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Icon internship programme

An internship is an excellent way to begin a career in conservation or to supplement academic qualifications

Since 2006, Icon has administered a highly successful work-based training bursary scheme in the UK. It was originally funded by a £2.45m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Icon works with partners to run internships that are fully-funded and underpinned by Icon’s Professional Standards.  Most placements are for 12 months, but internships can vary from six months to two years. 

Intern Advisers

Icon’s Intern Advisers support the Intern and Supervisor in the period leading up to, as well as throughout the placement. Their role is to listen, advise and build up useful contacts and networks - based around a general framework of 3-4 visits to the workplace over a 12-month placement.

Photo: Matt Wreford

Current opportunities

About the programme

Previous interns

Current opportunities

Internship opportunities

There are currently no internship opportunities available.

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About the programme

The Icon Internship Programme

The Icon Internship Programme (IIP) is based on our Professional Standards, which ensures that the intern makes demonstrable progress throughout their placement. 

For every internship we administer, Icon will set up an agreement with the host to cover: 

  • Recruitment and selection of the intern
  • Induction and regular monitoring visits from Icon-appointed intern advisers to support the intern and the supervisor
  • A quarterly reports structure, supporting the intern’s professional development
  • Bursary payments on receipt of reports
  • Networking opportunities
  • Ongoing evaluation

Download our internship leaflet for more information. 

Hosting an internship

Hosting an internship can be a rewarding experience for any heritage or conservation organisation. 

Please see below for our downloadable documents on hosting and funding an internship.

If you are interested in hosting an internship, please email our professional development manager:  

Previous interns

and where they are now

Martha Infray

Preventive Conservation, Norfolk Museums (HLF-funded), 2014-15

After completing a BA in Ancient History at Cardiff University I studied the Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects MA at Durham University. This two-year course gave me the skills to work as an archaeological and museum conservator, including researching, analysing, cleaning, preserving, and caring for a broad range of objects. 

I then volunteered at two National Trust properties and at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery for several months. I was delighted to be offered the Icon internship in Preventive Conservation at the Norfolk Museums Service. 

So far I have been involved with:

  • two temporary exhibitions de-installs 
  • preparing objects for temporary loans 
  • dealing with an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) emergency 
  • developing an IPM plan for the Norwich Castle Museum “The Wonder of Birds” exhibition undertaking remedial conservation work on taxidermy bird specimens and silver vervels 
  • In December, I am attending an emergency planning and practical salvage course. 

Abigail Tyler

Textiles Conservation, Textile Conservation Ltd (HLF-funded), 2014-15

In 2013 I graduated from the University of Lincoln with a BA in Conservation and Restoration. During my course I completed a six-week placement at the National Trust Textile Conservation Studio. After graduating I worked on a modern tapestry conservation project at Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster. I also volunteered at The Museum of Cambridge.

It was a privilege to be offered this Icon internship with Textile Conservation Limited, Bristol. I am working alongside a small, friendly team of professional conservators who come from a range of backgrounds and specialisms. Our customers include historic houses, museums and private clients.

So far, I have gained new practical skills and experience, such as costume mounting, tapestry conservation and project planning. 

Sophie Barton

Furniture Conservation, Tankerdale Ltd (HLF-funded), 2014-15

I studied History of Art at the University of York then Conservation at City & Guilds of London Art School (C&G). Studying at York, I had the chance to work at Castle Howard which gave me an insight into the day-to-day running of an important historic house. While at C&G, I developed an interest in painted wood and decided to focus on the conservation of polychrome objects. Since graduating, I have gained experience working on polychrome sculpture at SRAL, Maastricht in Holland, at IRPA in Brussels and latterly at the CRRCOA in Vesoul, France.

During my Icon internship I am focusing on the conservation of decorative surfaces on furniture, learning finishing techniques for wood surfaces and gaining experience working on a variety of decorative finishes. I have already taken part in a variety of conservation treatments from treating a woodworm-damaged dolphin to cleaning ormolu lilies in a bath.