David Nicholls Curatorial Internship

Since 2010, we’ve had an opening for a Curatorial Internship at the South Georgia Museum. Offered to a recent graduate of the St Andrews University Museum and Gallery Studies course, the position is accompanied by a bursary, funded by the South Georgia Heritage Trust (SGHT).

The internship is named in memory of the founder of SGHT, Brigadier David Nicholls RM. David, an expert mountaineer, led two British Exploring Society groups of young people to the rugged island of South Georgia. He felt South Georgia’s challenging terrain and history of human achievement and fallibility provided a fantastic learning ground for them.

We think that David Nicholls would have been delighted that the internship, offering a very broad experience in many aspects of museum practice, provides a unique opportunity for many young people to launch their successful careers.

Matthew Moran

For Matthew Moran this opportunity was just what he needed:

“The Curatorial Internship was the key point in my museum career – when I applied there were no other opportunities that were both open at entry-level and also offered genuine responsibility and ownership of the role.

The Curatorial Internship bridged the experience gap between the internships/voluntary roles in junior positions in which I was stuck and the actual paid professional roles I was seeking…. it was absolutely the defining period of my working life, and I continue to feel the benefit of it.”

Lorna Weir

Working at the South Georgia Museum enabled Lorna Weir to develop key skills, knowledge and confidence for her future career pursuits:

“The Curatorial Internship has been incredibly valuable to my museum career. To take on the role as a recent graduate was a big learning curve and allowed me to gain a huge amount of experience and knowledge across all aspects of collections management and curatorial work. To gain that experience so early in my career gave me enormous confidence when pursuing future roles, and I have used the skills and knowledge gained at the South Georgia Museum in every role that I have taken on since.”

In such an extraordinary and remote location, the challenges and learning opportunities encountered by the interns do not stop with their work. Several have developed an enduring passion for the southern region and their career development reflects that.

Intern 2018-19

Finlay Raffle is the Learning & Development Officer at The Unicorn Preservation Society.

Intern 2017-18

Charlotte Yeung is a Programme Assistant at a contemporary art gallery, The Turnpike, in Greater Manchester.

Intern 2016-17

Lorna Weir is a Project Assistant at National Museums Scotland.

Intern 2014-15

Deirdre Mitchell worked at the RNLI Museum in Poole and for the National Trust, UK. She also works occasionally in the polar cruise industry, and is currently working for the British Antarctic Survey back in South Georgia.

Intern 2013-14

Suzanne Patterson worked at the Scottish Fisheries Museum, and now works at the Dundee Heritage Trust.

Intern 2012-13

Thomas Kennedy went into the Art Gallery world. He worked as Assistant Curator at the Barbican Centre, London and is now an Assistant Curator at Tate Britain.

Intern 2011-12

Dr Katie Murray completed a PhD whilst working in the polar cruise industry as a history lecturer, and on projects to enhance education and science programmes for guests. In 2020 she is Project Officer at The Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Intern 2010-11

Lynsey Easton became the Education and Outreach Officer at The Highlanders Museum. In 2020 she is working as a teacher in the Falkland Islands.