The 2024 Fellowship Assignment

The Nigel Seeley Fellowship will support a conservator and provide the opportunity to gain training and experience in the conservation of frames and furniture, the Fellowship will be 3 months in duration starting from mid-September 2024 at the Royal Oak Foundation Conservation Studio. The Fellow will be supervised by a studio conservator, who has specialized in decorative surfaces, treatments will span gilded frames and painted or lacquered furniture. The Fellow will be based at the studio but there will be opportunities to travel to other properties with members of the team to undertake collection surveys, participate in training events and carry-out remedial conservation treatments in-situ.

Responsibilities of the Fellow:
The Fellow will receive an introduction to the National Trust and the conservation studio. They will have access to the studio’s materials and equipment. Besides training in frames and furniture conservation the Fellow will be expected to develop their own treatment proposals and undertake conservation treatment under the guidance of their supervisor. The Fellow will produce all documentation relating to the treatment of their delegated objects, including a final written report of the work undertaken during the Fellowship.

Fellowship Benefits:

  • $20,000 stipend
  • $1,200 travel subsidy
  • Work visas arranged by The Royal Oak Foundation
  • Housing will be provided in Sevenoaks, Kent
  • Opportunity to work in the UK with senior National Trust staff in decorative art conservation.
  • Experience working with specialist National Trust staff at Knole, Sevenoaks.
  • Participation towards developing significant skills working directly with senior staff of the National Trust’s conservation studio.
  • Complimentary Royal Oak membership providing free access to NT properties.
  • Visits to additional NT sites throughout the UK.

Equipment Requirements: All equipment necessary for the completion of the Fellowship will be supplied by the National Trust.


  • Relevant training and experience in conservation
  • American Citizenship with passport valid until June 2025
  • Proficient English-language skills (written and spoken)

Application Procedure

  1. CV that includes evidence of skills relating to frames and or furniture conservation
  2. Statement of interest
  3. Two letters of recommendation from professionals familiar with the candidate’s work
  4. Submissions made to:
  5. Applications received no later than: April 30, 2024
  6. Candidates may be asked to interview with Fellowship committee members
  7. Decision date: May 15, 2024
  8. The Fellowship will begin on September 16, 2024

The Fellow will work as part of a team and should have the ability to work well under pressure and communicate complex issues clearly. The Fellow will submit written reports to both the National Trust and The Royal Oak Foundation. The Fellow must be comfortable engaging with members of the public visiting the Royal Oak Conservation Studio and be willing to share his/her experience on The Royal Oak Foundation website.

The Fellow should carry health insurance.

Start Date: On September 16, 2024.

Who Should Apply: Applications are welcome from individuals at any career point. Applicants should hold a degree or certificate in art conservation with a focus on furniture, textiles, and/or objects, or relevant experience. Familiarity of complex large 3-dimentional objects is essential.

Fellowship Stipend: For the Fellowship period, the Fellow will receive an educational stipend of $20,000 to be paid in two installments. The Fellow will also be provided with housing in the Sevenoaks, Kent area, and a travel subsidy of $1,200.00.

Fellow will be responsible for travel arrangements, food and other personal expenses associated with the Fellowship. The Fellowship will include a Royal Oak Individual membership.

Application Deadline: The application deadline is April 30, and the Fellowship will take place in mid-September 2024 for a mutually agreed upon 12-week cycle. The successful applicant will be notified by May 15.

How to apply: To submit your application, please email materials to Please include the downloaded and signed form with your email.

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More about the Nigel Seeley Fellowship:

Established in 2016, the fellowship provides training and educational opportunities for individuals with a professional interest in the preservation of historic interiors, finishes, and collections. The fellowship will enrich young professionals’ lives by offering first-hand experience of the National Trust’s world-class techniques, houses, and collections.

Named for the former National Trust’s Head of Conservation, Dr. Nigel Seeley (1989-2002), the fellowship is awarded to professionals spanning careers from conservators, heritage craftsmen, collection managers, to environmental engineers, lighting specialists, and pest specialists.

The fellowship joins Royal Oak’s established Damaris Horan Fellowship. Both fellowships provide talented Americans the chance to gain hands-on experience through the National Trust’s expertise and renowned educational training. Fellowships will be offered biennially, alternating years between each prize.