2020 Scholarship Program

Applications are now closed.

The MCN Scholarship Program awards scholarships to 15 qualified emerging professionals from the cultural sector to conduct research, work with MCN Special Interest Groups, and ultimately produce a work contributing to the publication of a “What’s emerging in the field?” book.  Applications will need to respond to and align with this year’s conference theme: “Sustainability: Preserve/Progress.”

The MCN Scholarship Program is made possible by the generous support of The Kress Foundation.

Scholarship Benefits

Scholars are awarded the following benefits:

  • Complimentary access to all virtual conference sessions and workshops
  • Complimentary MCN individual membership for one year
  • Includes $800 (USD) honorarium 
  • An opportunity to publish a peer reviewed work 

Scholarship Recipients Expectations

Every scholar will be required to:

  • Produce a paper in English (3,000 words max), presenting the findings of their research on their dedicated digital project to be compiled in a publication featuring the works of the entire scholar cohort, “What’s emerging in the field?” (place-holder name), peer-reviewed by MCN’s Scholarship Committee and MCN’s relevant communities of practices called Special Interest Groups or SIGs, to be published on Amazon with a free digital version in the spring of 2021
  • Pre-record a five-minute lightning talk (included in the virtual conference program) on their publication topic 
  • Participate in social media discussions (via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or other platforms) reflecting on and sharing the themes and issues that emerge throughout the online conference

Voluntary Self-Identification (Optional)

The MCN community values equity, inclusion and accessibility and seeks to affirm its commitment to these values by providing the opportunity to attend MCN events to a new generation of museum professionals from a wide spectrum of backgrounds and experiences. The MCN community is dependent on diverse voices and experiences to reflect the communities the GLAM sector serves. For this reason, the Scholarship Committee does seek to create a representative cohort, and requests scholars to provide demographic information (if they are comfortable doing so) to assist meeting these aims. 

The selections made below do not impact the Scholarship Committee’s review of applications: 

  • Be a first-time conference attendee 
  • Be employed at an institution with no more than 20 permanent staff
  • Be new to the museum profession with less than 5 years of full-time experience in the field
  • Underrepresented or otherwise marginalized (this includes but is not limited to: BIPOC, LGBTQ+, persons with a disability)
  • In addition, MCN encourages applicants from beyond the US to apply. 

Program Terms & Conditions 

  • Publication space is awarded nominally to each scholarship recipient, not to the company, organization or institution with whom they are affiliated. 
  • Honorariums are exclusively issued in the name of the recipient. No exceptions.
  • Honorariums will be issued at the time the finalized, peer-reviewed paper is accepted for publication.
  • If after receiving acceptance, a scholar becomes unable to complete their committed work, regardless of circumstances or reasons, they will forgo their honorarium, and their place in the publication.
  • Scholars must meet all deadlines as set by the Scholarship Committee throughout the course of peer-review, drafting, and publication. Failure to meet deadlines could result in loss of honorarium. 
  • Keeping with previous MCN Scholarship cohort precedent, scholars who participate in the MCN 2020 Scholarship Program are ineligible for future MCN Scholarship Programs.

Review Process and Award Notification

  • The Scholarship Committee conducts a thorough review and evaluation of each application based on the candidate’s professional background, field of expertise, and proposed project. 
  • The Committee also considers how each candidate’s presence within the publication might enrich and enhance the experience of the MCN community, and the field of practice.
  • Applications from individuals who identify as belonging to groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the museum field and/or who reside outside of the US are given additional consideration.
  • The Committee strives to create a diverse cohort of scholars who represent a wide array of institutions, expertise, backgrounds, and projects.
  • The Scholarship Committee typically conducts interviews in late spring/early summer with notifications sent by the end of August. 

Please email scholarship@mcn.edu with any questions. 

Please review our Code of Conduct and our DEAI Advisory Board Charter while crafting your proposal. These are central to MCN’s mission and outreach, and should be considered throughout a scholar’s time with the program.  


  • April 17-May 17, 2020: Call for applications
  • May 17, 2020: Applications Due
  • May 18 – June 15, 2020: Applications Reviewed 
  • June 22- July 10, 2020: Interviews with Scholarship Committee and SIGs
  • July 20, 2020: Notices of Acceptance sent
  • July 24, 2020: Need to Accept Scholarship
  • July 27-July 31, 2020: Orientation (pick one date) – SIG Assigned
  • August 14, 2020: Outline Due – including initial sources
  • September 4, 2020: First draft of 3,000 words (include proposal for 5-minute record Lightning talk) 
  • September 18, 2020: Return drafts with approved 5-minute Lightning talk prompts
  • October 2, 2020: First recorded draft of Lightning talk is due
  • October 16, 2020: Return feedback on Lightning talk
  • October 23, 2020: Second recorded draft of Lightning talk is due; and second written draft of paper.
  • November 4, 2020: Return notes on recorded draft and second written draft.
  • November 6, 2020: Final draft of recorded 5-minute Lightning talk due 
  • January 11, 2021: Peer-Reviewed draft of publication returned 
  • January 25, 2021: Final draft of 3,000 words due for publication
  • March 2021: Anticipated Date for Publication

All dates subject to change at MCN’s discretion and contingent upon applicants/recipients meeting required deadlines and notices.