Conservation Fellow - Edsel and Eleanor Ford House

Posted 2/2/24

Conservation Fellow

Department: Material Culture

Reports to: Conservator/Director of Material Culture

Full Time, Temporary; Exempt, Full Benefit Package Eligible

Level 2, Revised: January 2024

Salary: $16/hour

Position Description

Ford House is thrilled to announce our 2024 Conservation Fellowship, funded in part by a grant from the Americana Foundation. The Fellowship has been designed with pre-program students and future professionals in mind, and as such the Fellow will work closely with the Ford House Conservator to gain an understanding of conservation ethics and practices, to learn basic hand skills, and to perform treatments towards a portfolio of work for graduate school applications. The Fellow will also have the opportunity to engage in other aspects of collections care, such as environmental monitoring, integrated pest management, and packing for storage, and to participate in collections research.

The Conservation Fellow will work full-time at Ford House over twenty-six weeks from approximately April to September 2024. On-site house is available if the successful candidate must relocate from out-of-town. The ideal candidate is considering a career in conservation, museums, and/or cultural heritage, but has not yet begun graduate education.


  • Learn about the fundamentals of conservation, both ethical and physical, and participate in hands-on treatments under the supervision of the Conservator.
  • Engage with the activities of the Material Culture department, including but not limited to daily maintenance of the collections, deep cleans, object moves, and preparation for storage and display.
  • Conduct research into specific collections items or areas, in line with departmental and institutional goals and workplans.
  • Give a presentation towards the end of the Fellowship, summarizing experiences and growth.
  • As a member of the Ford House team, participate and assist in special programs, projects, and activities as needed. Represents and promotes Ford House’s mission, vision, and values to the community.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Key Characteristics & Traits

  • Willingness and capacity to acquire new skills and knowledge.
  • Ability to multitask and switch focus between a variety of ongoing projects.
  • Willingness to embrace guidance offered by coworkers and supervisors.
  • A demonstrated record of creativity, flexibility, and adaptability.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Computer skills, including Microsoft Office, and the willingness to learn to use collections-related software such as PastPerfect and eClimateNotebook.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality in all professional matters.
  • High level organization skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to work in different environments, move objects and equipment weighing up to 50lbs., and handle fragile items.
  • Visual acuity, including strong color perception.
  • Must be able to travel to various locations including off-site facilities.

Other Requirements

  • Successful completion of criminal background check

Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet all of the listed criteria. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the position, so we encourage you to think broadly about your background and skill set in relation to the role.

No phone calls.

To apply, send letter of interest and resume to

Ford House is committed to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity and will not discriminate against an applicant on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, religion, ethnicity, national origin, alienage or citizenship, disability, marital status, veteran or military status, genetic information, or any other legally recognized protected basis under federal, state, or local laws, regulations, or ordinances. Applicants with disabilities may be entitled to reasonable accommodation under the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act and/or certain state or local laws.

Thank you to our Partners!

Michigan Museums Association       313-334-7643       PO Box 5246, Cheboygan, MI 49721

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