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Research Assistant Opportunity

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National Museum of African American History and Culture

A contract position is open at the NMAAHC for a research assistant to work on an exhibition about WWI.  

If you are interested in applying, please send just your contact information to Dr. William Pretzer, as soon as possible.  Dr. Pretzer will then send you a packet with instructions how to bid on the job, which is expected to last one year, with possible extension.

If you are not registered in the government’s System for Award Management (SAM) and you want to contract with the Smithsonian or other federal entity, now would be an excellent time to enroll! All contractors with the government must be in SAM.   Enrollment is free.

Position Description:

Smithsonian Institution

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Statement of work

Research Assistant – Exhibition: We Return fighting: The African American Experience During World War I



The Smithsonian Institution (SI) National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is planning and developing a major exhibition and publication on the African American experience during World War I to open in late 2019.


The contractor shall provide professional, technical, non-personal research and writing assistance services to exhibition and publication teams working on the exhibition, “We Return Fighting: The African American Experience during World War I.”  The contractor shall research and write background papers, outlines, exhibition, publication and media treatments, and maintain checklists of objects and graphics for use in this project.


The contractor shall have:

  • M. A. in American Studies, American History or African American History preferred
  • Knowledge of American history, particularly African American social and/or military history
  • Experience researching and writing on historical topics, particularly 20th century social and cultural history, using primary and secondary sources
  • Experience communicating formally and informally in writing and verbally
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • Experience creating Power Point or similar digital visual presentations

Statement of Work

The primary duties and responsibilities of the contractor shall include, but are not limited to, those tasks described below:

  1. Provide historical and cultural research reports as defined by the exhibition  including background content, objects, graphics, photographs, audio and visual media, and/or other contextual material to support the exhibition and publication content using current scholarship, archival resources, genealogical resources, and oral history.
  2. Assist with identifying and compiling visual resources for use in the development of the exhibition, publication and media pieces by working closely with members of the Office of Curatorial Affairs, Project Management Office, media contractors and the Registrar’s office.
  3. Assist with maintaining checklists of graphics with graphic title, repository, catalog number, exhibition number, location within exhibition, and cropping instructions.
  4. Maintain exhibition outlines and scripts by recording changes per curatorial and PMO review.
  1. Meet regularly with the curators for the exhibitions to discuss the research results and to receive new assignments.
  1. Attend scheduled meetings.