Field Museum

The Field Museum was founded in 1893 to house the 50,000 anthropological artifacts and natural history specimens displayed at the World’s Columbian Exposition. Today, our collections have grown to more than 40 million artifacts and specimens, which are the center of our scientific research and environmental conservation efforts across the globe.

In 2021, the Field celebrated the centennial of our iconic, neoclassical building on the lakefront Museum Campus, which opened to the public in May 1921. In addition to the exhibition and preservation of our treasured collections, we inspire curious minds through education programs focused on preK-12th grade, and work globally to understand and protect the natural world through our scientific research and environmental conservation efforts.

More than 150 research scientists are employed at the Field Museum, conducting studies on 7 continents and in 75 countries. The Museum’s public exhibitions educate the public on topics ranging from Antarctic Dinosaurs, to Chinese culture and history, to conservation.

The Museum’s five-year, $250 million campaign, Because Earth: The Campaign for the Field Museum, will conclude in 2021. Since 2015, the campaign has raised more than $250 million, including $121 million in new endowment commitments, from more than 5,000 donors. These extraordinary philanthropic investments allowed for extensive improvements to the Field’s public spaces—such as the Rice Native Gardens on the Museum’s terraces and the Griffin Dinosaur Experience, which includes Màximo the Titanosaur and SUE the T. rex’s new gallery. Behind the scenes, Because Earth enabled new, major scientific programs—the Grainger Bioinformatics Center and Negaunee Pollinators Initiative.

In September 2020, the Field welcomed Dr. Julian Siggers as President and CEO. Dr. Siggers, an archaeologist, comes to the Field from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, where he served as Director since 2012. Under Dr. Siggers’ leadership, the Field began strategic planning in March 2021 to refocus institutional goals, of which diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) will be a driving force.


Chicago, IL

Internship Description

The Field Museum Development Intern will have the opportunity to learn about a sophisticated fundraising operation at one of the nation’s premier cultural institutions. Over the course of the 10-week internship, the Development Intern will primarily spend their time with the Principal and Major Gifts team, but will also rotate through other key areas of the department, including: Annual Fund, Planned Giving, Foundation Giving, Corporate Giving and Data Services. The intern will conclude the internship with a foundational understanding philanthropy and with concrete skills in cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.

The primary Development Intern project for Summer 2022 will likely focus on preparation for our annual Symposium, held in September. This program is designed for supporters and prospective supporters of the Field Museum to make significant philanthropic gifts. It brings together national trustees, life trustees, and others to provide an in-depth look at the breadth and depth of research and education at the Museum (and around the world). Responsibilities may include project management, invitation and program design and copy, donor research and briefings, logistical arrangements, and meetings and correspondence with participating scientists and museum leaders. The project is dependent on current developments is subject to change.

In addition to primary project responsibilities, the Development Intern will have the opportunity to design and lead a donor tour, to solicit an existing donor for a gift in person, and to meet with one of our Field Museum trustees or supporters who also graduated from Princeton.

The internship includes meetings and tours with other areas of the Museum, including Exhibitions, Marketing & PR, the Gantz Collections Center, the Keller Action Center, the Negaunee Integrative Research Center, the Learning Center, Guest Services, Facilities, and Finance. Understanding the functions of all areas of the Museum is vital to successful fundraising.

# of weeks Required Dates Start Time End Time Public Transportation Housing  Format
10 Flexible  9:00am  5:00pm Yes No In person

Housing Information

While The Field Museum does not provide housing for most internships, we would like to provide you with some resources to find housing arrangements that meet your needs. Note that we keep prices updated on our site, but to get the most up-to-date information on rates and availability, please contact the housing company/building directly. More information will be provided as interns are selected.

Internship Qualifications

  • Strong communication skills—written and spoken
  • Computer skills to support basic research and data management.
  • Collaborative nature
  • Independent and proactive worker
  • Adaptable to new situations
  • Interest in science and cultural institutions
  • Professional in attitude and appearance
  • Good time management skills

Additional Qualifications

  • Passion for storytelling
  • Curiosity about how fundraising supports nonprofit institutions
  • Coursework and/or interest in museums, museum studies, zoology, anthropology, conservation, geology, and/or botany
  • Humility and an appreciation for the “behind the scenes” work that is really at the heart of early-career fundraising roles
  • Familiarity with InDesign and Microsoft Office Suite

Writing Sample Required

  • Please submit a 500-1000 word writing sample. This could include research papers submitted for class, a press release, blog post, or other document you feel represents your strengths and capabilities.

Special Requirements

  • Vaccinations 

Additional Information

There may be a handful of opportunities to participate in after-hours fundraising events at the Museum. These are optional to the intern, but are an excellent opportunity to engage directly with the Field Museum's many and varied supporters.