About The Met/ The Met Fellowship Program/ Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

General Information about Applying

The Museum offers the following types of fellowship awards:

Fellowship in History of Art and Visual Culture
Conservation Fellowship and Scientific Research Fellowship
Leonard A. Lauder Fellowship in Modern Art
Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellowship
Eugene V. Thaw Fellowship for Curatorial Cataloging
Research Scholarship in Photograph Conservation
Interdisciplinary Fellowship

When applying for any fellowship award, please indicate only the general category or categories you wish to be considered for. However, if applying for a Fellowship in History of Art and Visual Culture, you may—but are not required to—specify whether one of the subcategories is appropriate to your proposal and/or training. All fellowship determinations are made by the Museum’s Grants Committee.

As with all Fellowships in History of Art and Visual Culture (HAVC), the following HAVC subcategories are limited to postdoctoral scholars and current PhD candidates. In all cases, you should apply for the following awards by applying for the Fellowship in History of Art and Visual Culture.

  • The Theodore Rousseau Fellowship supports 12 months of travel abroad to conduct research related to paintings in European collections. Applicants may indicate their interest in this award in their project proposal and/or detailed schedule of travel.
  • The Slifka Foundation Interdisciplinary Fellowship combines art historical research with training in the technical investigation of the Museum's collections. (Note: This position is distinct from the Interdisciplinary Fellowship, which carries a separate application and requirements.)

Staff in applicable department(s) review your application to assess the quality and feasibility of your proposal. If your proposal is deemed acceptable, the department makes a recommendation to the Grants Committee, composed of 15 members of the Museum's professional staff appointed by the Museum's Director. The committee then spends six weeks reviewing all applications, determining the quality of the proposals and feasibility of resources, and verifying academic and/or professional records as well as recommendations, before making final recommendations for awards to the Director. Once the Director reviews and approves the awards, you will be notified regarding the result of your application by the last Friday in February.

Yes. You may apply as soon as the application forms are available on this website.

No. The Met is unable to accept late applications. All application materials, including transcripts and letters of recommendation, must be uploaded to the application system by the specified deadline.

Yes. You will need to resubmit a complete application, including letters of recommendation and transcripts as necessary.

Only fellows who are considered employees of the Museum accrue sick leave and vacation time. Those classified as Museum staff include Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellows, Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Research/Collections Specialist Fellows, and the Eugene V. Thaw Fellow for Collections Cataloging. Other fellows may take up to two weeks of vacation days and sick time as needed over the course of the year.

Senior fellows are those who hold a PhD on the date of application and/or are well-established scholars.

Junior fellows are those who have recently completed graduate-level training not including a PhD. Senior fellows are those who hold a PhD on the date of application or who are established professionals with at least eight years of experience in the field and a publication record.


History of Art and Visual Culture fellowships are only available to those who are currently enrolled in a PhD program or who have already received their doctorates—with the exception of Slifka Foundation Interdisciplinary fellows, Polaire Weissman Fund fellows, and Diamonstein-Spielvogel fellows, who have completed a master's degree. Scientific Research and Conservation fellowships are available to those who have completed graduate-level training and beyond. Please check the specific eligibility requirements for each type of fellowship The Met offers.

If you have a BA or international equivalent, you may be eligible for one of the undergraduate or graduate internships The Met offers. For more information, please see Internships.

Yes. The Fellowship Program is open to and regularly hosts international scholars. However, due to changes in travel and visa restrictions, which have fluctuated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Museum cannot guarantee that international scholars will be able to travel to New York for the fellowship period. Please consult the U.S. Department of State and New York State websites for updates on the current status of international and interstate travel. While we will make reasonable efforts to accommodate future unforeseen changes, we are unable to modify program dates on an individual basis.

Yes. The Museum's sponsorship is based upon your eligibility and applicable U.S. visa regulations. If you are awarded a fellowship, we will provide further information about requesting visa sponsorship. Please note that you are responsible for paying all administrative fees; we are unable to reimburse or cover costs incurred during the visa application process.

As a general rule, applicants should not contact staff outside The Met's Academic and Professional Programs Office about fellowships. Please contact us so that we may answer your questions or put you in touch with an appropriate staff member if necessary.

All fellowships are intended to be one year in length unless otherwise noted. Only senior scholars may request a shorter period, if appropriate.

Applicants may only apply for one type of fellowship per application cycle. The only exception to this is the History of Art and Visual Culture Fellowship, which can be applied to concurrently with the Leonard A. Lauder Fellowship and the Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellowship. Please carefully review the eligibility requirements for each fellowship. If applying for more than one fellowship, you will be prompted to submit separate, complete applications (including transcripts and letters of recommendation, even if the same individual is providing a recommendation for more than one application) on the application form.

Many applicants wish to utilize the resources of the Department of Scientific Research or one of the Conservation Departments to further their research. Applicants are encouraged to make such requests only when required by the goals of the project. We may or may not be able to accommodate such requests. In making this decision, we take into consideration a variety of factors, including qualifications, available equipment, available staff time, and Museum priorities. 

Notification and Interviews

Yes. You will receive an automatic confirmation email once you have successfully submitted your online application. If you do not receive this confirmation from the application system, please contact us.

We will contact only those finalists for the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellowship and the Curatorial Research Fellowship for interviews. All interviews are conducted by phone, Skype, or another similar video chat.

Please do not write us to inquire about the status of your application. Due to the high volume of interest in these fellowships, it may not be possible to respond. We make every effort to notify all applicants as to the result of their application in a timely manner.

Letters of Recommendation and Transcripts

Yes, we require three letters of recommendation with each application. At least one of these letters should be from a professional reference—that is, someone who can speak on your behalf as a colleague and collaborator, beyond your work and research capabilities. For example, your professional reference may be someone with whom you organized a conference panel or co-edited a volume, or (in the case of PhD candidates) someone who can speak to your work as a teaching assistant. If you have a question about whether any of your references may be considered a professional reference, please contact us.

All letters must be submitted directly by the recommenders through the online application system.

In the online application, you will provide the recommenders' names and email addresses; they will automatically receive email instructions as to how to upload their recommendation letters. We do not accept recommendation letters by email or post, or in person. Be sure to give your recommenders enough time to submit their letters; we strongly suggest requesting letters of recommendation at least one month prior to the application deadline. We do not accept recommendation letters after the application deadline.

Your professional reference may certainly be from an academic or someone who knows you from a university setting; we ask, however, that at least one letter be from someone who can speak on your behalf as a professional. Please see "Do you require letters of recommendation with my application?" above.

No. All letters of recommendation must be submitted directly by the recommenders via the online application system. The online application requires you to provide the recommenders' names and email addresses; they will automatically receive email instructions as to how to upload their recommendation letters. We do not accept recommendation letters via email or post, or in person.

We prefer that your letters of recommendation be written in English. We require that the fellowship application itself be written in English.

For the purposes of your application, you may upload your official transcripts directly to the application system yourself. In many circumstances, "official transcripts" are those sent in an envelope sealed by the issuing institution. This is not the case with applications for Met fellowships because we are only able to accept digital copies through the application system. Therefore, we recommend that you request the issuing institution to send you an official copy directly; you can then scan the copy and upload it to the application system.

Please note that we cannot accept encrypted transcripts; the application system will not be able to read such files. If your college or university only issues transcripts that are encrypted, please print out a copy for yourself, scan it, and upload it to the application system.

Yes. Please submit official transcripts from all institutions. Because there is only one place to upload undergraduate transcripts and one place to upload graduate transcripts, we recommend combining all of your undergraduate transcripts into one file and all of your graduate transcripts into another file. These can then each be uploaded in the appropriate sections.

Project Proposals

For History of Art and Visual Culture Fellowships (including Leonard A. Lauder Fellowships) and Museum Education and Public Practice Fellowships, you should submit an independent research project proposal. For example, if you are a PhD candidate, your proposal would likely be to research and write your dissertation or (if you are near completion) transforming your dissertation into a publication. Be sure to indicate how your proposed work relates to The Met collection.

If you are a junior scholar applying for a Conservation and Scientific Research Fellowship, you do not need to submit a specific proposal. Rather, please submit a statement of intent describing your prior experience and how a fellowship at The Met will further your career goals. If you are a senior scholar applying for a Conservation and Scientific Research Fellowship or for the Research Scholarship in Photograph Conservation, you should submit a project proposal. See program-specific application requirements on the How to Apply page for more information.

If you are applying for an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellowship or a Curatorial Research Fellowship, then you should not submit an independent project. Instead, you must apply for one of the projects listed under the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellowship drawer or the Curatorial Research Fellowship drawer, respectively.

We are unable to accept proposals for exhibitions, symposia, or similar programs. Applications in which such a project is the major objective of the proposal will be disqualified.

Yes, you may still apply even if your primary field is not art history, as long as your project is related to The Met collection or research conducted by The Met. In the past, we have hosted scholars of literature, musicology, linguistics and philology, religious studies, philosophy, and anthropology. You should emphasize in your application how your project requires The Met resources.

In the past, fellows in our Conservation Departments and the Department of Scientific Research have had backgrounds in fields including, but not limited to:
Conservation Sciences
Chemistry or Physical Chemistry
Earth Sciences or Geology

While there are many factors that contribute to our holistic review of applications, previous successful applicants have ensured that their proposals addressed the following concerns:

Why does your project need to be carried out at The Met? What specific Met resources are essential to the completion of your project? Resources might include access to the objects in the collection, to the archives, or to staff and their particular specialties, or visits to nearby institutions and collections that can be facilitated by a Met affiliation. The strongest applications state clearly why the proposed work can be best carried out at The Met specifically and not at another institution or fellowship program. Be as specific as possible.

How does your project relate to The Met? Consider how your project engages with The Met collection, the research carried out by Met staff, or the overall mission and history of the institution.

What do you intend to accomplish during your time at The Met, and what has prepared you to accomplish these aspects of your research? The strongest applications state clearly defined goals to accomplish during the fellowship, and what prior research and skills the candidate possesses to ensure success. We recognize that research can change course as new information is uncovered, but a clear trajectory for the research and for the constituent parts of the project (such as the number of chapters or articles to be written) allows the Grants Committee to assess better the feasibility of a project. For example, if you propose a project that relies on the resources of our Conservation Departments or Department of Scientific Research, do you have the training or skills to utilize the necessary equipment? If not, or if you are otherwise unable to get the permissions to carry out such testing, will you still be able to accomplish your project goals?

Also see the application overviews for each fellowship here.

Payments, Health Insurance, and Housing

Most fellows receive their travel stipend on Orientation Day, and their monthly stipends are disbursed on or about the 20th of each month. Curatorial Research Specialist Fellows and Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellows, however, are processed through Human Resources. They are paid as employees of The Met twice a month and fill out travel request forms to receive their allotted travel funds. More information is provided upon acceptance.

As a general rule, we prefer to pay the fellow directly. In the past, fellows have signed their checks over to their institution if they were receiving their salary from their employers. Only under special circumstances do we pay a US institution. We are unable to make payments to non-US institutions due to IRS regulations.

The Met reviews health insurance policies annually and they are subject to change at any time. Presently, international scholars who are on a J-1 visa sponsored by The Met may choose a health insurance plan offered by the Museum. If a fellow wishes to enroll dependents, the fellow is responsible for the cost. Fellows from the US receive a monthly stipend of roughly $583.33 in order to purchase their own health insurance plan or to help cover the cost of an existing plan.

No. If you are accepted into The Met Fellowship Program, it is your responsibility to arrange your own housing and accommodations.

Technical Questions about the Application System—for Applicants

Sometimes the automated messages sent by the application system end up in spam boxes. If you have checked your spam mail and there is no email from Wizehive (the application system), please contact us.

We are only able to accept PDFs (.pdf) or Microsoft Word documents (.doc or .docx). If you are using a different format, the application system will not be able to accept the file. If you are trying to submit a Word document or PDF and are still unable to do so, please contact us.

Yes. In fact, we strongly suggest submitting your application in advance of the deadline, even if your recommenders have not yet submitted their recommendations. The links sent to your recommenders by the application system will continue to be functional even after you have submitted your application.

No. Each link generated by the application system is unique to each recommender. This means that sharing a link between recommenders will result in one of the letters being deleted and replaced with the most recent document uploaded using that link.

If your recommender cannot find the link in their email (including the spam box), please ask the recommender to contact us at academic.programs@metmuseum.org.

Technical Questions about the Application Systemfor Recommenders

If the email does not indicate who is requesting a recommendation, the individual has not yet entered their name in the application. Unfortunately, in most cases this means we are also unable to determine to whom this particular email is linked. If you have already corresponded with students or colleagues about writing a recommendation, we recommend reaching out to them directly to clarify.

We are only able to accept PDFs (.pdf) or Microsoft Word documents (.doc or .docx). If you are using a different format, the system will not be able to accept the file. If you are trying to submit a Word document or PDF and are still unable to do so, please contact us.

The automated email sometimes inserts an asterisk (*) where there should not be one. We suggest double-checking the URL you are using to be sure that there is no asterisk (*) at the end of it. If there is, remove it and try reloading the page.