Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc.
  • Charlottesville, VA, USA
  • Other

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization that owns and operates Monticello, the mountaintop home of Thomas Jefferson located in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Foundation has a twofold mission of preservation and education, and we succeed with the support of over 500 full and part-time staff, volunteers and interns spread throughout the organization in a variety of disciplines.

The Thomas Jefferson Foundation is seeking interns in several departments for the summer of 2019. Available internships are listed below along with a brief description of their requirements and other relevant information. Most internships will start in mid-May; however, there is some flexibility. If you have an idea for an internship that you do not see listed please feel free to contact to see if we may be able to accommodate your interest.

In addition to their project work, summer interns from all departments are invited to attend several informal talks focusing on various aspects of the museum field with professionals from around the Foundation. Topics in the past have included; editing and publishing historical documents, museums and technology, nonprofit development, and the latest archaeological findings at Monticello. Participation in these talks is optional; however, it does provide an opportunity to broaden your internship experience.

The following departments are offering summer internships:

Center for Historic Plants (unpaid; Part-Time)

Curatorial (unpaid; Part-Time)

Development (unpaid; Part-Time)

Education & Visitor Programs (paid, hourly wage; Full-Time)

Gardens (paid, hourly wage; Full-Time)

Human Resources (unpaid; Part-Time)

International Center for Jefferson Studies (unpaid; Part-Time)

Jefferson Library (unpaid; Part-Time)

Marketing & Communications (unpaid; Part-Time)

Restoration (paid, hourly wage; Full-Time)

Special Events (unpaid; Part-Time)

Video Intern (unpaid; Part-Time)


Center for Historic Plants Intern: CHP is seeking interns with basic horticultural knowledge who are interested in learning more about nursery management and assisting with various education and outreach programs promoted by the center.  Internship will include some plant care and other individual projects designed to complement the interests of the student.  Internship is 10-12 weeks, 15-20 hours a week, with a flexible schedule. (unpaid)

Collections Intern: The Curatorial department is searching for college Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors, or Graduate students who are interested in gaining hands-on collections management experience across a range of projects. The collections team is responsible for caring for all objects related to Thomas Jefferson, many of which are currently on display in Monticello and its galleries, so attention to detail is essential to an intern's success. History, Art History, and Museum Studies majors preferred. Project length is 10-12 weeks, 15-20 hrs/wk with a flexible schedule. Experience with object handling is a plus, but not required. (unpaid)

Curatorial Intern: The Curatorial department is seeking bright, independent students to assist with research projects related to the curatorial collection and ongoing department projects, possibly including exhibitions or publications. Exposure to collections management may also be available to students who are interested. Project length is 10-12 weeks, 15-20 hrs/wk, with a flexible schedule. Must have completed two years of undergrad; Art History majors preferred. Must be able to work independently and possess impeccable writing and research skills. Experience with Decorative Arts is a plus, but not required. (unpaid)

Development Intern: As a private, nonprofit organization our Development department plays a crucial role in cultivating financial support for the Foundation and building lasting relationships with our donors.  Development interns will assist with the management of donor files, research projects, and donor related communication and events.  Project length is 10-12 weeks, 15-20 hrs/wk, with a flexible schedule.  Strong communication skills required, proficiency in MS Office preferred.  (unpaid)

Education & Visitor Programs Intern: Students with a desire to share history with the public will spend three days per week giving guided tours of Monticello and two days working on an individual project.  Projects may include; research, program design, early childhood education programs, and other projects related to the function of the department.  We will make every effort to match students' interests with their assigned projects.  Interns will work from 5/13/19 8/4/19, 5 days a week (40 hours), to include three weekends a month.  Must have completed two years of undergrad; strong communication skills and a love of history are required.  Must be able to interact comfortably with people of all ages and backgrounds and be flexible to the evolving needs of visitors.  (paid, hourly wage)

Garden Intern: The Gardens & Grounds department is seeking students who are currently enrolled or have recently graduated from academic programs related to horticulture, landscape architecture, or viticulture. Interns will be working alongside garden staff cultivating Thomas Jefferson's historic flower, vegetable and fruit gardens, as well as a recently established vineyard.  In addition to horticultural labor, interns will spend at least 8 hours per week working on individual research projects such as GIS mapping, historical plan research, plant IDs, blog posts and curatorial input.  Candidates must be able to do physical labor outdoors and possess a valid driver's license.  Internship length is 12 weeks, 40 hrs/wk.  Daily schedule is 7 am - 3:30 pm M-F, with occasional weekend hours when necessary. (paid, hourly wage)

Human Resources Intern: Our HR department is seeking an intern with an interest in the field of HR to assist with projects related to recruitment and other key administrative functions.  The department supports a large staff of full and part time employees around the Foundation and this internship will offer an opportunity to observe the variety of issues that affect a nonprofit organization at the administrative level.  Candidates should be detail oriented, organized, and possess excellent interpersonal and written communication skills.  Project length is 10-12 weeks, 15-20 hrs/wk, with a flexible schedule during standard business hours. (unpaid)

ICJS Intern: The Foundation is home to the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, which is devoted to Jefferson scholarship and the dissemination of research through lectures, seminars, and conferences.  The Center also hosts scholars and teachers through its fellowship opportunities.  ICJS is seeking interns for 10-12 weeks to assist in several areas.  Interns will provide administrative support to our visiting fellows and complete clerical and research projects under the direction of our staff historians.  Interns may also assist with the planning and execution of lectures and other special events hosted by ICJS. This position is ideal for students with an interest in early American history and/or public history.  Ideal candidates will possess strong research and communication skills and a professional demeanor.  Internship length is 10-12 weeks, 15-20 hrs/wk, with a flexible schedule during standard business hours. (unpaid)

Jefferson Library Intern: The Jefferson Library, located just down the road from Monticello, is a gateway to information on Thomas Jefferson and his life, times, and legacy. The Library collects a wide variety of materials, including books, journals, websites, microforms, videos and DVDs, photographs, maps, and memorabilia. The scope of the collection encompasses any and all subjects relevant to Thomas Jefferson, including such topics as colonial history, Virginia history, government, diplomacy, wine, archaeology, natural history, architecture, literature, French cuisine, slavery, natural rights, the University of Virginia, gardening, and science.  The Library is seeking students with strong research and writing skills to assist with various projects in the library.  Students should be able to organize information for dissemination to the public.  Internship length is 10-12 weeks, 15-20 hrs/wk.  Applicants must have completed two years of undergrad; preferably History majors or those with an interest in Library Sciences.  (unpaid)

Marketing & Communications Intern: This internship provides an opportunity to meet key community contacts and learn about marketing and advertising for a nonprofit.   Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to, business development and marketing activities such as creating ad copy and marketing analysis, public relations activities such as writing press releases, interviewing Monticello and Jefferson experts for newsletter articles, writing newsletter articles, taking photos, assisting in video and online components, social media integration, pitching new concepts for media coverage angles, media interaction, securing press attendance or assist answering questions on in-house projects, research, updating and maintaining media lists, assembling press kits, and providing support at special events. Project length is 10-12 weeks, 15-20 hrs/wk.  Hours are flexible, but will likely involve occasional evening and weekend work. Must have completed two years of undergrad, demonstrate strong written and oral communication skills, adhere to deadlines, and possess great attention to detail.  Applicants should be resourceful, willing to take on new challenges, and comfortable interacting with a variety of people in different situations. (unpaid)

Restoration Intern: Our Restoration department is offering an internship to a student looking to gain hands-on experience with preservation work. Opportunities for research work may be available based on the experience and background of the student. In particular, we are seeking students with an interest in archival work to assist with organization and documentation of ongoing restoration projects. Project length is flexible and details will be address with individual candidates. (paid, hourly wage)

Special Events Intern: Our Special Events department is seeking students who are interested in gaining experience in the field of event planning to assist with the organization and execution of events at Monticello.  Interns will gain experience with events of all sizes and the unique issues involved in event planning at historic site.  Responsibilities may include; managing guest lists, event staging, placing orders with local vendors, and assisting in the actual event execution.  In addition to daily assignments, interns will have a project which will focus on the planning and development of one specific event, including budget, marketing, and execution.  Project length is 10-12 weeks, 15-20 hrs/wk.  Hours are flexible, but will likely involve some evening and weekend work.  Must have completed one year of undergrad studies and possess strong communication skills, be detail oriented, and have ability to work independently and take initiative when necessary.  Interns must also have a reliable form of transportation as assignments may include interaction with local vendors. (unpaid)

Video Intern: Our Public Historian of Slavery and African-American Life documents the stories of slave descendants in our ongoing oral history project called Getting Word. ( We are seeking students with video production skills and an interest in storytelling to help us continue to document and record material. Interns may also work on other videography intended to share content about Monticello and our programs with virtual visitors. Extensive knowledge of American history is not required, but interest in the subject matter is preferred. This is a part-time position with a flexible schedule. (unpaid)


FAQs about Internships


Please review the information below to see many common questions and answers about our internship program. If you still cannot find the answer you are looking for please email or call 434-984-9869 with any questions.


Am I eligible to apply for an internship?

Applicants must complete a minimum of one year of undergraduate studies before starting an internship, though some positions require two years. (You may apply while you are completing your first or second year.) Preference for internships will be given to undergraduate and graduate students who are currently enrolled in a college or university or have recently earned a degree. 

How do I apply?

Please provide the following items:

  • A completed internship application including two short answer responses
  • Two references or letters of recommendation (academic and/or professional)
  • An unofficial copy of your transcript
  • A one-page resume


Application materials may arrive separately, but all materials must be received by February 15, 2019.



Do I get paid?

Most part-time (15-20 hrs/wk) internships are unpaid, but full-time (40 hrs/wk) internships are paid an hourly wage. If you would like academic credit for your internship please inquire with your university to see if this can be arranged. We will make accommodations for this whenever possible. 

When do they start/end?

Generally internships will run from late May to the beginning of August. All unpaid internships will involve roughly 15-20 hrs per week, and there is some flexibility in the schedules. Detailed schedules will be determined on an individual basis once the final candidates have been identified.  

Can I apply for more than one internship?

Yes; please list all the departments in which you are interested.  

Do you need an official transcript?

No; for the initial application you can send an unofficial copy of your transcript. You will be notified if we require anything else.

Can I send my recommendations via email?

Yes; but be sure to include contact information for all references you provide. Letters of recommendation may also be sent directly from the author.

I would like to be involved at Monticello, but I don't have the time to commit to an internship. What can I do?

There are volunteer opportunities for those who are able to commit to working at the Foundation a minimum of 8 hrs per month. Please email if you would like to pursue this option.

Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc.
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