The Museum Research Traineeship Experience

The Museum Research Traineeship is an innovative interdisciplinary graduate education and research training program designed to inspire trainees to search for answers to some of the biggest questions in science through the lens of museum science and collections.

Program Timeline

Museum Research Traineeship Program Timeline
MRT Timeline
MA, MS TrackPhD Track
Yr 1Yr 2Yr 1Yr 2Yr 3Yrs 4-6
Individual Development PlanFallFall
Interdisciplinary Museum Science CourseFallFall
Museum ColloquiumFall, SpringFall, SpringFall, SpringFall, SpringFall, SpringFall, Spring
Professional WorkshopFallSpringFallSpring
Summer Research Experience SummerSummer
Curatorial RotationFallFall
Near Peer MentoringFall, SpringFall, SpringFall, SpringFall, Spring

Program Experience

Co-Mentorship of Trainees
Teams of faculty, curators, and peer co-mentor trainees provide disciplinary and museum perspectives to education, training, and research.

Individual Development Plans
Mentors and trainees work collaboratively to develop a comprehensive and holistic Individual Development Plan. Trainees learn to identify shared values, layout goals, and expectations to guide their development and progress throughout the program.

Interdisciplinary Museum Science (IMS) Course
This course will introduce the use of museum objects, data archives, and other resources to address fundamental questions within and across disciplines of Anthropology, Biology, and Geosciences.

The IMS Is a three-hour weekly cross-listed course taken during the trainee's first and last fall semester. The course fulfills participating department's degree requirements. 

Museum Science Colloquium Series
Presentations focus on research that uses museum resources, objects, and data to address scientific questions about processes in biological or physical systems, human communities, or any combination or interactions of these. The Colloquium is student-driven and provides meaningful discussions and informal networking opportunities among mentors, trainees, and the community at UNM, locally, nationally, and beyond.

A 1-hour weekly cross-listed course, the Colloquium is taken every semester, excluding the summer. 

Professional Development Workshop
This fall workshop focuses on communication, collaboration, and professional and networking skill development, including student-mentor relations, grant-writing, leadership and governance, career opportunities, and developing collaboration skills with colleagues at UNM and other institutions.

The workshop is also taken in the spring before trainees graduate  (MS students by spring Year 2, Ph.D. students by spring Year 5) and will focus on resume building, job searches, research presentations, and matriculation to the workforce.

The workshops are two-hour bi-weekly cross-listed courses taken in the first year's fall semester and the final spring semester before completing the MS or Ph.D. program. 

Summer Research Experience
The research experience occurs in the summer of the trainee's first academic year. Trainees will focus on how objects and specimens are collected, documented, handled, and integrated across collections to broaden their perspective on object-based research. Funds are available for stipends, research supplies, and travel.

Curatorial Graduate Assistantship Rotation
After year one, trainees participate in a curatorial rotation for at least one semester. Trainees learn about work in museum settings and how to contribute to and use museum resources. Trainees can choose to complete the rotation in their curator/mentor's collection or another UNM science collection. 

The Graduate Assistantship is a paid 0.5 FTE position supported by the trainee's home department.