Jobs & Opportunities

Interns view Chinese landscape paintings with associate curator for Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, Stephen Allee.

Be a Part of Our Team

Whether you are seeking fellowship or internship opportunities or looking to build your career with us, there are a variety of ways to help us fulfill our important mission.


We are building a community of lifelong learners and supporters both around the world and right here in Washington, DC. Join our team of passionate, creative, and talented individuals working together to bring a deeper understanding of the arts and cultures of Asia to the public.

Meet Our Staff


Paid internships are available for undergraduate and graduate students in several departments across the museum. These are designed as workplace-based learning opportunities guided by experienced staff mentors. Internship programs available in 2024–25 are:

Application deadline: February 16, 2024
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Application deadline: February 23, 2024
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See All Internship Opportunities at the Smithsonian Institution.

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The collections, Archives, and Library of the National Museum of Asian Art form a rich resource for research. Fellowships are available to support graduate students and visiting scholars through the National Museum of Asian Art, the Smithsonian, or outside institutions.

Established by bequest to promote excellence in research and publication on the Japanese visual arts, one award is made each year to support a scholar at the post-doctoral level for a period of two to nine months.
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This fellowship supports research on Persian art from the ancient to the contemporary period. Two awards are made each year to support scholars at all levels, from doctoral candidates to senior scholars, for a period of up to three months.
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Conduct research and work with the Lunder Consortium for Whistler Studies on programs and publications focusing on James McNeill Whistler and art of the Aesthetic Movement. Both emerging and established scholars are invited to apply. The fellowship is offered through the generosity of the Lunder Foundation and administered through the Lunder Consortium for Whistler Studies (comprising the Freer Gallery of Art, the Colby College Museum of Art, the University of Glasgow, and the Art Institute of Chicago). Fellowships are awarded for twelve-to eighteen-month terms.

A variety of fellowships for students and scholars at several stages of their careers are offered through the Smithsonian Institution.
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In honor of the late Dr. J. S. Lee, a distinguished Hong Kong philanthropist and lifelong supporter of the study of Chinese art, this fellowship facilitates the international exchange of curatorial expertise and contributes to the professional development of Chinese art curators and academics. Fellows may choose to be based at the National Museum of Asian Art or at a number of other museums worldwide.
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The University of Michigan Department of the History of Art offers the Charles Lang Freer Fellowship, providing a semester or year-long residency at the museum for a pre-doctoral candidate in the department.
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Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers are an essential link between the National Museum of Asian Art and the public, carrying out the museum’s mission of engaging with visitors and enriching their experiences.

Docents volunteer to lead tours of adult and school-age (K-12) groups. As they guide visitors through special exhibitions and permanent collections, docents engage visitors in learning primarily about Asian art and culture through active looking at works of art. In preparation, docents receive in-depth training in art history and gallery teaching. Docents are managed by the Department of Engagement and Visitor Experience.

If you are interested in applying for future consideration to join the museum’s docent program, please complete the online application.

Ushers help provide positive visitor experiences at the museum’s events and programs by assisting withticketing and seating for films and performing arts programs.
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Our volunteers help provide information services to museum visitors at the information desks and within the galleries. In addition to welcoming visitors, they supply general information about the museum, its exhibitions and collections, and the Smithsonian in general. They also furnish specific information about daily programs and events, and they answer visitor questions. They give directions, make connections top laces and events around the Smithsonian, ignite curiosity, and help to ensure visitors have a positive experience at the National Museum of Asian Art.
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