The Dr. Anton C.R. Dreesmann Fellowship welcomes PhD candidates from the University of Pennsylvania to conduct dissertation research at the Rijksmuseum.

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We welcome international, independent research proposals which open new perspectives on the Rijksmuseum’s collection, its history and activities. The purpose of the Fellowship Programme is to encourage and support scholarly investigation, and to contribute to academic discourses while strengthening bonds between the museum and universities. The programme enables highly talented candidates to base part of their research at the Rijksmuseum, and offers access to the museum’s expertise, collections, library and laboratories. Furthermore, it facilitates opportunities for Fellows to engage in workshops and excursions to encourage exchange of knowledge - both amongst themselves and the broader museum audience.

The Dr. Anton C.R. Dreesmann Fellowship for art historical research

This Fellowship enables History of Art PhD candidates from the University of Pennsylvania to conduct dissertation research at the Rijksmuseum. The Fellowship is funded by a University of Pennsylvania alumna.

Applications should include an outline of the proposed research, related to the Rijksmuseum's holdings, its history and activities. A suitable project might entail the study of art objects as artistic or historical sources or object-related archival research. The focus of research may encompass any of the museum’s varied holdings, including paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, prints, drawings, photography and historical artefacts.

The Fellowship will preferably result in a publication, the content and form of which will be decided by the Fellow and the academic supervisors in consultation with the Rijksmuseum. The Rijksmuseum will provide joint working space for the Fellows and access will be given to all relevant resources in the museum, such as the Research Library Collections, collection documentation and the Rijksmuseum’s archives.


  • The Dr. Anton C.R. Dreesmann Fellowship supports PhD candidates whose proposal is embedded in the research plans of their forthcoming PhD dissertation.
  • Only History of Art PhD candidates from the University of Pennsylvania are eligible to apply. The candidate has to have a university-affiliated supervisor.
  • Candidates should have proven research capabilities, academic credentials and excellent command of the English language – both written and spoken. Proficiency in a second language (ideally Dutch or German) is preferred but not required.


Fellowship stipends are awarded to help support a Fellow’s study and research efforts during the tenure of the appointment. The stipend of €39,000 (subject to taxes and deductions) is for a period of twelve months commencing 1 September 2021, the start of the academic year.

The Fellowship will allow for limited travel for research in art collections and archives elsewhere in Europe to a maximum value of €5,000 annually. The Rijksmuseum will cover visa fees for the Fellow, but not for dependents.

Application and procedure

The Rijksmuseum belongs to everyone. That is why we are committed to actively promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. People with diverse backgrounds and experiences bring different perspectives to our collection and activities. This leads to new insights and enhances the museum’s innovative strength. We therefore warmly invite you to apply, regardless of your social or cultural background, sexual preference, gender, age or disability.

Complete applications have to be submitted through our online application system. Please follow the link below to learn about the required documents for application.

The closing date for all applications is 17 January 2021, at 6:00 p.m. (Amsterdam time/CET), but students are encouraged to apply at their earliest convenience. No applications will be accepted after the deadline. All applications must be submitted online and in English. Applications or related materials delivered via email, postal mail, or in person will not be accepted.

Selection will be made by an international committee in February 2021. The committee consists of eminent scholars in the relevant fields of study from universities and institutions, and staff members of the Rijksmuseum. Applicants will be notified by 15 March 2021. All Fellowships will start in September 2021.

Further information

Coordinator of Academic Programmes

Made possible by the Dr. Anton C.R. Dreesmann Fund/ Rijksmuseum Fund