Detail image of blue and white waves with a mountain top in the distant background, 1925.3245



Art Institute fellowships are geared towards advanced-level professionalization and the enrichment of a scholarly career in their primary field of expertise or professional practice.

Students take notes in the prints and drawings study room

Fellowships at the Art Institute of Chicago

While internships focus on training, fellowships are geared towards advanced-level professionalization and the enrichment of an early-career (or in some cases an established/senior) scholar’s primary field of expertise or professional practice. Fellowships are usually of a longer duration than internships, generally spanning from one academic year through three calendar years, and are most often full-time placements. Depending on the field and the structure of the fellowship, broadly speaking, the relationship between a fellow’s research or training project and his or her funding support and host institution may be fully autonomous, semi-autonomous, or fully integrated. Because of the longer time frame, the level and degree of scholarly research or writing expected and the framing of advanced-level professionalization, fellowships most often appear as options at the graduate, post-graduate, pre-doctoral, post-doctoral, or senior levels of academic training. 

At the Art Institute, fellowships largely revolve around collections—in terms of either research, curatorial practice, conservation, education, or interpretation. For the most part, Art Institute fellows are embedded on department projects where their expertise enables them to make a substantial contribution while at the same time expanding professional competencies. Fully autonomous research fellowships and/or senior-level fellowships are rarer at the Art Institute (with the exception of Fulbright Fellowship residencies for visiting scholars) although they are frequently part of the landscape at peer institutions.

Fellowships are most often paid as salaried positions. In terms of funding, fellowships at the Art Institute typically fall into one of three categories:

  1. Endowed via private or foundation funding (ongoing placements on a regular cycle)
  2. Featured as an element of a multiyear grant but not endowed (ongoing placements within a limited grant cycle)
  3. A one-time opportunity for a specific project, also usually grant funded (one cycle of placement(s) on a terminal project)


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