Research Fellow at the Center for Netherlandish Art (Boston, MFA)

Center for Netherlandish Art Fellowships, Boston

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Application deadline: Jan 15, 2023

Research Fellow at the Center for Netherlandish Art.

The Center for Netherlandish Art (CNA) seeks applicants for the CNA Fellowship Program for object-based research into Netherlandish art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. These Fellowships are full-time appointments for a period of 6, 9 or 12 months, beginning in fall of 2023.

The CNA Fellowship Program provides the opportunity to pursue an independent research project related to the MFA’s rich collections of Netherlandish art, including paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, prints, and more. Research topics may focus on Dutch and/or Flemish art and culture of the long 17th century (circa 1560-1800).

CNA Fellowships are open to talented individuals at different stages of their careers—from recent MA graduates to emerging scholars at the postdoctoral level. Projects may include research for submission of a PhD proposal, PhD dissertation research and writing, or preparation of a publication, among other research activities. To stimulate creative thinking and new scholarship, the program is open to individuals in all professional and academic fields. Interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged, but not required.

Fellowships are primarily focused on advancing scholarship. Fellows work with an advisor within the Museum, and have access to the MFA’s notable resources including collections, expertise, Conservation Center, the CNA Library and research facilities, as well as to other specialized research libraries and collections in the Boston area. The CNA actively involves its international network of academic and museum partners in support of the Fellows’ projects. In residence at the CNA, a balanced program of activities supports and facilitates the Fellows’ research and professional development. The cohort of CNA Fellows works together with the support of the CNA to promote their research and share it with a range of audiences. Fellows are expected to provide a final written report and presentation at the conclusion of the Fellowship.

Essential Functions

Work on individual research project
Present on research progress
Participate in workshops, excursions and hands-on training opportunities
Contribute actively to CNA and MFA events and programs
Produce a final written report and presentation

Secondary Functions

Attend department meetings and other staff meetings
Engage in activities with various stakeholders upon request
Produce content for the Museum’s online presence, including social media


Must have completed a master’s degree, be currently pursuing a doctoral degree, or have completed a doctoral degree within the last five years. Areas of specialization may include but are not limited to history of art, technical art history, conservation science, cultural studies, history of science, philosophy, sociology, visual studies, literary studies, religious studies, or related fields.
Commitment to public scholarship, and eagerness to participate in training opportunities at the Museum to share expertise with broad audiences
Proven research capabilities, academic credentials and writing skills
Excellent command of the English language. Dutch language skills are a plus, but not mandatory.

Terms of Employment

Full-time, 6-, 9- or 12-month employment beginning fall of 2023. Applications are encouraged from all identities and nationalities.

Fellows are expected to be onsite at the CNA every weekday (excluding holidays) during core business hours (9.00am-5.00pm), with the exception of when special events require an earlier arrival or later departure. Short research or conference trips are allowed within a maximum duration of two weeks per trip.

During the 2023-2024 academic year, the CNA will host up to three Fellows. Two 9- to 12-month Fellowships are available to pursue an independent research project related to the MFA’s rich collections of Netherlandish art from the long 17th century. In addition, the annual 6-month ‘Flanders State of the Art Fellowship’ will support a Fellow with a research topic focused more specifically on Flemish art and culture from the period, supported by the Government of Flanders.

Compensation for the 12-month Fellowship includes salary at $49,547 (pre-doctoral Fellows) or $54,463 (postdoctoral Fellows), in addition to a generous benefits package per Museum policy, and funds for relocation and travel related to the Fellowship project. 6- and 9-month appointments will be prorated accordingly. Compensation is subject to applicable federal and state withholdings. This position is affiliated with the United Auto Workers union.

To apply, please submit the following documents:

A cover letter (400 words maximum) outlining the primary focus of your research, and your personal interest in the Fellowship and the Center for Netherlandish Art.
A research proposal (1,000 words maximum) including research question(s) and timeline, further specifying your areas of expertise and connection the MFA’s collections of Netherlandish art. Please indicate your preference for a 6-, 9- or 12-month appointment.
Full CV including education, professional experience, honors, awards and publications
A writing sample (examples include recent essay, published paper, catalogue entry or a dissertation chapter)

Additionally, we ask for two letters of recommendation, to be sent directly by the recommenders to, with ‘CNA Fellowship Program’ included in the email’s subject line.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until Sunday, January 15th, 2023. However, candidates are encouraged to apply at their earliest convenience.

Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee made up of CNA and MFA staff as well as an international panel of experts. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

If you are unable to complete this application due to a disability, contact this employer to ask for an accommodation or an alternative application process.

The MFA is an equal opportunity employer. The community and audience we serve is diverse, and we wish to foster that diversity in our workplace. Toward that end, the MFA does not discriminate against individuals in hiring, employment or promotion on the basis of race, religion, color, sex/gender, gender identity and gender expression, age, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, citizenship, handicap or disability, veteran or military status, political belief, pregnancy, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by law.


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