Student Internships

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.

Fine and Decorative Art

Sue Prichard, Senior Curator of Decorative Art

Melanie Vandenbrouck, Curator of Art

Zoe Mercer-Golden, Assistant Curator of Art

  • The Armada Portrait and Elizabeth I
  • Tudor Art and Architecture
  • Tudor Costume and Fashion
  • Royal History
  • Women of Greenwich
  • Landscape and Gardens
  • Modern British Art and the Sea
  • Art and astronomy

Charts and maps

Megan Barford, Curator of Cartography

  • The map collection of William Wyndham Grenville
  • Charts used on ships
  • European globes and globe makers
  • Nineteenth and twentieth century cartography of cable-laying
  • Thomas Pennant’s Outlines of the Globe
  • Other aspects of map history

Horology

Curator of Time

  • 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 astronomy 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/maritime history

Quintin Colville, Senior Curator: Research

  • Researching and cataloguing areas of the Museum’s collections of negatives and lantern slides relating to Antarctic expeditions during the period 1898-1904.
  • Researching the Museum’s collections relating to either the lower deck of the Royal Navy during the period c. 1860 to 1960; or the lives afloat of merchant marine crews during the same period.

Ship models, Ships’ Equipment and Boat collections

Simon Stephens, Curator of Ship Model and Boat Collections

  • 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 £1,644.30 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.

Hints and tips

  • Ensure your proposal is relevant to studies in the collections of the National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory Greenwich and the Queen’s House.
  • Base your proposal on specific collections and objects held by the Museum and explore our online collections in advance to identify items and topics of interest.
  • Ensure you proposal can be realistically completed within the six week internship period. 
  • Display original thinking that builds on existing academic literature with no repetition of existing research.

Make initial enquiries about the project with the relevant curator, and refine your proposal based on their feedback. You are invited to email initial enquiries to Lizelle de Jager who will forward them on to the curators: ldejager@rmg.co.uk

Proposal timeline

2018–19 proposal deadline: Monday, 18 June 2018

Application contact details: send applications to Lizelle de Jager by e-mail ldejager@rmg.co.uk

Start date: successful applicants will discuss their start date with the relevant curator. Internships take place between July 2018 and April 2019.

Please note: successful applicants must meet the requirements.