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Penn Museum Fellows

Nomination Deadline Extended to April 30

Contact Us

For more information, please contact Penn Museum Research Liaison Sarah Linn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Penn Museum Fellows program supports and promotes advanced research at the Museum for three undergraduate students from Penn. Over the course of one academic year, the Fellows work with Museum curators, staff, or associated faculty on a significant project in the collections, laboratories, or galleries of the Penn Museum.

Acceptance to Penn Museum Fellows is based on a nomination from a project supervisor. Students interested in becoming a Penn Museum Fellow should discuss their project and their interest in Penn Museum Fellows with their supervisor.

A letter of nomination from the student’s project supervisor should be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The nomination letter should reference the student’s previous research and include a short description of the proposed project.

Nominations will be evaluated based on the project’s connection with the Penn Museum and on the quality of the student’s previous research.

Nominees should have a history of engagement with the Museum, including one or more of the following:

  • Coursework in the Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAAM) and in other related academic departments, such as Anthropology, Classical Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Art History, et al.
  • Participation in extra-curricular programs such as the Penn Museum Summer Internship, the Student Exhibition Program, or Clio Society
  • Other Museum opportunities, such as curatorial seminars, work-study, or volunteer positions

Upper-level undergraduate students enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania are eligible for nomination to Penn Museum Fellows. Nominees must be pursuing an original research project related to the collections, history, or ongoing research activities of the Penn Museum.

Lower-level undergraduate students interested in future research should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss other opportunities.

Penn Museum Fellows is an academic year-long program. Fellows are accepted in the spring semester prior to the start of the fellowship year. Beginning in the fall semester, Fellows will meet biweekly to discuss their research and receive peer feedback.

In addition to time spent on the project (researching, writing, meeting with project supervisors, etc.), Fellows are expected to spend an average of five hours per week on the following:

  • Preparing for and attending biweekly meetings
  • Presenting research at on-campus events, such as the CURF Poster Session, Anthrofest, and the CAAM Open HousePresenting research at Penn Museum events, such as All-Staff Meetings, Director’s Council Meetings, and public events
  • Writing posts about their research projects for the Penn Museum blog or social media

Penn Museum Fellows are also encouraged to present their projects at national conferences and other university conferences.

Penn Museum Fellows receive a stipend of $1400 ($700 per semester) in support of their research. Students are also encouraged to apply for Field Funds for research conducted outside of the Museum.

Featured Fellows Research Project

  • McKay counting and sorting the ceramics from the assemblage considered in her thesis.

    Fellow with a variety of pottery sherds.
  • McKay helping to take elevation and coordinate measurements in the area of the Shena of Divine Offerings near the Senwosret III mortuary temple, a few kilometers away from Senwosret's tomb.

    Fellow doing field surveys.
  • McKay sitting next to a unit, taking field notes about the matrix and artifacts that were found that day.

    Fellow taking notes in the field