Position Opening:
Visitor Studies Research Museum Assistant

Funded by the Dorothy Berkey White Fund

Through the completion of this research opportunity, the student will produce a report on a research project on Spurlock Museum visitors. The topic will be determined in consultation with the supervisor, the Director of Education at Spurlock Museum. The report will include methodology, data, results, interpretation of results, and recommendations for action. The report will comply with standards of the audience research field and will be used to implement new strategies for visitor engagement. In addition to the report, the student will also turn in a separate narrative about their learning process, contextualizing it within literature on visitor studies.

Other typical duties include:

  • creating and revising instruments for data collection,
  • data coding and entry,
  • speaking with visitors in formal and informal settings,
  • creating and communicating guidelines for collecting visitor data to museum staff,
  • running tests on data and revising research strategies accordingly,
  • participating in Education section meetings, and
  • contributing a visitor-centered perspective to discussions of exhibition and programming plans.

Required Qualifications:

  • Candidates must hold active UIUC student standing.
  • The successful candidate will have a strong understanding of the use of excel to collect, sort, and visualize data.
  • This position requires extensive contact with strangers. Comfort approaching people and inviting them to participate in research is key to success in this role.
  • Completion of coursework or prior volunteer work that provided an introduction to Museum Studies is a prerequisite.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • basic knowledge of statistics and data visualization
  • knowledge about informal learning or museum learning

Schedule and Wages:

  • The student is responsible for 150 hours of work under the direction of the Director of Education, along with some outside reading and writing.
  • The pay rate is dependent on undergraduate or graduate student status.


To apply, please e-mail all of the following to Elisabeth Stone, Director of Education: eastone@illinois.edu by 12/7/2017:

  • cover letter
  • resume
  • upcoming spring schedule