide a doctor's certificate if absent for more than seven days.

Duration and funding

Student internships last up to six weeks, depending on the scope and level of the proposed project. The bursary offered is £1,575 gross for the six week period. Payments will be subject to the statutory deductions of Tax and National Insurance. This helps with living expenses and travel to and from the Museum.

There is a limited amount of additional funding available for one-off travel expenses to support essential research.

How to apply

Applications should include

  • Curriculum Vitae: Including contact details, educational qualifications and two referees
  • Proposal outline: No more than 500 words describing the research topic and key items of interest from our collections
  • Output: An indication of the output you hope to achieve from your research, for example an article, seminar paper, blog post, online resource or other outcome.

Please note: applicants are strongly advised to use the full length of the outline (500 words) to explain and promote their proposed topic.

Proposal timeline

2017–18 proposal deadline: Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Application contact details: send applications to Lizelle de Jager by e-mail

Start date: successful applicants will discuss their start date with the relevant curator. Internships take place between July 2017 and April 2018.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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