Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and NAI Announce New Fellowship in Interpretation Research

The new Colonial Williamsburg Foundation–National Association for Interpretation Fellowship will fund up to two months of scholarship in residence at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia. The fellowship is intended to advance the field of heritage interpretation by supporting research and scholarship through a partnership between NAI, the recognized voice of interpretation, and Colonial Williamsburg, America’s largest outdoor living history museum.

"As a learning institution, we are committed to promoting groundbreaking research into interpretive best practices to better serve our visitors and the field," says Ted Maris-Wolf, Vice President of Education, Research, and Historical Interpretation at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. "We are thrilled to be partnering with NAI to further enhance the guest experience not only at Colonial Williamsburg but at museums and historic sites around the world."

Proposals for one or two months of study will be accepted, and applicants should specify desired start and end dates in 2017. The committee will also consider longitudinal studies for one month each in the current and following year (one month in 2017 and a follow-up month in 2018, for example). Successful proposals will demonstrate potential to advance the understanding and practice of interpretation through study of planning, training, and/or visitation. It is open to interpretive professionals with current membership in NAI.

“NAI is committed to advancing the profession of natural and cultural heritage interpretation through sound research,” said NAI’s executive director Margo Carlock. “It is through interpretation that visitors to historic sites, museums, parks, and nature centers are engaged and make the emotional and intellectual connections so important to understanding as well as learning.”

Fellows are expected to be in continuous residence at Colonial Williamsburg and to actively participate in the intellectual life of the Foundation's research, educational, and interpretive campus. Fellowships carry a stipend of $2,500 per month and are available to researchers with strong qualifications. Applications are due July 3, 2017 and decisions will be announced by July 17, 2017.

Applicants should submit a succinct project abstract (maximum 250 words), a project description (not to exceed 1,000 words), and a C.V.  Applicants should also indicate whether they are a U.S. Citizen or are eligible to work in the United States. Proposals must be submitted electronically as PDF or Word files via email to In addition, the names and contact information for two professional references that could provide a letter of recommendation at the request of the committee are required.

To apply, visit