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IARI Graduate Research Fellow Application Information

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The Spencer Museum of Art offers one Graduate Research Fellowship per academic year in conjunction with the Integrated Arts Research Initiative (IARI) . The IARI Graduate Research Fellow will work with a lead investigator and Museum academic staff on research projects that develop through a collaborative exchange of ideas, integrate different disciplinary methods, and connect with the goals and/or resources of the Museum. The Museum specifically seeks a candidate with expertise in two or more of these areas of study.

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Responsibilities are based on the research needs of projects led by Museum academic staff and IARI Faculty Research Fellows. These needs may encompass research and planning toward an exhibition and work toward establishing hybrid inquiry more generally within the program. The IARI Graduate Research Fellow will contribute to the development and promotion of a collaborative, interdisciplinary research culture at the Museum and KU.

In addition to collaborating with Museum academic staff, the IARI Graduate Research Fellow will have the opportunity to work with faculty and undergraduate research fellows. Depending on the project and schedules, graduate fellows may also have the opportunity to work with invited creative specialists and/or external scholars in conjunction with their project.


  • The IARI Graduate Research Fellow will contribute to the development and promotion of a collaborative, interdisciplinary research culture at the Museum and KU.
  • Collaborate with SMA academic staff and may work with faculty and undergraduate research fellows.
  • Opportunity to work with an invited creative specialist and/or visiting scholar in conjunction with the project.
  • Give a presentation to Museum and KU audiences
  • Contribute to the Museum’s online research platform in the form of blog entries, video, images, PDF publications, and the like, depending on the research project and process.

Required Qualifications

  • Must be a University of Kansas graduate student seeking a master's or PhD degree.
  • Enrolled in six credit hours of graduate coursework or at least one hour of thesis/dissertation (approval form from graduate program required).
  • Fluency in spoken and written English as evidenced by application materials and interview.
  • Demonstrated computer competency (Office, Outlook, databases, web skills).
  • Experience with a combination of production and post-production for video and podcast, blog and vlog creation and management, web design, digital photography, and/or writing and editorial skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently and in collaboration with museum staff, university faculty and students.
  • Familiarity in the visual arts and/or research that integrates the arts.
  • Experience with collaborative interdisciplinary research across the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences.
  • Willingness to engage with ideas beyond one’s field of expertise.
  • Flexibility, creativity, and initiative.
  • Demonstrated interest in multiple or interdisciplinary fields of inquiry.
  • Must have a flexible schedule and be available to work weekends and after hours if needed.

Additional Information

  • This position is an hourly, approximately 20 hours/week, position for 24, 2-week pay periods.
  • This position is also eligible to participate in the university health insurance program. View more information.
  • Students who previously have held a Spencer Museum internship are also eligible to apply.
  • Interns are also eligible for a $1,000 travel stipend, contingent upon available funding.
  • Museum interns qualify for in-state tuition and fee rates.

Application Process

The IARI Graduate Research Fellow position is open to enrolled full-time graduate students at the University of Kansas. Interested graduate students should complete the electronic application. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are particularly encouraged to apply. 

Please provide the following information in your application materials (CV and cover letter), attached as one document, PDF preferred.

  • Museum or related career goals.
  • Educational experience in relevant fields of study.
  • Work experience and research and/or your interest in collaborative interdisciplinary research (limit of 500 words).
  • Brief writing sample (limit 2,500 words) or other scholarly product.
  • Other skills such as computer use, video production experience, database experience, etc.
  • Provide telephone number and email address where you can be reached.

Statement on Diversity & Inclusion

As a premier international research university, the University of Kansas is committed to an open, diverse, and inclusive learning and working environment that nurtures the growth and development of all. KU holds steadfast in the belief that an array of values, interests, experiences, and intellectual and cultural viewpoints enrich learning and our workplace. The promotion of and support for a diverse and inclusive community of mutual respect requires the engagement of the entire university.

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