Finkel Fund for Undergraduate Students

Thanks to the generosity of Peter D. Finkel and Susan R. Finkel and their endowment of the Finkel Fund in Support of Cultural Internships, the Center for Material Culture Studies is able to offer financial support, typically up to $3,000, for eligible University of Delaware undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a material culture-based internship. Funds are to be used for lodging, food, and research materials.

The deadline for applications for summer of this academic year is March 15. Applications will be accepted one month before the deadlines. To apply, submit the following materials to with “Finkel Fund” in the subject field:

  • a brief statement (250-500 words, double-spaced) about your internship, its relationship to material culture studies, and how it will advance your academic and/or professional interest in material culture studies
  • a detailed budget (please be as specific as possible about anticipated costs, and list other funding sources and amounts you will apply for in support of this work)
  • a current CV
  • Please arrange to have your advisor send a letter of reference to

Preference is given to students whose focus is on preservation, conservation, administration, collections management, exhibition, research, and services of museums. Awardees agree to submit a one-page report within one month of completing their internship and no later than the end of the academic year in which the funds were disbursed. Preference shall be given to students who are advanced in their studies.

In accepting a grant the awardee allows CMCS to use any original materials they submit (such as a report and images) for promotional purposes, which could include posting to the website.

Learn more about the experiences of our recent recipients of the Finkel Fund below:

Michelle Dao  — 2018
Department of Art History

“This internship represents a new joint venture between the University of Delaware’s Department of Art History and the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in Wilmington. The 10-week appointment will provide me with the opportunity to conceive, research, develop, design, and install exhibitions as well as prepare text materials related to the show at The Contemporary. The position will give me the opportunity to marry my research skills with practical, real-world experience in a contemporary museum.”

Michelle Dao photographing a metal sculpture, sculptor Stan Smokler’s studio in Kennet Square. Photo taken by Kathrine Page.

Annabelle Fitchner  —  2017
Department of Art Conservation

“The Balkan Heritage Field School hosts conservation workshops and field schools in Stobi. I will be participating in their mosaic conservation and documentation workshop* from June 3-17, which could potentially provide me with six transferable credits from the New Bulgarian University. The workshop will focus on the conservation of a mosaic in Stobi’s Episcopal Basilica, the oldest Christian monument in Macedonia, which dates to the late 5th century. In addition to the workshop material that covers photo documentation, and both in situ and laboratory treatment of the mosaic, a number of lectures will be given on the history and archaeology of the area and its surrounding sites.”

Annabelle Fichtner at the archaeological site of Stobi in central Macedonia from a Late Roman Villa. Photograph taken by Mishko Tutovski.